Start Up Funding, Innovation and stuff to do in February

My last post from Carbon Voyage …

And in other news, am planning the next EYP event for February – I think a wine tasting or cocktail making class is in order! Also one of our members, Panos Karan, is doing a piano recital at the end of February – click here to get more info! The bit I am really looking forward to are Chopin’s Twelve Etudes Op. 10 and he’s playing them all in one hit which is pretty impressive – (almost as impressive as his recent performance in Athens of the Rach 3). Check this out (this is another performance of the Rach 3)!!!

And if any of you are free on the 3rd of Feb, there is a charity film screening of Brighton Rock at Raffles Nightclub in Chelsea to help the Alexandra Rose Charities – come along. You can book here.

Christmas and Cricket

I guess this is a bit of a non-post…

This time last year I was in Afghanistan and our company in the Grenadier Guards had just done a successful clearance operation, expanding our reach into no-man’s land between what we controlled and where the Taliban were. This time two years ago, I was down in the Falkland Islands with the Grenadier Guards, getting ready to return back to the UK. So it was time to have a bit of a relaxing time, complimented now by a charming chest infection – at least it is reinforcing the need for a decent sleep!!!

Following a great Christmas lunch (that lasted about nine hours), I decided to check the Boxing Day Test where I was hoping to see Australia continue the success of the third test in Perth and prove that the Australian Cricket Team are still great – oh well. All out for 98 in the first innings with England none for about three million so not a particularly auspicious start.

A few days of not working has been good though to think about all that has happened in 2010 and consider what I should do in 2011; I’ve never been good on resolutions – I can recall one resolution lasted about three hours! I think I will try and do a few things a bit differently in 2011 though, but will just see how long that lasts!

How the package bail-out works

From a mate …

It is a slow day in a damp little Irish town. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the town, stops at the local hotel and lays a 100 euro note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the 100 euro note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher takes the 100 euro note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the 100 euro note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel. The guy at the Farmers’ Co-op takes the 100 euro note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the pub. The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him “services” on credit. The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the 100 euro note. The hotel proprietor then places the 100 euro note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the 100 euro note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town. No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how the bailout package works.

And of course a post about the bailout would be incomplete without some good video satire!

 

 

Betas and videos

Well, I’ve had a big few weeks so apologies for not blogging for a while.

We’re now two months into our beta with Carbon Voyage. It has been interesting, and we are learning a lot, which I guess is one of the important parts of launching a new service. We have a very iterative process that we use with building our technology and propositions. I guess from my perspective that this is very similar to something taught in the military called the Boyd Cycle (also known as the OODA loop – Observe, Orient, Decide, Act). This was originally constructed by looking at aerial dogfights in Korea between MiGs and the USA Air Force. Fundamentally (from my perspective), it is about being very proactive in dealing with what the competitive landscape looks like and what customer feedback is. Our ability to iterate quickly will be a a key contributor to our success as a business.

I’ve also started doing some videos for the business. I was interviewed by Hugh Mason from Pembridge LLP for a video that is being compiled that talks about the Gateway to Investment Program. This week, Dan Ilett from Greenbang and I have started a weekly video talking about what it’s like to run a startup at the moment which you can see below. Dan hase just launched a new company called Clean Analysis, which researches cleantech companies, technologies, legislation and services and how they fit into a vision of sustainable practices in 2020.  

  [qik]http://qik.com/video/1480307[/qik]

And finally, it’s been lovely to see that amazing story of Susan Boyle and the previous one of Paul Potts, both of whom have the most amazing voices.