Friday, August 14, 2020

It's been a while...

Gosh, this is the longest blogging break I've had since I started blogging some 17 years ago. It's not that I've been a digital hermit. I have been engaging a bit on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. But my life has changed somewhat - in the words of John Lennon, 'Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans'.

The short story is that my elderly Mum became ill about two years ago. Last year she got a bit worse, sufficient for the doctor to run tests. And our worst fears were confirmed when we were told that Mum had advanced cancer in her breast and lungs. This is not unusual in the very elderly. I think I read somewhere that half of very elderly women will get cancer with breast and lung cancer being the most common. That said, your metabolism is a lot slower as you age and that also means that tumours tend to grow much more slowly too. That means Mum is thankfully still with us, and is still trouncing me when it comes to solving cryptic crosswords. However, she is getting more poorly. I feel we're now on borrowed time with her now so trying to make the most of what we (as in the family) have and keep Mum as comfortable and supported as possible and enjoy what time we have.

I'd been spending a lot more time with Mum anyway since my father died 7 years ago but since the diagnosis, that's more or less become a full-time thing. So no gallivanting on speaking gigs about mobile technology, no leading of workshops, no mentoring of students or clients, no writing, and a day to day life that is about as far from my London life as it could be. So dear reader, that is the reason for the hiatus on this blogging lark.

Having spent the last year or two as an accidental carer (most carers seem to be accidental carers), I've learned a lot about dealing with lung cancer and learned a lot about what it is like to be very elderly, how challenging it can be to be a carer and also the joy that can be found in the small things. I've also realised how fortunate I am to be spending these precious last years and months with Mum. Not everyone gets the chance to do this so I know I really am one of the lucky ones.

So, I'm not sure I'll be writing very much about the mobile industry in the short term, but there might be some posts about being a carer, living with lung cancer, being an accidental carer, and maybe some things about how Mum and I are using technology (or not) and whatever else comes to mind as and when I get the time. 

P.S. Hat tip to Martin Bihl and Lloyd Davis and the Tuttle crew for helping me out of my shell recently and to Mum's medical team (NHS and St Richard's Hospice) and my family for giving me a week's respite to regroup and re-energise.

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Swedish Beers is back in Barcelona once more for Mobile World Congress!

The Swedish Beers team is busy getting organised for this year's edition of Swedish Beers in Barcelona! We loved Muy Buenas and its fab team so much last year that we've booked in with them again.

The format will be just the same - a relaxed evening, no formalities, no presentations. Just come with an open mind, be prepared to see friends old and new, chat, enjoy a drink or three (courtesy of our sponsors) and have yourself a good time all whilst extolling (or not) the virtues of our mobile connected world.

The Swedish Beers crew will be on hand to welcome you as usual and we'll have the friendliest bar staff in town in we're in one of the most stylish and historic bars in town on two floors. Muy Buenas will also have food available to buy on the night. Here are the photos from previous years' events to give you a flavour of what to expect.

Tell your friends and get yourself registered!

**Two sponsors confirmed. But we need more to make the party really fly. If you'd like to sponsor and join the fun and get to meet and mingle with the crowd, please get in touch with Helen to discuss. All budgets catered for.** 

See you in Barcelona.




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This is a Heroes of the Mobile Fringe Festival Event

There may be a queue to get in at times but we managed to get pretty much everyone in who wanted to last year so please don't be put off! The queue does move quite quickly. All are welcome to attend if you are working in and around the mobile industry and enjoy a good chat. You may be asked for ID on entry. You must be pre-registered to attend the event. We reserve the right to refuse entry.

Win an exhibition ticket to Mobile World Congress with Trustonic

If you’re after an exhibition ticket for this year’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona we have at least two to give away courtesy of my friends at Trustonic. Save yourself £700 or so and enter our free competition.
Just answer a simple question and fill in your details here and leave the rest to us. Closing date is Monday 18 February 2019 at midday GMT. Good luck and see you in Barcelona!

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.