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cardiff creative industries entrepreneur free free wifi home working internet laptop productivity remote working startup technology uk wales web 2.0 wifi

The interwebs is, like… amazing!


Seriously. I never stop being amazed.

Before I tell you this story you have to remember that I have no technical skills in the coding department (I can just about make some text bold in HTML), but I’m a relatively heavy user of the internet and I like to think I’m pretty quick at picking up new apps etc. So what I achieved in a fairly short space of time could be done by my nan (albeit maybe a bit slower).

So, it’s midday on Saturday (about three quarters of an hour ago) and I need to find a place in a certain area of Cardiff that’s got free wifi. I’ve often been confronted by this problem before, and there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive list anywhere online. Anyway, earlier in the week I’d written a piece for Enterprise Magazine about business agility, and how the web affords us the opportunity to turn ideas around very quickly (I’ll post the article up here once the mag hits the streets), and thought I’d put my learnings into practice:

Step 1: Used Twitter to ask for tips.

Step 2: Received advice from Oli Mould, who follows me on Twitter.

Step 3: Realised how insanely easy it was to set up a map on Google Maps that was publically editable so the world could share their knowledge about wifi hotspots in Cardiff.

Step 4: Set up map, putting a few of my favourite places on there.

Step 5: Make the map public.

Step 6: Register www.wifi-in-cardiff.co.uk (6 quid) and point it at the Google map.

Step 7: Tell my friends on Twitter and ask them to retweet (share with their Twitter followers).

Step 8: Watch Twitter start to buzz with “retweets”, and then marvel that the whole process took me 30 mins.

Thirty minutes from start to finish. Even I’m amazed. And very chuffed!

Anyway, I just thought I’d share that with you. If you’re based in Cardiff, please chip in and share your wifi hotspots!

Categories
cardiff creative industries entrepreneur free free wifi home working internet laptop productivity remote working startup technology uk wales web 2.0 wifi

The interwebs is, like… amazing!


Seriously. I never stop being amazed.

Before I tell you this story you have to remember that I have no technical skills in the coding department (I can just about make some text bold in HTML), but I’m a relatively heavy user of the internet and I like to think I’m pretty quick at picking up new apps etc. So what I achieved in a fairly short space of time could be done by my nan (albeit maybe a bit slower).

So, it’s midday on Saturday (about three quarters of an hour ago) and I need to find a place in a certain area of Cardiff that’s got free wifi. I’ve often been confronted by this problem before, and there doesn’t seem to be a comprehensive list anywhere online. Anyway, earlier in the week I’d written a piece for Enterprise Magazine about business agility, and how the web affords us the opportunity to turn ideas around very quickly (I’ll post the article up here once the mag hits the streets), and thought I’d put my learnings into practice:

Step 1: Used Twitter to ask for tips.

Step 2: Received advice from Oli Mould, who follows me on Twitter.

Step 3: Realised how insanely easy it was to set up a map on Google Maps that was publically editable so the world could share their knowledge about wifi hotspots in Cardiff.

Step 4: Set up map, putting a few of my favourite places on there.

Step 5: Make the map public.

Step 6: Register www.wifi-in-cardiff.co.uk (6 quid) and point it at the Google map.

Step 7: Tell my friends on Twitter and ask them to retweet (share with their Twitter followers).

Step 8: Watch Twitter start to buzz with “retweets”, and then marvel that the whole process took me 30 mins.

Thirty minutes from start to finish. Even I’m amazed. And very chuffed!

Anyway, I just thought I’d share that with you. If you’re based in Cardiff, please chip in and share your wifi hotspots!

Categories
2008 business cardiff creative entrepreneur Entrepreneurship future geek interesting internet media planning san francisco silicon valley startup technology uk USA wales web 2.0

Innovation

So much to write about – so little time!

A couple of cracking articles from the BBC about the future of the web: One points to the second web boom (as I highlighted with examples in a post about the huge amounts of money being spent on new companies). And the other asks lots of top thinkers and innovators what they think will happen to the web in the coming years.

And speaking of innovation, I went to a great talk last night by Charles Leadbeater, a world authority on innovation and creativity. His talk was mainly about how immigration is a positive thing for innovation in this country (did you know that Triumph cars, Moss Bros, ICI and ice cream trucks were all founded in the UK by immigrants?). His argument is that complex problems are better solved by a diverse group, and immigrants into a society provide massive diversity. Catering for the differences inevitably comes with higher costs, but the lesson for entrepreneurs and businesses is clear – don’t just surround yourself with people exactly like yourself.

Thanks to Richie Turner at NESTA for hosting it and providing the nice veggie canapes!

p.s. If you consider yourself an entrepreneur in the web or technology fields then you should probably read this….

Categories
2008 creative entrepreneur Entrepreneurship future interesting los angeles marketing media san francisco silicon valley startup uk USA wales

Silicon Valley Envy

My ex-business partner Maf and his wife Tara came over from LA this week and it was fantastic to spend an evening with them reminiscing about getting drunk in various cities around the world and talking about the various business pursuits we’ve both been involved with since closing the record label down.
I had a real burst of “Silicon Valley Envy” (although it was strictly speaking “California Envy”). I’ve written before about the superior environment and attitude that exists for entrepreneurs in the States. And while I’m in the enviable position of having good contacts at the likes of Creative Business Wales, nothing really makes up for the general positive atmosphere that exists over there. I run a network for creative entrepreneurs and businesses in South Wales (new website being built as we speak!) and as far as I’m aware it’s the only one of its kind. And yet in pretty much any area surrounding San Francisco, Silicon Valley or LA that’s an equivalent size to South Wales there will be countless networking opportunities for those of us that sit outside the mainstream of business. I’m not a huge fan of networking (in the traditional sense) but, provided there’s an opportunity (online or offline) for people to get mutual support and ideas, I think it’s essential to business success.

In related news, Project Pinewood is “one of the most unique and ambitious projects ever undertaken in the UK for the creative industries. It’s a living working media community, set within a collage of permanent film and TV locations”. Apparently it will have permanent sets of all the world’s major locations. I just hope it fosters young talent and gives opportunities to up and coming film makers, and doesn’t just become a playground for the big studios. I also hope it avoids the curse of the beleaguered Valleywood. More projects like these (and smaller ones like the fantastic hub DigitalCity) are just what we need to keep the creative industries growing at a faster rate than the average for the UK economy.
p.s. The last Bond movie was shot at Pinewood studios, hence the Daniel Craig pic…. 🙂
Categories
2008 creative entrepreneur Entrepreneurship future interesting los angeles marketing media san francisco silicon valley startup uk USA wales

Silicon Valley Envy

My ex-business partner Maf and his wife Tara came over from LA this week and it was fantastic to spend an evening with them reminiscing about getting drunk in various cities around the world and talking about the various business pursuits we’ve both been involved with since closing the record label down.
I had a real burst of “Silicon Valley Envy” (although it was strictly speaking “California Envy”). I’ve written before about the superior environment and attitude that exists for entrepreneurs in the States. And while I’m in the enviable position of having good contacts at the likes of Creative Business Wales, nothing really makes up for the general positive atmosphere that exists over there. I run a network for creative entrepreneurs and businesses in South Wales (new website being built as we speak!) and as far as I’m aware it’s the only one of its kind. And yet in pretty much any area surrounding San Francisco, Silicon Valley or LA that’s an equivalent size to South Wales there will be countless networking opportunities for those of us that sit outside the mainstream of business. I’m not a huge fan of networking (in the traditional sense) but, provided there’s an opportunity (online or offline) for people to get mutual support and ideas, I think it’s essential to business success.

In related news, Project Pinewood is “one of the most unique and ambitious projects ever undertaken in the UK for the creative industries. It’s a living working media community, set within a collage of permanent film and TV locations”. Apparently it will have permanent sets of all the world’s major locations. I just hope it fosters young talent and gives opportunities to up and coming film makers, and doesn’t just become a playground for the big studios. I also hope it avoids the curse of the beleaguered Valleywood. More projects like these (and smaller ones like the fantastic hub DigitalCity) are just what we need to keep the creative industries growing at a faster rate than the average for the UK economy.
p.s. The last Bond movie was shot at Pinewood studios, hence the Daniel Craig pic…. 🙂
Categories
creative entrepreneur Entrepreneurship silicon valley startup uk USA web 2.0

Outsider

Some days you just feel like an outsider.

I’ve been trying to get my latest project, Dizzyjam, off the ground for about 3 years. And in all that time I’ve been reading about other smart ideas, successful entrepreneurs and fantastic small businesses. And it makes me feel like an outsider, desperately banging on the door of the cool club, trying to get in.

Part of it’s to do with living in the UK. It doesn’t help. Amid all my reading and web-surfing I’ve been seeing how the cultures of different countries (but mainly the US) are so much more supportive of entrepreneurs. I sometimes feel like banging my head against a brick wall when I realise how little relevance the business support agencies here have for creative entrepreneurs. There are some good people out there, but I’ve been met with more blank looks than I can remember. And don’t even think about applying for any financial help. Unless you’re in a mainstream form of business, you’re very lucky to get a penny. Yet if you’re based in San Francisco or Colorado, for example, you’ll find hoards of venture capitalists looking for smart people to invest in. You’ll find regular meetups just for people who have crazy web 2.0 ideas, or want to sell MP3s from your juice bar etc etc. People don’t look at you strangely when you say that you’re an entrepreneur.

Anyway, I’ve realised most of the genuine help and support has come from fellow entrepreneurs, people who’ve already been through the process or are struggling through it as I type this. So to that end I thought I should set up a network of likeminded people who are doing something different. There are already plenty of networks for lawyers, manufacturers and accountants. What about us creatives? The people doing something different…. So to that end I’ve set up Pollen – a network for creative entrepreneurs in South Wales.

In the meantime, my project is hopefully, hopefully nearing launch date. But then I said that 12 months ago….

Here’s some articles from the Beeb about entrepreneurship in the States.

From Oxford to Silicon Valley #1 (a series of short articles about some British guys who move to the States to improve their chances of their startup being a success).

From Oxford to Silicon Valley #2

From Oxford to Silicon Valley #3

From Oxford to Silicon Valley #4

Life lessons for hi-tech startups

Web 2.0 article #1

Web 2.0 article #2

Web 2.0 article #3

Web 2.0 article #4

Silicon Valley startups

Inside the Silicon Valley tech bubble