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The Lighter Side

Brendan Kiely – managing director and co-founder of ThinScale Technology

Brendan Kiely: “The most important intelligence you should have in your business is emotional.”

Brendan Kiely: “The most important intelligence you should have in your business is emotional.”


What businessperson do you most admire?

Elon Musk for his vision and doggedness in pursuit of it, Satya Nadella for the phenomenal changes he brought to Microsoft, and John Lyons, my old boss in American Express, for teaching me lessons I refused to hear at the time but still benefit from today.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Teddy’s ice cream on a sunny day – or any day really.

How do you unwind?

Walking the dogs, hanging out with my kids, torturing people with my guitar playing.

How much money is in your wallet?

Nothing – I haven’t carried cash for about two years and I’ve recently started using my phone to pay for things.

The last book you read?

I’m reading The Road Less Stupid by Keith J Cunningham at present. I recently finished and thoroughly enjoyed The Education of an Idealist by Samantha Power and Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever been given?

The most important intelligence you should have in your business is emotional.

Who is the most famous person in your contacts list?

Santa Claus – and as long as my kids believe that we will have spells of order in our lives.

How do you manage your work-life balance?

I am now working 100 per cent of the time at home and, despite working more, I am seeing a lot more of the kids. It has reminded me of something – kids need constant contact, not constant entertainment. By working at home, I am more present in their lives and I am getting more work done!

The last film you watched?

Little Woman. I really admire Saoirse Ronan and she put in an excellent performance as usual.

What is your favourite possession?

My Bose noise-cancelling headphones. A must-have if you travel or work at home!

What social media do you use?

LinkedIn and Twitter (@thinscalemd). I have largely stopped using Facebook.

If money were not object, what would your fantasy purchase be?

I would like to buy an old castle and renovate it. But I know it would be a disaster! Think it’s best it remains a fantasy.

What is the first website you look at every morning?

I’m a bit of a news junkie but of late I have felt the need to dial it back given the news is constantly centred around one theme. I like the personalised news app Kinzen and the new publication The Currency.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

This has changed. I was recently diagnosed with sleep apnoea. I now have a CPAP machine to help me sleep and it is not an exaggeration to say it has completely changed my life! If you are tired a lot, go and get checked. 

If you were Taoiseach for a day what would you do?

I would develop policies that would position Ireland as the most remote working friendly economy in Europe and I would seek to support Irish start-ups and entrepreneurs with the same level of intensity that we support FDI.

What’s your favourite place in Dublin, and why?

Killiney Hill in Dún Laoghaire and I class myself as very lucky to have it on my doorstep. 

Anything you would like to plug?

ThinScale has been in the remote and home-working space for a long time and we have developed software that enables employees work securely from home using their own machines. Secure Remote Worker is a software-only solution and thus there is no shipping of hardware required. We are proud that we are the only company in the world that can offer this.