Irish-American entrepreneur David McCourt is aiming to be the man who will bring broadband to the entire island of Ireland. He joined Ryan Tubridy to talk about his extraordinary life and his huge plans. As regards the broadband, Ryan was curious, can he do it?
“First of all, the national broadband plan has been getting a lot of flack because it’s taken so long but you’ve got to remember Ryan that this is a very audacious, aggressive programme that the government has put forward and my hat goes off to them for trying to do it and they will succeed. Every man, woman and child will get wired is this country. It will start in September.”
Broadband aside, David, who was once described as ‘Che Guevara in a nice suit’, told Ryan about growing up in a typical Irish family of 11 in Boston and how being left out of the police force due to ethnic quotas led to an exciting career that took him to the White House and beyond. His first company developed a way to cut the cost of building cable systems by 80% and from there, his career skyrocketed. Despite his huge success, he wanted to make sure his children were raised with their feet on the ground and their eyes open to global realities.
“I was just worried that maybe it’s too easy for this generation… It was much easier for me than it was for my father but for my kids, I think it’s even easier. I said, well, I don’t want to make it hard for my kids, but at least, if I’m not going to make it hard for them, at least I have to make it global. At least they have to have an understanding of what’s going on in the world… I tried to take them to everywhere that there had been a conflict so they could learn about it and read about it and have a better understanding not only of how lucky they are but a better understanding of how the whole world works.”
In David’s book Total Rethink: Why entrepreneurs should act like revolutionaries, he shares some of the most valuable lessons he has learned throughout his illustrious career.
“My whole theory in this book is to try to explain to people that they have to think outside the box and have to use the left side of their brain and the right side. You used to be able to just think outside the box and you’d be home free. Now you have to make the box and think outside the box. You have to use the left and right brain. You have to dig deep for the duality that resides in all of us, not only the analytic side but the creative side, so I try to use both that raw creativity and utilitarian business methods.”
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