“There were two Santas at school today,” said my five-year-old. She was just coming to the end of her first term at school. My pleasure in hearing Santa had come calling was rather tempered by finding out there were two of the old fellas. How could they mess up so badly? They’ve ruined it for all those children. What do I tell her now? Before I could collect my horrified thoughts, she piped up again. Read More

Thought leadership | December 2016

Disruptive innovation seems easy for start-ups and feels threatening and difficult for established businesses. But they can do it too. Here are five guiding principles to help you.

First, think of being disruptive as an outcome, not a strategy. It’s rarely an end in itself. No, not even for Uber. I’m sure their funding pitch talked about being disruptive but the essence of the idea was using mobile technology to match capacity with demand in real time. Read More

Thought leadership | November 2016

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Mark Twain, writer Read More

Quotes | October 2016

As you came through airport security this summer, did you pop one of those smiley faces as you scooped up your bags and swung past towards your departure gate? The company behind them, HappyOrNot, says that using faces rather than numerical scores increases positive ratings. That seems appealing. But it misses the point. Positive ratings are over-rated.

There’s a host of reasons for low scores, from ad hoc operational failures through to structural factors that are slow or costly to change, Read More

Thought leadership | September 2016

“Creativity is not a talent. It’s a way of operating.”

John Cleese, comedy genius Read More

Quotes | May 2016

“If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun.”

Katharine Hepburn Read More

Quotes | July 2015

“Time is the only unit of scarcity on the web. You only have 24 hours a day per person.”

Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat, a digital analytics company. Read More

Quotes | February 2015

“THE EDGE, there is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over.”

Hunter S Thompson, gonzo journalist Read More

Quotes | September 2014

Four tips for marketers to get the most out of the tech start-up scene

The appetite among marketers to get close to the tech city scene is such that one enterprising chap is selling Shoreditch tours. I’m not sure how you measure the ROI of looking at Google Campus from the outside, but it tells me the days of shrinking marketing budgets are over.

Many marketers from big brands are dead keen to engage with tech start-ups. Read More

Thought leadership | September 2014

The UK start-up scene is hot.  There are lots of incubators, accelerators and shared workspaces. The biggest growth sector in London is probably TechSeedCityHubbery.  There are similar set-ups in half a dozen other UK cities. Both big brands and agencies are keen to get close to tech start-ups, and some are investing, providing mentoring, office space, and more.

I see a lot of start-up and small business pitches. In this post I’ll focus on what I’ve seen in the start-ups themselves. Read More

Comment | July 2014