Tuesday 22 October 2019

TH€ PUNT: Class act 'Woz' wows Derry

THE Punt always gets a kick out of hearing the great and the good speak.

Whether it's somebody like Chad Hurley of YouTube, or Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, it's always a highlight to see and hear the people who are changing our daily lives, usually for the better.

Yesterday, we were able to see up close the man who co-founded Apple, Steve Wozniak. "The Woz" as he is known, was the ideas guy at Apple, while Steve Jobs focused more on the business side.

No longer involved in Apple day to day, Wozniak now spends his time in various business ventures and is something of an evangelist for technology.

He is also an unabashed geek, almost childlike in his enthusiasm for the world and where technology is going. Famously, he queues up with the plebs for the latest Apple or Android device.

Wozniak was in Derry to speak at a technology conference. He headlined the event, and that has its advantages and disadvantages.

The advantage was he was able to hold a packed Millennium Forum in the palm of his hand for an hour as he spoke.

The disadvantage was he then had to endure almost two hours of press interviews and photos with the event sponsors.

The Punt didn't envy him as a line of people sought his time, but we could admire his grace in dealing with people he would never see again. Everyone got a handshake and a smile. A class act.

Keeping a lid on bin troubles

IT IS not easy to put a spin on rubbish, but bin collectors Greyhound is seeking to do just that.

The company is on the hunt for a new group PR executive. There's no doubt that bin collection must be one of the harder activities to market. People have resented paying for waste disposal for as long as The Punt can remember.

Just recently, a man was taken into questioning in Finglas, after allegedly threatening to shoot a binman for not collecting his rubbish.

It followed an incident before Christmas during which a bin collector allegedly had a Glock pistol shoved in his face.

Again, it seems the householder was angry because his bins hadn't been collected.

We just don't hear the same stories cropping up about post and milk delivery people and other daily callers to households.

It looks like an in-tune media manager who can put a shiny, happy spin on all things bin-related could be just the ticket for anyone operating in this industry.

Not maintaining your brand, after all, is nothing but wasteful.

NAMA boss in tax blooper

THE Punt admits to having been a bit bowled over by NAMA chief executive Brendan McDonagh's command of the numbers at yesterday's annual results launch.

All those millions and billions NAMA handles on a daily basis might be a bit daunting for the rest of us, so The Punt was impressed at Kerryman McDonagh's command of an apparently trivial detail like its property tax bill.

Asked how much NAMA forked out for the controversial tax, the chief executive was able to reel off a figure of €36,000 after barely a moment's hesitation.

The Punt was wowed at Mr McDonagh, below, knowing his costs to such a granular level. After all, in terms of the size of NAMA, €36,000 is money down the back of the couch territory.

So we were just a little bit disappointed to be told later in the day that, after checking with his own internal money men, McDonagh realised he had actually been wrong on that one detail.

It turns out NAMA paid €7,000, not €36,000. As we say, it can be hard to keep track of all those millions and billions.

By the way, NAMA did pay its property tax on time and in full, McDonagh assures us.

Irish Independent

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