I’ve been an entrepreneur before I could even spell the word. I’ve always been a hustler, seeing angles, I’ve always been a hacker, fixing stuff for the quickest, easiest, efficient route, and I’m a bit of hipster, always first on the latest trends, making sure the latest design and technology advances are exploited for satisfaction and growth.
Based on my education and career, I’m a full stack marketer, but I’ve been coding since I was 6 (10 PRINT “Hello”, 20 GOTO 10 is coding, right?), with dabbles in everything else on the side. Guess that would make me T-Shaped? I’m really not sure anymore.
According to CrystalKnows – I’m a “direct communicator that makes decisions independently and objectively, often disregarding formality or existing standards”. So to translate that – I’m fairly blunt, give honest opinions disconnected from personal connections, involvement or emotion, and I have little care for rules if it gets things done.
I have ran several of my own businesses, some really successful, some that had potential I didn’t realise, a few failures. I’ve been formerly employed by a lot less – I think my spirit of “disregarding formality” doesn’t lend me to working for others unless the leash is long. I’ve consulted for quite a few and this seems to work well, but this is normally only done when I believe in the company.
These are the projects I’ve been heavily involved with that I can publicly share:
YoGrow – http://www.yogrow.co
Simple ecommerce analytics for busy store owners to keep their sales on track and not get distracted by vanity metrics or jargon. A SaaS business model that can help any store grow (yes, even yours!).
Don’t Eat Alone – http://www.donteatalone.co
The more travelling I do, the more I find that people discovery is an issue. Currently an MVP, Don’t Eat Alone is trying to fix the problem of eating alone in a city near you.
No Need To Think – http://www.noneedtothink.com
I love the concept of subscription services, and this is an ideas I had bubbling for a while – a central resource for finding subscription services, built on reviews and offers. More of a pet project for myself, its also an ideal potential passive income.
NSB – http://www.nuskoolbreaks.co.uk / www.nsbradio.co.uk
Music is a passion of mine, and this forum and internet radio station setup in 2001 has been a great past-time and hobby. With over 25,000 forum members, 3 million page views per month, a 24/7 live internet radio station with an average listener level of 200 listeners (a max peak of 1200), a range of merchandise, numerous club nights and events around the world, and a compilation CD release, this hobby has been an interesting enterprise to run. The community and radio have picked up various awards, including a BBC Radio 1 Peoples Choice Award. Being relaunched and rebranded late-2016.
Airborne Network – http://airborne.network (2014-2016)
Get curated professional freelancers working on your projects instantly. Designed to fit between a traditional agency and an outsourcing site, Airborne allows companies to get top talent working on their high-end design, development and content with simplicity, transparency, trust and safety, saving time and budget without compromising on quality.
Yeelight – http://www.yeelight.co.uk (2015)
A Xiaomi-funded smart home company focusing on smart home and bringing intelligence to everyday objects, Yeelight manufacturers a range of smart LED lighting. Top-rated and stocked across numerous UK etail outlets, Yeelight is a key player in smart lighting.
Breakspoll – http://www.breakspoll.com (2006-2015)
The International Breakbeat Awards was setup in 2001 to recognise the best talent in the breaks scene. Due to my involvement with NSB and knowledge of UK club scene, the original organisers asked me to run the annual awards from 2007 onwards. Attracting up to 4800 people over 2 events ever year, Breakspoll has been held at some of London’s top venues, including Fabric, Matter, and Cable. In 2009, we even took the concept to Spain for a massive Breakspoll Festival, attracting 10,000 people to a stadium in Seville. Breakspoll is on a break for 2016.
HomeMonitor – http://www.homemonitor.me (2013-2015)
A leading player in the smart home and internet of things space, HomeMonitor is a Wi-Fi camera that keeps people connected to what they love from their iOS or Android devices. Focused on simplicity with a cloud platform backend, the product has been a huge success, even without funding. Multi-award winning, HomeMonitor has been featured in the likes of The Times, the LA Times, TechCrunch, Engadget, BBC News, T3, Wired and more.
BabyPing – http://www.babyping.com (2012)
A Wi-Fi baby monitor for iOS, I was heavily involved with all aspects of this app-connected wifi camera. From concepts, to design, to hardware, to user testing, to UX, to UI, to marketing, to launch, to retail. The product was a huge success in the media – multi-award winning and highly praised, however the market was not as big, or as fast growing as expected, and the product was spun off so the team could focus on bigger markets.
Y-cam – http://www.y-cam.com (2009-2013)
A leader in building innovative remote monitoring equipment so people can stay in touch with whatever is important to them from anywhere in the world, I headed up the Marketing team for this small startup that quickly grew in to a powerful company with products being sold by top retailers in over 35 countries and saw OEM deals with the likes of Vodafone, Gigaset and o2.
Anam Bar (2007-2012)
I completely rebranded a cocktail bar in 2007, putting my stamp on it and becoming near-enough a full time marketing consultant there. Profit targets were set and smashed consistently, month in month out, and we were lucky enough to attract regular clients such as GQ, Vogue, ITV, MTV, Dazed & Confused, and Channel 4, eventually seeing a successful exit for the business. Mixmag now run the venue.
Shut Ya Mouth (2006-2008)
Music industry promotions and PR. I started what can only be described as a guerrilla marketing company, combining my print, web, and email experience, laced with some genius creativity, to pull off some amazing street promotion campaigns for the likes of Roll Deep, Matter Nightclub, Glade Festival and Breakspoll. We used innovative techniques like reverse graffiti combined with the latest web trends to really grab peoples attention and get real interest and viral spread.
Kodo Press (2002-2007)
A printing company with the web at its core – I transformed a 25-year old small business and took it to the forefront of supplying litho and digital print to the music & entertainment sector within 18 months. Over the five years I was with the business, I was wholly responsible for the rapid expansion of the companies marketing and sales activity – direct and indirect marketing, overseeing massive developments and improvements in e-commerce, CRM introduction and development, SEO, PPC campaigns, sales targets, promotions, business finance and acquisition, employment and much more, eventually seeing a successful exit for the company.
XR Associates (2001-2002)
A subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, I was working on web marketing for clients such as Massey Ferguson, Jaguar and Rover, where I learnt all about Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing (so I can honestly say I was in to lean way before Eric Ries…) and where I developed a real taste for internet marketing playing a wide role in the complete marketing landscape.
Paradox Promotions (1998-2003)
Music industry promotions. Paradox allowed me to work with email marketing, a first in the industry we were in, using cutting-edge design and delivery techniques, combined with SMS broadcasting and data capture. I worked with world-class companies such as Ministry of Sound, Universal and Warner Music, and was featured in a magazine article entitled “Pioneers of Email and SMS marketing”.
Club night and website. Marketing itself across three different musical styles (Hardcore, Drum and Bass, Old Skool), Epidemik saw crowds of 500 – 2500 people at their event, filling major UK venues like The Fridge, Bagleys Film Studios, The Rex, the Junction and Ministry of Sound to name but a few. The web operations of the company involved building a large online presence, with a respected events listings page and regular news.
Things I don’t remember
I seemed to get business and opportunity from an early age – one of my earliest memories of this is probably at age 10 – selling ice poles in the summer at school for a tidy profit. I loved computer games and writing, and my attitude to getting ahead got me writing for a local newspaper with a circulation of 30,000 at age of 12, complete with a weekly supply of free games, TV appearances and getting backstage at launch events most journalists couldn’t even get in too. At 13, I worked on a fruit and veg stall earning great money every Saturday, and yes, I used to shout out our deals and offers across the market. At 16, after failing to get in to journalism school (as I didn’t agree with the dissection of Shakespeare) I spent my days putting together business plans to open up my own computer games shop and arcade.
I basically spent my teens living, breathing and dreaming about computers and business. I was creating my own programs, running up huge phone bills on bulletin boards, typesetting my own fanzine (about games, and of course I sold it at school for a profit), creating primitive websites, hacking apps, pirating games, designing graphics, and much more, but always promoting what I was doing – through something that I later learned was marketing.
I embraced my business passions and at university from 1998 to 2001, I was lucky enough to combine business, marketing and IT with my degree. Friends quickly realised the combination of talents I could bring to any project, so much of my uni spare time (and some not so spare) involved me starting, growing and helping businesses – I was at uni in the dot-com bubble, and I was involved with lots of projects, money flowing in full swing (unfortunately flowing out, not in!, and not very often to me!). Minor successes, a lot of failures, a helluva lot of stuff learnt. I can’t even remember the names of the “multi-million pound investment” companies I worked with that disappeared without a trace.
I love to work on new and exciting projects, so if you feel as if you have something I can help with, you should get in contact with me, connect with me on Linkedin, or just shout and follow me on Twitter.