Q. RURAL Tipperary seems an unusual place TO LOCATE A TECH FIRM?

Padraig's Answer

"We naturally understand why some may think that's the case. We have privately jested about converting the closed local pub, the 5-Alley into a tech incubator called Silicon V-Alley, so perhaps that perception will change at some future point!

All joking asides, both Fergal and I previously worked in different cities. While we thoroughly enjoyed many aspects of the accompanying lifestyle, we shared a belief that the rat race we were participating in was negatively impacting upon our ability to lead creative lives. And that, for both of us, was "the catch" to urban life we were simply unwilling to overlook.

When we were to later kick-start Tailteann from a spare room in our parents' home, 4 miles from the small market town of Nenagh in the Irish Mid-West, we obviously didn't look like the archetypal tech company to the outside world! I suppose we took comfort from the fact that numerous billion dollar companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google neither did when they were initially ran from garages.

Regardless, our lives up to that point had taught us we were now very well placed, at least in the short-term, to produce original work. As the inimitable John Cleese once said, your creativity is a tortoise - it will poke its head out nervously to see if the environment is safe before it fully emerges. As we'd previously learned, it's hard to really come out of your shell when having to face the unnatural stressors of everyday life in 21st Century cities. In the "safe haven" of our wonderfully scenic home parish, where we were not only less hurried and worried but continuously enthused by family, friends, flora, and fauna, we believed we'd the platform required to maximise our creative potential. Later coming across studies by the likes of the:

- University of Utah (which states being immersed in nature double's one's performance on imaginative, problem-solving tasks),

- University of Melbourne (which describes how gazing at nature vastly improves work focus),

- Stanford University (which details how nature not only makes you happier and healthier but improves memory), and the

- Journal of Environmental Psychology (which states nature make us more trusting, generous and helpful towards others, as well as making us feel more alive) merely reinforced what our gut instincts had told us from the start.

The adapted bedroom in question was obviously only appropriate for so long though! So when we were in a position to move to a more suitable, permanent office space, we knew we couldn't give up our inspiring rural location, which had arguably become our greatest "Point of Differentiation". Wanting very much to also remain connected to the land where 12 previous generations of McDonnells had proudly lived and worked before us, a site was chosen beside the Oak Tree that inspired our Company Icon. There, a customised 2 storey office was built, with the lighting, temperature, sound and spaces within all designed to further increase our innovation levels. Perhaps most importantly, it was built in unison with Fergal's house to send out the message to our partners that they would always be welcomed to our office in the same way as family and friends are to the adjoining home.

And while we may be something of an oasis around these parts as far as tech boutique firms are concerned, it should be pointed out that we are not exactly bucking the trend as regards innovation or entrepreneurship, as there is actually quite a strong tradition of it in the area. When we look out our office window, the homes of the late Tony Ryan (RyanAir's founder), the Collison brothers (Stripe's founders), and the Carey brothers (VistaTherm's founders) can all be seen in the distance. While the first 3 buildings in view are those of 3 separate successful start-up businesses. These people helped to put to bed any slight doubts we may have had about putting down our company roots here, as they were living proof that you'll do your best work where you're most happy."