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The Impossible Dream: The spectacular rise and fall of Steorn, the Celtic Tiger's most audacious start-up

Published : Friday 8 May 2020
ISBN : 9780717188048
Price : €16.99

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The story of the rise and spectacular fall of Steorn, the Irish Celtic Tiger company that believed they had defied the laws of physics and solved the world's energy crisis. They had belief, they had investment, they just had to outsmart the laws of physics!

In 2006, a previously unknown Irish technology company by the name of Steorn created headlines globally when it took out a full-page ad in The Economist, in which it claimed to have made the scientific breakthrough of this - or any other - century: perpetual motion, nothing less than a complete and immediate solution to the global energy crisis. The investment money poured in, with some of Ireland's most respected entrepreneurs and institutions getting on board, but the demonstration was a spectacular failure. So how did so many well-meaning and otherwise sensible people get things so desperately, absurdly wrong? The story begins with a malfunctioning CCTV system and ends with an exploding battery, and it drives home Ireland's frenzied state of mind during the Celtic Tiger years. 'A compelling and frequently bizarre read' - The Sunday Times (Ireland Edition) 'The Impossible Dream, Barry J Whyte's new book about the rise and fall of what he describes as the Celtic Tiger's most audacious start-up, proves once again that not all publicity is good publicity. It also shows that smart people can be as likely as fools to be easily parted with their money.' - Irish Times Whyte brilliantly sets the context in which Steorn was first active, a time when it suddenly didn't seem strange to hear of taxi drivers buying apartments in Bulgaria. - Irish Times While there is some technical jargon and deep dives of company documents to wade through, The Impossible Dream is for the most part an easy-to-read yarn that firmly places the ascent and crash of Steorn within the context of the Celtic Tiger era. - Irish Times It's hard to explain to anybody who wasn't here just how cash-drunk most of Ireland became during the heady, reckless days when the Celtic Tiger's roar was full-throated and it seemed the good times would never end. Barry J Whyte manages to capture the mood of the times, as he provides background on the country's most audacious startup from those gluttonous days. - The Business Post The Steorn story is fascinating, although it sometimes feels like the equivalent of rubber-necking at a car accident as you drive slowly by; it's excruciating, but you can't turn away from what is essentially a parable for our times. - The Business Post 'An extraordinary story and a fascinating book' - Pat Kenny