TechLudd – not so luddite after all

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From being branded an event which could “do more harm than good” and was poised to “damage the Ireland Inc brand“, TechLudd, a first-time event in Dublin last week for the tech startup community, is now being described as “a huge success”. As Eirepreneur points out, blogger Jessica Roy says “It was the most successful most attended event, barring a conference, that the Irish tech community has ever seen”. Check out the great photo albums on, and the next event will be in Limerick. Congratulations to the organisers for ‘damaging’ the Ireland Inc brand in such a creative manner. [Update: Just for the record, former vehement critic Paul Walsh has now retracted his criticism].

  • Paul Walsh

    1) As I said on Twitter, “TechLudd is looking to be a great event, if you’re in Dublin you must go” (something like that anyway)
    2) Absolutely everything about it changed as a result of me saying how embarrassing it was. Had I not, nothing to very little would have changed.
    3) It got a huge amount of attention as a result of me writing about it, which triggered you to write about it on TechCrunch – hence the high turnout.
    4) Members of my staff at Segala went to show their support.

    Everyone is entitled to give an opinion and mine I still believe, was spot on at the time I articulated it. It’s a shame more people don’t do the same out in the open – you’d be surprised by the number of emails and IM messages I received from people who agreed with (sometimes ‘risky’) blog posts – but don’t want to be seen in the open.

    So, I’m delighted it turned out to be a success, really I am. It’s a shame more blogs don’t link to my positive opinion pieces. Then again, I purposely made this post stand out to change would happen. So I got what I set out to achieve.

  • Niall Larkin

    Paul your some chancer trying to twist it so. Talk about flogging a dead horse! I have to admire you though. The truth is it was a great event despite your efforts.

    You played a part in the success of techludd in the same way Herod played a part in the early life of the baby Jesus.

  • It's all about ME

    I have just stopped laughing long enough after reading the comment above to respond.

    Luckily for the TechLudd organisers and the Irish Tech community Paul Walsh was there to put everything right. Phew crisis averted!

    How does he find time between organizing “great” events like the Facebook debate & Top Cats, hosting the BIMA awards, writing the world’s longest overdue business plan for Segala, advising the UK government on startups, the W3c on open standards as well as constantly offering words of wisdom on twitter and momo London.

    Surely there must be more than one Paul Walsh??? Is it just me?

  • Sabrina Dent

    Paul, regarding #2, I can only say again:

    1. You have NO IDEA what plans were afoot for TechLudd because instead of answering Anton’s invitation for community involvement specifically to help form the event, you used the opportunity to throw stones from the sidelines in your blog, once again positioning yourself as the authority on absolutely everything that involves the word “tech” or so much as an open HTML tag;

    2. Despite your ceaseless name dropping, you are in fact not the only person who knows anyone else. All roads to Rome do not, in reality, run through you. *Other people* also know Techcrunchies, including Mike Butcher – whom I have know for longer than you’ve been able to find London. On a map.

    You continue to not do yourself any favours in these conversations. I’d suggest you fire your PR company, but since it is so obviously you, that would simply be too much to ask for.

  • Damien Mulley

    TechLudd was an enormous success and well done to the organisers for making it so and hopefully more events like this will happen.

    You know what would be great though Mike? That your coverage of Irish companies is more positive. This is TechCrunch UK and Ireland, right? Yet all I can see when it comes to coverage of Ireland is two negative pieces so far. Will you profile some of the fantastic companies that were at TechLudd and will you cover the upcoming CreativeCamp or will there need to be some kind of argy bargy before that happens?

    There is more to Ireland than fights and you should be covering that.

  • Paul Walsh

    Not only that Damien but this piece links to my original post and TechLudd’s *new* Web site which doesn’t have any of the bad messaging to which my comments refer.

    @It’s all about ME – yet another TechCrunch Troll. “overdue business plan” – I’d love to know what you mean by overdue. It’s overdue when I say it’s overdue, given that I’m the CEO. Please explain yourself.

  • Joe Drumgoole


    Its true that your original post decrying the goals of TechLudd energised a whole bunch of people into making TechLudd happen, but the reality is people turned up on the night because it was a good idea, not because you said it was a bad idea.


  • It's all about ME

    Mr Walsh I know one VC (DFJ Esprit) who told me he has been waiting over 12 months for a promised plan but is so bored with content labels that he doesn’t care anymore.

    As for TCUK & I – it would be nice if Mr Arrington paid Mike more money to actually travel to Ireland and maybe even sponsor more events as TC rather than try and get Mike to blag sponsor money.

    Seems all of the Arrington millions are for his parties/awards in the Valley and jollies in Davos.

  • Anton Mannering

    Damien, I agree with you there about more mentions of Irish companies. I suggested this to Mike via email a while ago and he said he’s “already working on that”. And on covering Irish events going forward, when I questioned him on that he said he’d be covering future events here “mainly to support the community in Ireland”. I don’t think he’ll mind me quoting him.

    Which I think will be brilliant and which, if it’s followed through on, answers the questions posed.
    I suppose “watch this space” is in order. Hopefully we’ll see it soon.

  • Paul Walsh

    My thoughts about all of this

    I thought it was appropriate to write a separate post.

  • Mike Butcher

    Hey people. It would be crazy, in writing about the success of TechLudd, not to refer to the previous high profile spat about its very existance. That context aside, it seemed worth linking to Eirepreneur’s coverage of the event. So sue me. As for covering Irish tech firms, I’d be delighted if only a few more would pitch me some decent stories. That was part of the idea in acting as a media partner for the event, and mentioning it is a broader post about Europe on I did last week – I was after exposing the TCUK&I brand to Irish firms at the event. But have I had any pitches of real news stories from any firms there since? No. But hey, I’m sure it’ll happen soon.

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