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Dr Chris Horn on Engineering Innovation, the case of Iona

In 1991, Chris, Dr Sean Baker and Annrai O’Toole each chipped in £1,000 (Irish Punts) to bootstrap a business called Iona Technologies.

Iona's Orbix product is often considered to have been a run-away success from day one, but we can also argue that Orbix was successful because of the way the company was organised and the way it ‘organised’ its market. Their business model was evident in how they primed the market for their product Orbix and this was reflected in the organisation's culture, its values and vision. Iona was...

  • A young Irish company with a distinctly Irish culture.
  • Small nimble close knit teams, everyone knew everyone and no one let formality get in the way of celebrating success or getting to the heart of a problem.
  • Constantly tweaking their business model to the situation and demands of the market of the day.

The way Iona ‘organised’ was the key.