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Agility

Here’s an article I wrote that’s just been published in Enterprise Magazine. Thanks to Rob and Dan for their insight. You can download the whole issue here, which includes a rather dashing photo of me! 🙂 And while you’re at it, keep up to date with tiptop news via their Twitter account.

It’s 5am and I’m wide awake. My mind is clearly more eager than my body to start the first working day of 2009. I’m thinking back over the last year and how I can improve over the next 12 months.

2008 was an odd year for me. I achieved a lot, bringing more people together through my networking events, and worked on some brilliant projects with some amazing people. Yet with my key “revenue generators” I often felt hamstrung by a lack of resources, both in terms of talent and finance. Needing to find people to carry out work for me, and sourcing the capital to pay for it all meant that things often seemed to move incredibly slowly. A lot of this stems from the fact that much of the work I do has the internet at the very heart of it, but I’m neither a web developer or designer. It would be technically impossible for me to build these ideas on my own.

I spoke to Dan Zambonini, technical director of internet development agency, Box UK. He thinks that being a solo entrepreneur isn’t the issue it once was. “Luckily, with the web now as it is, there are plenty of online websites that can match up idea people with doing people. Technical people love to do interesting things, so if you know the right people, you’ll often find someone who’s willing to help you out for the sheer pleasure of it.”

Dan believes that there’s a growing demand for smaller, smarter online services that do one thing well, rather than trying to do everything. The idea being to get them up online as soon as they work and improve them as they go along, using your first customers as your testers too.

“Especially now with online services….it’s easier than ever to realise sophisticated ideas with less effort. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr; all started off much simpler, and have added features as they’ve been demanded”.

For some, being agile isn’t a desirable quality but an absolute prerequisite. “Digital PR has to be lightening quick because that’s the way the web works – the window of opportunity in online media is so much smaller”, says Rob Mosley from boutique digital advertising and PR agency Nonsense. I asked him for a good tip on getting projects up and running quicker. “I think debate is the biggest enemy to getting stuff done quick. If you get into a habit of making decisions fast, so you can get on with making things, you’re 80% of the way there. Obviously our clients need to trust us a lot for us to do this, and they also have to accept that we’ll make the odd mistake… which is still better than missing the boat”.

So what are my new year’s resolutions? Find smart and quick people to work with who are keen to get involved in exciting one-off projects, turn my ideas around faster, don’t worry about them being perfect from the start, tweak them as I go along, and feel more fulfilled that I’m not constantly languishing in “development hell”.

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cardiff creative creative industries developer entrepreneur free wifi geek ignite internet oreilly startup technology wales

Ignite, Gratitude and Erotic Squirrels

My last post, which was basically about having gratitude for the amazing technology we are surrounded with and not taking it for granted, came back to bite me a few hours later. I found myself in a cafe with my friend Steve, both of us moaning and complaining that we couldn’t get onto the free wireless there. I’d become a hypocrite in such a short space of time!


But that’s beside the point. I’m currently sitting in the office, watching the rapidly fading winter light outside, absolutely shattered after hosting the latest Nocci event. It was a “co-production” with Cardiff Web Scene, and was an Ignite event. As explained in one of my recent posts, Ignite is a rapid presentation evening. We had six speakers, all of whom had just five minutes in which to get their idea/passion/thoughts across to the audience.

We had a great turnout of over 90 people, all of whom seemed to enjoy the free beer (thankyou Skillset!), had a great laugh at the presentations, learned some genuinely fascinating stuff, threw paper airplanes (see video below) and networked and chatted late into the night. Check the Nocci site over the next 24 hours for all the pics.


Thanks to everyone who came. We hope you had as much fun as we did (but without the stress about getting a microphone to work!). If anyone has any thoughts/feedback/ideas then please let us know, as we’re already starting to think about the next one. And if you’d like another presentation on “erotic squirrels” then you really should drop that particular presenter a line…. 😉

Before I finish I must particularly mention my co-conspirator, Claire Scantlebury, for being a joy to work with. And Wayne Full from Skillset for all his help. He’s a star.

Oh, and if you’re having a tough week then maybe you fancy slapping someone around the face with a fish…? Or you might prefer to go water zorbing with some glamour models. Anyone fancy buying this one for me?

Categories
cardiff creative creative industries developer entrepreneur free wifi geek ignite internet oreilly startup technology wales

Ignite, Gratitude and Erotic Squirrels

My last post, which was basically about having gratitude for the amazing technology we are surrounded with and not taking it for granted, came back to bite me a few hours later. I found myself in a cafe with my friend Steve, both of us moaning and complaining that we couldn’t get onto the free wireless there. I’d become a hypocrite in such a short space of time!


But that’s beside the point. I’m currently sitting in the office, watching the rapidly fading winter light outside, absolutely shattered after hosting the latest Nocci event. It was a “co-production” with Cardiff Web Scene, and was an Ignite event. As explained in one of my recent posts, Ignite is a rapid presentation evening. We had six speakers, all of whom had just five minutes in which to get their idea/passion/thoughts across to the audience.

We had a great turnout of over 90 people, all of whom seemed to enjoy the free beer (thankyou Skillset!), had a great laugh at the presentations, learned some genuinely fascinating stuff, threw paper airplanes (see video below) and networked and chatted late into the night. Check the Nocci site over the next 24 hours for all the pics.


Thanks to everyone who came. We hope you had as much fun as we did (but without the stress about getting a microphone to work!). If anyone has any thoughts/feedback/ideas then please let us know, as we’re already starting to think about the next one. And if you’d like another presentation on “erotic squirrels” then you really should drop that particular presenter a line…. 😉

Before I finish I must particularly mention my co-conspirator, Claire Scantlebury, for being a joy to work with. And Wayne Full from Skillset for all his help. He’s a star.

Oh, and if you’re having a tough week then maybe you fancy slapping someone around the face with a fish…? Or you might prefer to go water zorbing with some glamour models. Anyone fancy buying this one for me?

Categories
business cardiff creative creative industries entrepreneur Entrepreneurship future ignite interesting laptop marketing media oreilly technology web 2.0

Ignite!


Well, in an attempt to re-ignite my blogging (I’ve honestly been sooo busy of late) I’m going to talk about Ignite.

It’s a “constrained presentation” format, much like Pecha Kucha. It’s a way of making Powerpoint presentations more dynamic, more interesting and more fun. And Nocci, my network for the creative industries, is co-presenting the very first one in the UK alongside our friends at Cardiff Web Scene.

The presenter has only 20 slides, and they rotate automatically after 15 seconds. Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then hundreds of 5 minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and NYC and it is an internationally recognised format for producing dynamic, high energy and engaging presentations, with topics as wide ranging as “How to produce a low-budget horror movie”, “Did today’s architecture cause the financial crisis” and “How to use public transport without going mad”.

If you would like more information then just come along on 3rd December to the fantastic new Sodabar in Cardiff at 6.30pm to watch some cool presentations. If you’re on Facebook then please let us know you plan to attend by clicking “Attend” on this Facebook event. And you can find more information about it, or how to apply to do a presentation on the Nocci news pages here.

Hope you can make it. It’s going to be really exciting!

p.s. If you like the sound of it then have a look on Youtube for examples. There’s tons there….

Categories
business cardiff creative creative industries entrepreneur Entrepreneurship future ignite interesting laptop marketing media oreilly technology web 2.0

Ignite!


Well, in an attempt to re-ignite my blogging (I’ve honestly been sooo busy of late) I’m going to talk about Ignite.

It’s a “constrained presentation” format, much like Pecha Kucha. It’s a way of making Powerpoint presentations more dynamic, more interesting and more fun. And Nocci, my network for the creative industries, is co-presenting the very first one in the UK alongside our friends at Cardiff Web Scene.

The presenter has only 20 slides, and they rotate automatically after 15 seconds. Ignite was started in Seattle in 2006 by Brady Forrest and Bre Pettis. Since then hundreds of 5 minute talks have been given across the world. There are thriving Ignite communities in Seattle, Portland, Paris, and NYC and it is an internationally recognised format for producing dynamic, high energy and engaging presentations, with topics as wide ranging as “How to produce a low-budget horror movie”, “Did today’s architecture cause the financial crisis” and “How to use public transport without going mad”.

If you would like more information then just come along on 3rd December to the fantastic new Sodabar in Cardiff at 6.30pm to watch some cool presentations. If you’re on Facebook then please let us know you plan to attend by clicking “Attend” on this Facebook event. And you can find more information about it, or how to apply to do a presentation on the Nocci news pages here.

Hope you can make it. It’s going to be really exciting!

p.s. If you like the sound of it then have a look on Youtube for examples. There’s tons there….