Monthly Archives: June 2012

Droppedbox

To be clear, I love Dropbox. The service is incredible, and it solves a real problem in my life. So much so that I upgraded to the $9.99/mo plan. If you don’t currently use it, I highly recommend signing up here. But yesterday, I downgraded back to the Free plan.

For $9.99 you get 50GB of space to store your files. “With all that space”, I thought, “it won’t be a problem auto-uploading my phone photos”. I bungled all my Wedding & Honeymoon photos on there too. It gradually became a place, because of all the extra space, that I just dumped files I ‘might’ need at some point.

In the meantime, I’ve been reading books like Lean Startup by Eric Reis, and chatting to a mate, Tim who has exceptional experience in the startup and fundraising scene. Both urged me to find £10 quid a month to spend on market research (PPC, with an optimised landing page), to test ideas and find if there’s any traction.

Now I’m at a bit of a time in my life where 10 quid a month is a bit of a stretch, unfortunately. So I looked for places I could find it. I looked at my use of Dropbox and realised that I’m spending the best part of a tenner a month (120 quid a year) to dump files in the cloud (at least that’s how my use of it has descended!). So I swiftly transferred quite a few gigs of data onto my passport harddrive, because frankly I already use that as a dumping ground so why should I also be paying $10 a month for that privilege?

Now, I’ve got that money to spend on doing the market groundwork on some of my working ideas. 

The point I’m trying to make is if you think an idea is strong enough, you need to do whatever you can to prove there’s a need. I personally am getting far more value out of spending $10 on Facebook ads than I am Dropbox. So I dropped it.

I’ll stick some results of this experiment up after a couple of months.

#coffeeshopchallenge

Myself and colleague Andy Edmonds walk a lot. Every lunch break, we grab a fiver and walk to get a coffee. Most days we head to Taylor St Baristas off Bishopsgate, Liverpool Street  but others we try and sniff out different places to drink coffee and chat about anything from business ideas, to client and creative strategy.

Recently we decided that we should turn this into a game, so the #coffeeshopchallenge was born. Our goal is to visit every independant coffee shop within half and hour walk of our office in Liverpool St (half an hour there, half an hour back = lunch hour done)

Every. Single. One. Maybe.

We’ll both be updating a blogs with the places we visit – and maybe the odd little idea chucked in for good measure.

Public Opinion of London Underground ahead of Olympics

Public opinion of London Underground

I was interested to look into the negative public perception of the London Underground associated specifically with the 2012 Olympics.

So, I wrote the following boolean query and restricted it to Tweets written just in 2012:

((olympics OR paralympics) AND (london OR 2012) AND (underground OR LU OR tfl OR LUL OR “public transport”)) AND (cope OR struggle OR disaster OR horrible OR horrendous OR painful OR crammed OR overcrowded OR overcrowding OR busy OR rammed OR fail OR failure OR “signal failure” OR congestion OR crushed)

The results:

(I’ve removed a lot of Tweets at this point because they’re largely just RTs of @ajhmurray- and a lot of them!)

I’ve stopped it there (less than half way through my full search yield) but you get the idea.

It is worth adding that the search was deliberately written to find people who are unhappy about the tube to highlight their concerns. The next time I have a positive experience on the tube, I’ll compose a similar post.

 

 

Lessons Learned: #1 Promises

The beginning of my indefinite ‘Lessons Learned‘ series, a space I’ll use to simply write some startup and strategy lessons I’ve learned in the past. The main reason I’m publishing them is so I’ve no excuse for ever forgetting them – if you learn something from them too, then great!

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#1 Promises
Don’t ever promise things you cannot deliver. This applies to making promises on what your product can deliver, making promises on what you can deliver (either to yourself or to a client). If you can’t do it, it’s better to say.

N.B This is not the first lesson I’ve ever learned