Blogging about my interests

I’m pretty rusty at writing that has anything to do with my own personal thoughts, feelings or interests but I’m determined to improve, not less because for me, writing with a pen is slow and I can’t read my own hand writing. And after touch typing for the last 15 years it would be ridiculous not to take more advantage of it, perhaps it might even improve my spelling.

I don’t claim to have amazing grammar, I’m still not even that great at structuring content in a meaningful way, but writing helps us think and put things in perspective.

Back on the topic of my interests, it has recently dawned on me that I have very little in the way of interests, hobbies or things I can truly say I am passionate about. I see other people who seem genuinely pleased and excited about things I couldn’t care less about and wonder, ‘are you genuinely happy about that, or is this for someone else benefit? These people make my question myself, I’m happy that so much fascinates or distracts them, but seriously, shouldn’t I have something I can say I enjoy?

The one great constant in my life has been computer games. Something I and probably a lot of people expect someone my age to have grown out of by now, but it’s still something that I can honestly say I enjoy.

There are few things that will completely absorb me, sci-fi tv / films, an interesting problem that needs solving, and gaming. Probably because it incorporates both of those things, but ultimately because of the completely varied, and infinite creatively behind them.

Gaming has become something that is a hobby to me, I’m pleased to say it’s not just me, the rise of e-sports has been furiously documented over the last couple of years, you now have fanatics who will support a team or player in competitive matches.

We are at a turning point of where gaming is becoming a sport or hobby, albeit one that needs to be thought of like a diet, rather than a physical activity, due to the massive lack of physical movement that is currently* required to enjoy most games in 2015.

*VR is coming.

With the revelation that I actually enjoy something, I’ll be looking once again to create a meaningful amount of content around gaming in the near future. I don’t go in for the competitive side of gaming, I enjoy the narrative, exploration and learning they offer, they also offer a way to connect with friends who have moved far away. Most of the people I grew up with no-longer live within a commutable distance, and so, we interact online through games.

If that doesn’t make sense to you, try to imagine only meeting up with your school / college friends every once in a blue moon, at a convenient location, to do a specific activity… like mountain climbing. You talk, catch up and have fun in the process. This is exactly the same, exactly, except much less risk of falling to your death.

It turns out, I also have a couple of other interests.

Sustainable environmental nature type nonsense, building things with my hands and something to do with business. I used to enjoy cars, but they’ve become more of a burden than an enjoyment.

We win bronze and silver at the Kent Digital Awards

I write We, I mean our marketing agency ‘Ten & Bourne’. We’re still an early stage company, still finding our feet and not trying to run before we can walk, and so it is great to receive recognition for the work we have been doing so far, before what I will call ‘the big push’.

The Kent Digital Awards recently rolled into town, we decided to enter a small selection of work for a number of categories. Amazingly, we were selected as finalists for with clients that we love working with, Trulawn, an artificial grass installation and manufacturer in Sandhurst, Berkshire, and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s (SCEE) London based R&D Division.

Both of these companies helped push us further as a business, helping us refine what we offer and who we work with.

Unfortunately we weren’t awarded any of the top places for our digital marketing campaign for Trulawn, but took home Bronze and Silver awards for SCEE, in best Blog and best Sports & Entertainment categories respectively. I guess aesthetics is easier to judge than conversion improvement!

You can see a full write up of the KDA 2015 award night on their website. The food was pretty great, and there were plenty of past colleagues to see and new contacts to meet.

I want to thank everyone who was a part of the Ten & Bourne team for each of these clients, we’re proud to have been nominated as finalists and completely surprised to come home with awards.

 

The evening was supported by a stand up comic / ex tv anti-personality, in Maidstone (nice and local!) we hope they return next year and look forward to entering next year. It’s helping put the local area on the map for digital agencies, Maidstone taking the centre stage as a digital hub in Kent.

If you are wired for nights, not days, what does that mean?

All day, every day I feel exhausted. It’s as if I am being consumed by the energy vampire that is day light. Today I fell asleep for 15 minutes at around 9:30pm. Not long enough for a real sleep but I had felt like if closing my eyes at any point today I would have fallen asleep. This very nearly happened in the hair dressers earlier, I wonder if they’ve experienced that before?

It’s now 1:24 in the morning and I am awake, and very much focused on getting something done. I have a sense of clarity which I do not feel most of the time and as everyone and everything is asleep I am left undisturbed. I’ve tried sleeping earlier and waking up at the crack of dawn, but it only lasts a day or two before It literally exhausts me. Introducing exercise to get a good nights sleep but it still doesn’t help that I have no energy in the day time to contemplate exercising at the right time.

It’s a mystery, so I’m going to speculate it has something to do with the fact that I do not tan, I burn. Over to you science! Figure me out.

My first accelerator experience. T-minus 30 days

gigOwl_logo_hd_noowl

So last week I travelled to Sheffield with Chris Mead to pitch my latest start-up to investors for placement on the 3 month dotforge accelerator programme and investment / equity deal. I’m pleased to say that GigOwl has been accepted! I’ll be in Sheffield from April 22, with Chris as Co-Founder, where we’ll be working with 7 other start-ups, learning from and meeting a variety of global entrepreneurs and pushing this into a stronger more refined product.

We had also applied for Oxygen accelerator, the team now behind the popular Launch48 events, a choice that would have been closer to home and with more familiar people. After speaking with Simon (CEO & Co-Founder of Oxygen Accelerator) about continuing on to the interview stage with them, we decided to withdraw our application and accept commitment to dotforge.

This is my first time round the accelerator scene, and we’re also part of the inaugural selection for dotforge, so it should be a massive learning experience for everyone involved.

Three paragraphs in, well done if you’re still reading I’ll now explain what GigOwl is about.

Our aim is to create an active marketplace around venues that can host events and live music, and to increase employment in entertainment professionals and changing the way in which everyday people plan and book venues.

Want to celebrate your birthday on a Pirate ship? We’ll help you find it.

Musician looking to play to a crowd? GigOwl will help get you that gig.

Event Organiser, Promoter or Venue owner? List your venue or private room to dramatically increase the amount of bookings you take.

Studios, hotels, restaurants, churches, halls, pubs, clubs, ships, boats, castles, paddocks, practise rooms, farms and fields! Start making more money by hosting live events or increase your footfall by filling your entertainment slots with reputable musicians and acts.

It has evolved greatly in concept after a lot of hours spent researching, the original goal however is still the same, we’ve just added a few. I originally set out with the idea of creating an easier way of musicians getting gigs, along the way there have been some realisations. There are a lot of solutions already out there capable of doing this, though there are evidently some that aren’t delivering or simply aim too high up the ladder, and plenty of promotional systems for musicians to promote themselves and request gigs. I think we’ve discovered a different starting point that will make a difference all the way up the ladder, but there are still elements I hope to build on from a promotional and business tools perspective, that will come later.

It’s taken a lot to get my mind into a state to focus on one product, and even now i’m fighting with myself to stop a hydra of an idea developing, but we have 3 complimentary perspectives of problems that revolve around venues, events and entertainment, a plan across both B2B and B2C markets, and just about the right level of skills to take on the task.  We have the very talented Sam Fitzpatrick in an advisory role, helping to carve out truths and pain problems that musicians and promoters face around independent live music, and I personally won’t stop until I can easily book and host an event on a full size pirate ship.

I was going to go into how much code I’ve had to learn in the last 3 months, what I built a long the way and what realisations I’ve had, but that would dilute this post, and there is so much more to learn, so that’s a story for another time.

I expect we’ll be looking for a very talented person who loves to code, who is a little crazy and can engineer equally as crazy to get involved in the future in order to push the development much further than what I can do alone.

You can help us push this idea by sharing GigOwl with all musicians, event and venue owners and organisers, audio and visual technicians, anyone you know or simply by liking this post.

We’re collecting early access requests at http://launch.gigowl.co.uk/ and you can stay up to date with our progress with our GigOwl facebook page, and twitter account @gigowlapp

Please like, share, comment on this post and help us reach further!

For more information on what GigOwl is trying to achieve see http://www.facebook.com/gigowl/info

Thank you to everyone who has advised, supported and assisted so far!

Google’s Project Glass – Do you REALLY want it?

I am excited massively be the idea of Google glasses, or Project Glass if you want the secret dossier style name, the thoughts that buzz around my head with the concept of this technology… I just can’t wait.

People who know me, they’ll tell you I’ve not been a fan of Apple, never have – I enjoy their smartphones and tablets but I was a late adopter to those, I use them because in my opinion they do it better than any of the others I’ve experienced, but I’m screaming at the big G right now, SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.

Potential pros

How many times have you said to yourself, “Damn it, I wish life had a search function”. Well, here comes the crazy because I see these as the answer to that. Basic object recognition? Constant snapshot / video capture? Where did I leave my freaking keys, here’s a picture of the last place you looked at them.

That’s right, they’re to your right on the window sill, your tiny monkey brain didn’t see them because it wasn’t really LOOKING it was just seeing. Don’t worry though, the G Spec’s got you covered.

Potential cons

So your CEO or worse still CFO comes downstairs, glances over at his cogs in the machine (that’s us by the way) what’s that floating next to your pretty face, hovering next to your head?

Only exactly how much you’re costing him by the minute / hour / day, and exactly what you’re meant to be working on at that moment in time, how many meetings you’ve got planned or how many issues you still haven’t closed today. Wait, Augmented Reality was supposed to be fun right? No, its the executive toy that has a purpose.

That’s right, these things are going to empower the employers and business owners so much that you’re going to need some Mission Impossible style face prosthetics so mess with the facial recognition tell you’re boss how much more fuel he can cram in his supercar if when he downsizes your team.

P.S

I’ll add to this post over time, but that doodle can go straight to hell.

Marketing can be fun.

It’s been 2 weeks since I left my day job, and nearly two years since I officially worked in an agency marketing role but I’ve just realised something about myself. Whether it’s the planning and strategy, the learning of new ideas, tricks and methods to use different technologies or what, but its something I get passionate and confident about when explaining to others.

I don’t claim to be a great marketer but stressing the importance of user experience when it comes to interaction design, language and tone is priority one.

 

If you would like me to help with marketing strategy for your business, id love to hear from you.

 

P.S

I don’t think I have a doodle for this post (been on a client project for the last week or two) so we may have a weird image.  Looks like I do have a doodle, though its not really been worked on. Figured out how to screen capture so i’ll be recording my work on this one, its a vision of London in 75 years.