Posts tagged: entrepreneurs

First Soma Salon

When Mike Butcher of TechCrunch fame posted the following, my interest was inevitably piqued:

Two visions of the future continue to play out. Orwell’s ‘Nineteen Eighty Four’ featured a society under a ‘telescreen’ dictatorship, where ‘Victory Coffee’ was served in cafés to people who yearned for free expression outside of the watchful eye of the state.

It’s a world in which the more extreme elements of the NSA and GCHQ might feel at home. In Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ the drug Soma is served to pacify the population, reminiscent of the ‘dopamine effect’ many privately-owned social networks have on us today. In both cases the new industrial revolution of technology is often empowering the previously powerless, but also aiding and abetting the powers that be.

But what future do we choose? Where should we take our society? Orwell, Marx, Trotsky, Huxley, even Thatcher — all had visions of the future. But where do WE choose to take our technological and scientific revolution? Let’s discuss these and other questions in this new Salon which will range far wider than the ’tech startups’ discussion many of us are used to.

View over the BBC news factory, taken by Mike Butcher

View over the BBC news factory, taken by Mike Butcher

Against the exciting, buzzy backdrop of the BBC (curse the camera on my iphone for being broken – Daleks in Twitter’s offices last week, daleks at the Beeb yesterday – a theme is emerging – Doctor Who fever is upon us!), a fairly random group of people met to see where this discussion took us.

There are challenges to putting a group of strong minded, independent people in a room together, and Bill Thompson did a great job of marshalling us (Mike was detained writing up an important, of sadly familiar, story: European Investor Admits He Pestered Female Entrepreneur For Sex In “Deal” Email. Well done to him for giving it some priority!)

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Be careful on the way up…

Claire Thompson, Freelance PR Consultant, Waves PR

I recently organized and event where I was impressed by one of the speakers. I had given him a platform to speak to people interested in his specialism, and he seemed to know what he was talking about. I’m fairly certain that he got business from the event. And as his service/product is both exciting and relevant , I thought I’d introduce him to a client. One of my best clients at that.

Very bad move that turned out to be!

He mucked me around several times over dates and times, booking things and changing them, until he finally delivered the ‘sucker punch’. He wanted to charge us his travel and time to come to a sales pitch, unless we guaranteed an order.

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The Hargreaves Report

Charter for Digital Rights

Image by tuija via Flickr

There’s so much being said about the Hargreaves Report that I scarcely need to repeat it here, but if you’d like to read the original, here’s the link: http://www.ipo.gov.uk/ipreview.htm

And here’s the press release announcement.

There’s lots of online comment, most of it positive. But, as with all things, there will be winners and losers. For me, one of the most  interesting things that’s being discussed is digital rights direct payments. Thinking this through, this could have an additional impact on micropayments for journalism if implemented – as well as those artists – including photographers – who currently use third parties (like istock) to sell on their wares if they want payment.

This could absolutely change the face of paid journalism and create an egalitarian market where good quality work is sought after and rewarded.  It will be interesting to see where this pans out. If I was Twitter, one of the content distributors but still looking for a revenue model, I might be keeping a very close eye on this potential lifeline.

 

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Startup Metrics for Pirates

This presentation is two years’ old, but it was shared on LinkedIn today – and still makes a surprising amount of sense.

It’s shared here because as a PR person who often works with startups, there are some key questions I have to ask potential clients: I have to understand the challenges they face, and also understand whether I think they’ll be around in the long term. When I take on PR for a client, I’m staking my reputation along with theirs.

Anyway, enough waffle – here’s the presentation:

 

Note: latest version can be found here: http://www.slideshare.net/dmc500hats/startup-metrics-4-pirates-20-march-2011-sxsw

 

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