I’m on a train to Bristol from London. Around me I can see what I can only assume to be an university professor grading papers, and a couple of students in conversation about their course. It’s anthropology. The course, I mean – but also, I suppose, my observation of them. It’s sunny outside. The sun blasting through the trees is flickering on my face, making me briefly grateful that I don’t suffer from photo-sensitive epilepsy. I’m wearing a set of headphones, playing an album I haven’t listened to in years.
The only reason I’m noting all these things is that today, the 10th of December, is probably the first time since September that I’ve had the space, time, and mental capacity to notice, well, anything.
I blame Microsoft.
Allow me to explain. Read more »
This year, Triggertrap was accepted into the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator programme. Highly recommended, currently open for applications, and I’ll write in more depth about all the things that is awesome about having been part of it as soon as I can.
They don’t take equity, and they don’t pay us anything – very unusual for an accelerator. So, what’s in it for them?
Microsoft use the startups in the accelerator to do customer development, and to encourage us to use their platforms (especially Microsoft Azure).
They also make it clear that they don’t force any of their software or platforms on the startups in the accelerator. Well, with one exception: The Microsoft Ventures accelerator culminates in the Pitch Day, which is where the startups that were part of the accelerator pitch to the who-is-who of VCs, Angels, and movers and shakers of the European startup world. For this particular pitch, the startups must use Microsoft PowerPoint.
Read more »
When I’m talking with other people who are running businesses, the topic of discussion often goes to staff: How do you find them, how do you hire them, how do you keep them, and (occasionally), how do you make the difficult decision to let someone go.
One of the recurring topics is ‘how could schools/universities better prepare students for life in the real world’.
The truth of the matter is that a lot of people entering the workforce are woefully underprepared for What Happens Next – and nowhere does that become more clear in the interview- and hiring process at a startup. Read more »
Starting a shiny new startup is a godawful amount of work – and if you don’t pick the right tools to help you out, it’ll be all the worse. I’m often asked about what stack you should pick when you start a company, and so I decided to put together a somewhat coherent list of handy starting points.
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You’d be damn hard pressed to avoid the words ‘content marketing’ these days. The phrase is being used as if it’s a magic bullet that solves all of your marketing needs. In some ways, it is, but what the marketeers won’t tell you is this: Getting content marketing right is really easy – but it’s damn hard work.
At the very basic level, content marketing is the idea of creating content that people want to read, then put it in front of them, watch your web traffic go bananas, and your sales spike beyond belief.
Sounds easy, right? Well, it is, but there’s a lot to it, not least the fact that ‘creating content that people want to read’ is an artform in itself. I should know; I put together the original editorial plan for the multi-award-winning gadget site T3.com, among other things. Read more »
Recently I came across a Kickstarter project that seems pretty similar to Triggertrap Ada. Their video is in part recreating what we did for ours, and the app they created does look remarkably similar to Triggertrap Mobile.
Pretty cheeky, I figured, but when I looked at their ‘supported cameras’ list, I just had to laugh; They’re not even trying anymore…
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With the recent global security snafu known as Heartbleed, we are reminded yet again that it’s really important to keep your house in order.
Your passwords are your reputation, your money, your privacy, and pretty much everything else you can think of, too. Read more »
Quick recap in case you’ve been hiding from the internet for the past week: Our Kickstarter-backed colleagues over at Oculus Rift are currently recovering from the no doubt epic and well-deserved hang-overs after their US$ 2 billion “Yay we got bought by Facebook” party. Of course, when a story like this breaks about a fellow hardware manufacturer and Kickstarter alumnus, we can’t help but get a little bit introspective.
It appears that not everyone is pleased about the purchase. and that the chief complaint from Oculus backers is that they feel that they ought to benefit from the giant bags of cash that Facebook placed on the table. I completely understand where the sentiment comes from, but I also think it’s important to keep in mind what Kickstarter is for: a platform where projects go to be turned into reality, yes, but not a place to invest money. Read more »
With two successful Kickstarter campaigns in my past (one, two), I’m regularly asked to come speak about crowdfunding. One of the most common questions I’m asked is “But what if my project fails?” The honest answer is that if you did everything you could to make your campaign succeed, but it still fails to reach its funding goal, you may conceivably have had the best possible outcome.
I’m a strong believer in the idea of ‘failing fast’. In summary, the idea is to think about your project or business as a series of challenges, each of which have a ‘success’ or ‘failure’ state. In the ‘fail fast’ approach, you’d analyse each challenge by how big the risk is that it causes a failure – and you tackle the challenges that have the biggest chance of failing as soon as you can. Read more »
I’ve done two Kickstarter campaigns so far, one in 2011, and one in 2013. Both were hugely successful… And now, I’ve launched a campaign to see if I can’t help other entrepreneurs and creatives do the same thing. Read more »