Silicon Docks: The Rise Of Dublin As A Global Tech Hub, edited by Pamela Newenham (and published by Liberties Press) is the first book to document Dublins digital coming of age, detailing the remarkable series of events that have led to the capitals ongoing transmogrification into a world-class tech mecca.
The tale is structured as a series of short, sharp essays from a series of Irelands foremost tech journalists, amongst them Silicon Republics Elaine Burke, The Sunday Business Posts Emmet Ryan and Newenham herself, a regular contributor to The Irish Times. As with all great business stories, the fun is in the detail: how Facebook had bother registering its name in Ireland, for example, as a local company already had a similar moniker, or how an under-the-radar Mark Zuckerberg was snapped having a pint at a fashionable city centre hostelry by a cheeky local – who promptly shared the pic via Twitter.
Elsewhere, the contributors acknowledge the efforts of unsung architects of the Dublin tech ecosystem, such as Sean OLaoire, author of the first Docklands Master Plan (sowing the seed for the International Financial Services Centre, or IFSC), to John Nugent, the IDA (Irish Development Authority) executive who travelled to Silicon Valley to befriend Facebook truth be told, he had been more interested in bringing Disney to Dublin. We also appreciate the acknowledgement of a newer wave of formidable homegrown startups like Soundwave, Intercom, Trustev and Dubliner Oisin Hanrahans Boston-based phenomenon Handy smart, ambitious outfits shooting for the big time, with swagger and moxie to burn.
Verdict: But is it definitive? By virtue of its mere existence, absolutely for now, anyhow. At a brisk 178 pages, this is best enjoyed as a primer for anyone seeking to do business in Dublin, or a choice bluffers guide, setting the scene perfectly for the uninitiated. Were already anticipating the next wave of tomes, however, books going deeper, and deeper still; were thinking of an insider take from a seasoned Dublin startup legend like Eamon Leonard (who features prominently here), a hardcore business expose from Business Post MVP Tom Lyons or maybe even a rock nroll riff from The Irish Times mad scientist Jim Carroll Hed be good for the Bono stories, for starters. If you want to understand how it all happened, and how its happening, however, this is the perfect place to begin. As for the next chapter, well youve come to the right place.