Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Can you help me source raffle prizes please?

Some of you may be aware that I'm on the fundraising team for Tonia's Journey. Tonia is the daughter of a friend of mine and suffers from an extreme form of Ehlers Danlos Syndrome. We're helping raise the funds for a life-saving operation and the resulting rehabilitation and medication she'll need. You can find out more over at the Team Tonia website or on our JustGiving page.

We still have some way to go with our fundraising efforts for Tonia. That means, we're setting up a new raffle: 'The Grand Draw', to help us reach our goal.

What is it?

The Grand Draw is an offline raffle where we'll be selling tickets in the Three Counties Area in the UK - that's Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire for those not familiar with the area.

What are the prizes?

That's down to you! We're actively seeking a few STAR prizes from local businesses who would like to support us in our fundraising efforts. All businesses who donate prizes will benefit from substantial online promotion via social media, namely Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, from our #TeamTonia social media army. You'll also be included on the printed tickets and will get some love and attention on our blog. So if you would like to contribute and would benefit from some media attention from consumers in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire in the next few weeks, please get in touch.

What kind of things are we after?

That's really up to you. We're open to ideas. The prizes need to be suitable for a general consumer audience. Food or beauty hampers always go down well. Vouchers for well known stores are ever popular. Entertainment experiences are great, as are meals out in local restaurants, weekends away in a lovely B&B or hotel or even a family holiday. Mobile handsets, computers, tablets, TVs and other gadgets are also a big hit for raffles.

When will the raffle start?

We want to go to print with our tickets as soon as possible and we can do that as soon as we have secured a few more prizes.

When will the raffle end?

The raffle is currently timed to end at the end of August, however this may change depending on how long it takes us to secure the prizes.

If you have something suitable for us, or you'd like to discuss options, please contact Sarah from #TeamTonia by email in the first instance.

We're also accepting cash donations:

TEXT giving is a great and easy route to supporting Tonia if you are in the UK: TEXT EHLE82£1 or EHLE82£5 or EHLE82£10 to 70070

Or you can donate online here via the Just4Children campaign on JustGiving.

Thanks in advance!

Thursday, May 03, 2018

I'll be at this year's Business of Software Conference on 21-22 May. Will you?

This will be my third visit to this annual conference organised by Mark Littlewood. And it's always been a cracker - chock full of great content, good food, interesting conversations and actionable insights. This year we're at the Barbican and I'm really looking forward to hanging out with everyone again. It makes a change to be at someone else's event and not organising it!

If you fancy a speaker slot, then there's still just about time to apply for one a spot in the lightning talks session. Read on for details on how to apply, more about the conference and a discounted ticket offer (I've been given a few discounted tickets).

So what's this all about then?

Why would you want to come? Because you want to spend time learning how great software  companies are built at a conference where the attendees are not the product.

What is it? A single-track conference to help you build great software and a profitable business. In depth talks, curated content. Zero sales/sponsor pitches or panels. If you're looking for coding sessions, this one isn't for you.

This year's theme: How to make product, culture, innovation, strategy, marketing and sales drive sustainable, profitable, growth.

Sessions and Case Studies
• Wade Foster, Zapier: A High Growth, Remote Working, Profitable Company
• Bruce McCarthy, BPMA: Why Product Culture Beats Execution Culture
• Tom Adeyoola, Metail: Why Your ‘Brilliant’ Technology Fails to have Impact
• Tendayi Viki, Benneli Jacobs: Clever Ideas are not Enough for Innovation
• Alison Coward, Bracket Designing High-Performing Teams
• Carl Ryden, PrecisionLender: Iron Man Suits vs Robots – Product Strategy and AI
• Tim Barker, DataSift: “The Best of Times, the Worst of Times.” Every CEO Ever
• Laura Roeder, MeetEdgar: Building Business Against Well-Funded Competition
• Jane Austin, Moo: 10 Ways to Make Design Irrelevant to Your Business
• Nilan Peiris, Transferwise: Building a High-growth Startup Sustainably
• Stephen Allott, NED: Rules and Tools for Scaling Software Sales
• Bill Janeway, Warburg Pincus: The Fall and Rise of Enterprise Software
• Plus, Lightning Talks, Lunchtime Table Talks and the legendary hallway track.

I'm particularly looking forward to hearing about product culture from Bruce, Laura's session on building a business against well-funded competitors and the fall and rise of enterprise software from Bill.

Schedule – You can view more details on timing, speakers and session content here.

Sunday 20th May, Pre-event drinks and laid-back mingling.

Monday 21st May
• 08.00: Registration, coffee, tea, networking
• 09.00-18.00: Conference Keynotes Commence
• 18:30: Drinks, Networking Join us and our speakers for an evening to meet new
contacts and make new friends.

Tuesday 22nd May
• 08.00: Registration, coffee, tea, networking
• 09.00: Conference Keynotes Commence
• 17.30: Conference close

Who Comes? A potent mix of Founders, CEOs, CMOs, CTOs, COOs, CPOs and emerging leaders in scale-up and grown-up software companies, a few people from innovative corporates who want to embrace change, some smart investors. The common thread - people interested in getting better at what they do and learning new ideas that will impact their businesses and careers.

Fancy speaking at the conference? Well, it's too late to join one of the main sessions, but applications are still being accepted for a spot during the lightning sessions. If you'd like to put yourself forward for one of those spots, you can find out how to do that here

FAQs and background to the conference here. Also, here's the full schedule and link to the speakers.
Hope to see some of you there.

And lucky for you, I have a few discounted tickets available with my special registration link where you get 20% off the April rate of £795 + Fees/VAT (The price goes up nearer the date). If you're prompted for a code, please use TechnoKitten. Not only that, there's a guarantee of quality. BoS offers you a full refund of the ticket price, if at the end of the conference you decide you did not get value out of it. You have nothing to lose!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

The FT 1000 - The Complete List of Europe's Fastest Growing Companies 2018

For those of you interested in start-ups and growth businesses, this list will be invaluable. It's a link to the FT 1000 which lists the companies in 31 European countries that have achieved the highest compound annual growth rate in revenue between 2013 and 2016. Note the measurement is revenue not profit.

It's worth a glance if you have any interest in business. The data is downloadable as a spreadsheet and searchable. The FT also shares their methodology.

Top line findings:

  • Technology dominates the list with 155 entries and Deliveroo at #1 replacing Germany's HelloFresh
  • London has held on to its position as the most popular base for HQ with 74 entries (Paris has 62, Milan 25).
  • Fintech has performed well (Good news for London).
  • UK, Spain, Germany and France all have a strong presence in the Top 20.
  • The lowest average growth rate in this year's ranking was 34.6% vs last year's 16.1%.
  • Germany leads the way in the advertising sector as they also do in the Automobile sector. I would have expected the latter but not the former. I wonder why British advertising companies aren't showing similar growth.

I haven't heard of the majority of these companies. Am I out of touch? Maybe. Or is that successful companies very often get there completely under the radar? Or maybe it's down to my focus and visibility of British companies. I'm thinking probably the latter. Something for me to ponder on over a cup of tea...

You can find the list here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

International Day of Happiness

I didn't actually know there was an International Day of Happiness until this morning. Apparently, it's today. It's a United Nations thing and started in 2012. "It's an annual celebration of happiness as a fundamental human right and goal for all of humanity. This year's theme, #TenBillionHappy, sets our sites (sic) on the year 2050, when it is projected that 10 Billion people will inhabit the Earth. Our goal is to inspire, develop and promote initiatives with global citizens, governments, nonprofits, NGOs, and the private sector, to secure Happiness for All by 2050." You can find out more on the official website.

I'm all for creating more happiness where possible and there are some really simple steps you can take. This graphic from Sylvia Duckworth sums it up a treat.

Here's hoping you have a lovely day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Mobile World Congress 2018: What did we discover? Join me on 21 March 2018.

We've now had a little time to recover from Mobile World Congress and digest what we saw and what we talked about. It's a big show with 108,000 visitors from all over the world and it covers every single aspect of mobile technology. It's impossible to take it all in, even if you were there every day and walked up and down every hall twice. And if you weren't there, what did you miss?

I hope my panel session next Wednesday 21 March in London will help fill in the gaps and make some sense of it all. I'll be chairing the session and will be joined by Paul Stringer, who heads up the mobile team at Equal Experts, Priya Prakash who is founder of D4SC and is also one of the UK Government's DIT Technology Specialists and Rafe Blandford, who is DigitasLBi's mobile guru. I also happen to know that there will be some MWC18 attendees in the audience who also know their stuff and I'm hoping will also contribute to the discussion.

Tickets are free and tapas and drinks are courtesy of the lovely Equal Experts. RSVP is required. You can do that by registering for a ticket below or by clicking here to reach the Eventbrite page.

So whether you were at Mobile World Congress or not, I do hope you can join us on Wednesday.

Powered by Eventbrite

Doors open at 6pm for a 6.30pm start.

We'll be at Equal Experts' offices on Brock Street. Full details on eventbrite. Nearest tube is either Warren Street or Euston Square.

Swedish Beers Barcelona #13: Thank yous and photos

What a fab time we had at Swedish Beers a couple of weeks back in Barcelona. Admittedly, the weather wasn't up to much, but Muy Buenas gave us a very warm welcome despite us drinking the bar dry and having to have an emergency beer and wine delivery at midnight!

First up some thank yous:

Swedish Beers Sponsors & Supporters BCN 2018
To Carolina and her team at Muy Buenas for looking after us so well.

To Rosa, Patrick, Irene, Ida and Angel for being the welcoming committee with me at the door.

To Erika Arias for her fabulous photographs once again. Check out more of her fabulous photos here.

To all our sponsors for providing the cash for the beer tokens and being such good co-hosts on the night. They are - Equal Experts, x-Mobility, Headforwards, 51 Degrees, Evernym, 1NCE ably supported in cash and in kind by NOBA, Kairos Future, ZZZ Accommodation, Idka, White Bull Summits, Trustonic, Joshua PR, When in Barcelona and Claire Coombes.

And to all of you who came and who keep the Swedish Beers spirit alive and kicking.

The photos
I've uploaded all the ones I've received and all the professional ones by the fabulous Erika Arias. But if you have any to add these, please let me have them and I'll include them in the Swedish Beers party albums on Facebook and Flickr with appropriate credits. Feel free to tag yourselves in the photos and share away!

Swedish Beers Edition #13 Barcelona - 28 Feb 2018

Thanks again and hope to see you at another event soon.