By @SimonCocking, quick catch up with Brian Seidman who will be speaking at the Irish Tech News / DCU Alpha Campus IoT event on May 30th. Last few tickets available here. See more articles by Brian for Irish Tech News here. See more by Brian on his own FDI blog here too.
1 min pitch for what you are doing now?
I’m working on growing the Foreign Direct Investment and Early-Stage advisory company, Seidman & Co. Ltd, I started after deciding to stay in Ireland rather than to return to the US for MMX, the company that sent me here and started me on my FDI adventure. I’m still working with MMX, which I’m happy to say is doing very well.
How were the last 12 months, what worked well, what didn’t move as quickly as you would have liked?
I’ve spent most of the past 12 months learning about how the professional service firms here in Ireland go about the Foreign Direct Investment work. I’ve been very fortunate in that I’ve been able to study some of the leading FDI professionals and firms in action around the world first hand, as they pitch Ireland as the best home in Europe for growth companies. I have over two decades of experience in the start-up / early stage world, having founded my first company, which we took public, back in ’95 and have lived the start-up journey many times since then. The FDI world is very similar to the start-up / early stage world, in that you are setting up a company, an operation, from the start. So there are many similarities, but FDI is obviously different in that you are in a different country that has its own business culture, laws, etc. I’ve lived that experience first-hand from day one with an IDA-backed company, which I think is a great base for now advising others, but it also made sense to me to watch and learn as much as possible from the best of the best here in Ireland who have lived FDI advisory for years. As with any start-up, and Seidman & Co. is a start-up, you wish that certain things would move more quickly, but I’m happy with the pace of how the business is growing. What has pleasantly surprised me is that during the past year I’ve been able to develop strong relationships with a group of advisors and consultants whose work is very synergistic to what Seidman & Co. offers, which I think will serve all of us very well as we move forward with our businesses.
— Simon Cocking (@SimonCocking) March 3, 2017
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to work at growing Seidman & Co. as best I can.
What inspired you to participate at the IoT event?
I’ve been involved in technology for 20+ years now. I believe that technological advances are both important and can be beneficial. That being said, I think there is too much of a “technology for technologies sake” attitude about most areas of technology and their benefits, particularly the technologies that are supposed to be the “next big thing.” You could day I’m skeptical about many of the claims of the benefits of the latest technologies. I wanted to participate to make sure that critical questions and issues regarding the Internet of Things are part of the discussion. An example of an area that I think needs more critical examination in this area is the effect of the IoT on jobs.
Which influencers and websites do you follow to keep up to date with the latest developments?
Never been a fan of the term “influencer,” but I do follow people I think are smart. At the moment, given the potential impact of political events in the US and UK on global trade and thus FDI, I’m following the tweets and links of Chad Brown of the Peterson Institute for International Economics, who is an expert on international trade . There are many websites I follow, via my RSS feed, my Google feed, and Twitter on an everyday basis: In the wider world: The Guardian, NY Times, Economist, Bloomberg, FT,, WSJ, Irish Times, Independent, Telegraph, and others. In the technology world: Irish Tech News, Gizmodo, Engadget, Business Insider, MobileCrunch, Wired, Ars Technica and others.
How can people find out more about what you are working on?
They can follow me and some of the people I work with on our Foreign Direct Investment blog – FDI / Foreign Direct Ireland, and also on the entrepreneurial-related blog posts that ITN is kind enough to publish