Category: #startup

  • Culture of Innovation

    Culture of Innovation

    In my humble experience, Innovation is often highlighted as a value, but rarely embedded in a culture. What does a culture of innovation look like? A culture where everyone’s perspective is valued and anyone can be involved in an idea. This thought emerged from a conversation with Louise Jones.

  • VocTech


    I was invited to attend an event celebrating the Vocational Technology (VocTech) projects funded by UFI Charitable Trust last night. I find it impossible now to sit through presentations without drawing out what I hear…

  • Future kinds of work

    Future kinds of work

    How I work has changed massively over the past ten years. Okay, so now I draw pictures, whereas I used to write programs – or lead others to write programs. Probably the biggest change I’ve had is being exposed to Mozilla’s way of working. They corale creative communities using some very clever practices and technologies. And…

  • Social Purpose

    Social Purpose

    With the genesis of the Wapisasa concept in my head, I was keen to use a different model. A people-first model. A social business. I wanted to pin the social purpose to our foreheads, so that profit never became our top priority. I wanted to run Wapisasa as a business, but never wanted to lose…

  • Transparent and Open

    Transparent and Open

    I’ve been thinking about Cooperative business models recently, thanks to Doug Belshaw and John Bevan. Engaging with different ideas means playing out scenarios, and like splitting light through a prism, you can’t quite imagine how it will be until you shine it through.

  • Entrepreneurship


    It’s the things you don’t know you don’t know that’ll kill you every time…

  • The long burn

    The long burn

    A cracker of an idea. A business idea. I should start a business with this idea right now. Figure it out in my spare time and then just set it up… For me, startup never happens like this. It starts with a hunch, a curiosity, almost an irritation. So much uncertainty. So many unknowns. It’s half-baked…

  • What every business needs…

    What every business needs…

    I was on a train with Doug Belshaw and John Webber recently, and someone mentioned an appointment described as “director of out-of-the-box”. I suddenly realised what I had seen play out in all the businesses I’ve been involved with – the tension between Quality and Innovation. Obviously, every business needs both…

  • So… how’s it going? (growing a social business)

    So… how’s it going? (growing a social business)

    I wrote this visual poem in 2014 when the social business I had founded (wapisasa) and its vision were struggling – I had completely forgotten about it until I found it in an old sketchbook, and thought I might turn it into something to encourage others. If it resonates with you, let me know!

  • Outbreak of Hope

    Outbreak of Hope

    Here’s another thought emerging from a conversation at @dotcomrades – with reference to the vote for Independence in Scotland. I’m fascinated by hope – as its relationship with strong leadership…

  • It’s all about people

    It’s all about people

    Having sold a couple of businesses, I’m often asked about the ingredients of running a successful start-up. Well, this may be obvious, but it’s top of my list every time. People. But not just your immediate team (which is of course critical), but those who you sell to, those who support what you’re selling, those…

  • Funding Form

    Funding Form

    Sadly, this tickly thought is my experience of the funding world – which I suppose is understandable – who wouldn’t want maximum bang for buck? Slow-burning ideas are hard to find funding for.

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