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Autor Thema: Steorn in Liquidation  (Gelesen 977 mal)


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Steorn in Liquidation
« am: 14. November 2016, 15:35:37 »

Power Off: Steorn finally out of energy after €23 million in funding

The doors are shut; the staff laid off; the shareholders have been notified: Steorn, the controversial Irish company that promised free energy in defiance of the laws of physics, is set to be liquidated.

Hinter Paywall:

Ein Scan des Papier-Artikels ist hier:

Bei Wikipedia ist es bereits eingepflegt:

Und was wird aus Sean? Er war immer ein Zocker und bleibt es auch:

Former CEO Shaun McCarthy said of Steorn’s investors, “We took their money. We raised their expectations and it fell flat on its fucking face. They’ve a right to be angry about that.” McCarthy has moved on to a career as a professional online poker player. “Oh, I’m unemployable. The general perception is (that I’m either) a con man or an idiot because clearly the tech can’t work.” McCarthy maintains that there is value in the Orbo technology, and hopes the liquidation process will lead to a bidding war.
The best thing about science is that it works - even if you don't believe in it.


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Re: Steorn in Liquidation
« Antwort #1 am: 09. Mai 2020, 14:18:37 »
Jemand hat ein Buch über den hauptberuflichen Betrüger Shawn McCarthy geschrieben und ist überzeugt, McCarthy sei nur irgendwie falsch verstanden worden.

Nun ja, Steorn hat mehrmals Präsentationen angekündigt, von denen sie genau wussten, dass sie niemals erfolgreich stattfinden können - nur aus dem einen Grund, Geldgeber ohne Physik-Grundkenntnisse zu täuschen. Da ist nicht viel falsch zu verstehen.

Paywall, deshalb Fullquote:

The Impossible Dream by Barry J Whyte review

The story of how one of the Celtic tiger’s most audacious start-ups went out with a whimper makes for compelling reading

by Mel Clarke
The Sunday Times
April 19, 2020

Shaun McCarthy “seemed to be the embodiment of the Celtic tiger economy: brash, confident, maybe a little boorish. Money with an Irish accent driving an expensive car.” Barry Whyte’s early description of the man who dominates his book sets the energetic tone of a compelling and, frequently bizarre, read. At its fantastical core is McCarthy, the brains behind Steorn, a company that “discovered” and developed a magnetic technology that purportedly produced energy for ever. Was he sitting on a gold mine that could solve the global energy crisis? Some thought so.

Yet, as Whyte makes clear, lots of people weren’t thinking straight when Ireland first heard of Steorn in the early 2000s. Veni, vidi, Visa was the catchcry of the masses, plenty of whom had cash to burn. More than 400 of them put large sums into Steorn — €23m was invested, and lost, by shareholders — and they “weren’t just the gullible and unsophisticated investors . . . the share register was a veritable who’s who of high society during the Celtic tiger years”.

McCarthy’s brand of go-to charisma, and the magnetic “time machine” he peddled, wooed barristers, solicitors, bankers, doctors, consultants, academics, accountants and business owners. It also seems to have rubbed off on Whyte, who has an obvious soft spot for his subject. “McCarthy is an eminently likeable character,” he says of someone “pegged as a scam artist”. To Whyte, McCarthy is simply misunderstood.

Pitched as a parable of the Celtic tiger, Whyte’s version of the Steorn story zooms into top gear four chapters in with the discovery of Orbo, the name of the new technology. “Hang on, there’s something f****** strange here,” hollered McCarthy and his engineers when they learnt that a generator seemed to be putting out more energy than it was taking in, defying the laws of physics.

“The cold splash of realism to McCarthy’s enthusiastic fervour” was company co-founder Mike Daly. Described as a “stocky, guarded man with sleepy eyes and the demeanour of a small bear”, Daly thought McCarthy was “smarmy and condescending” when they first met. His comprehensively researched back story — like others in the book — adds verve and colour to the tale. They also break up reams of technical jargon, which many readers may want to skip.

Daly agreed to be interviewed by Whyte. Pat Corbett, the lead fundraiser, did not. Compellingly contradictory, this “absolutely fantastic f****** guy” — McCarthy’s description — seemed capable of sociopath-like coldness, as he demonstrated when sitting impassively as an investor’s wife burst into tears after being “reassured” about the value of shares.

A follower of the self-help guru Tony Quinn, Corbett put himself in charge of raising the €20m required to finance Orbo. “Ah, let me have a go,” he said, when told of the amount needed. Within a day of the first product presentation meeting, he had come up with a quarter of a million — within two years, the tally hit €16m-€17m. “This is too easy,” was McCarthy’s hubristic response.

The lengthy quest for product validation was farcical. From the start, eminent scientists treated the system with “as much regard . . . as doctors have for anti-vaccine campaigners”. Of course, this didn’t deter McCarthy. A test in 2005 by the engineering department in Bolton Street DIT, his alma mater, suggested Orbo merited further examination, so a highly regarded English physics professor was invited to dig deeper. Almost immediately he noticed flaws, but McCarthy “didn’t seem to get [his] polite message”. The boffin concluded McCarthy “was never going to give up”.

Sadly for those who invested in his product, he didn’t. In August 2006, he placed a brash ad for Steorn in The Economist. “All Great Truths Begin As Blasphemies,” read its headline, borrowing from George Bernard Shaw. Having been ridiculed by academia, this was Steorn’s “attempt to bring the universities to them”. Whyte describes this stunt, and the extraordinary episodes that follow, in a suitably breathless manner.

Convinced that his company “challenged the crusty dogmas of professional science”, McCarthy ratcheted things up. Maurice Linnane, who had produced music videos for the Rolling Stones and U2, was hired to make a documentary, and a live public product demonstration was planned for London in 2007. It turned out to be a disaster, deepening suspicions about McCarthy.

There’s a touch of Spinal Tap about Steorn’s inevitable demise. Moving away from magnetism in the early 2010s, the company focused its energies on a new water-heating system. Naturally this was “incredibly dull compared with the adrenaline of challenging the foundations of physics”. Prospectuses were now being printed on bog-standard A4 paper and staff were nervous about getting paid. The launch of a new phone in 2015 was a last roll of the dice that failed, and Steorn’s eventual liquidation feels like a relief.

“We approached [Steorn] completely wrong,” McCarthy says on the final page. “Which is a horrible, horrible, horrible thing, because a lot of people lost a lot of money.”

Hindsight is an exact science — unlike the dubious logic underpinning his magical machine.


The Impossible Dream by Barry J Whyte
Gill Books €16.99 pp239
The best thing about science is that it works - even if you don't believe in it.