On the radar

I’m not too big on anniversaries but I like birthdays so today is special.

On this day one year ago a post by Tom Coates about UK start-up culture caught my eye – and that of a few other folks. An awful lot of people wanted to scratch this itch.

The next day, among the huge volume of comments pouring into Tom’s blog, came James Governor‘s suggestion:

“Tom – any interest in getting a beers and innovation evening together? we could talk about the issue you raise. perhaps it would be a bit first tuesday, but without face to face nothing gets done”

This got some support in the comments, but two months later nothing had happened, which made me… fidgety.

I thought – if there’s such a thirst for discussion around this issue and something along those lines was in order why not just get it going and see what happened? So I got in touch with Tom and he kindly gave it his support.

Community vibes

And eventually, after a little hiccup in November, we kicked off on on 9th February with Tom, Saul Klein from Skype and Matt Ogle from Last.fm chatting about their experiences and UK start-up culture compared to the States (and elsewhere) in the basement of a Charing Cross bar. Coming up from under the radar as it were.

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has since come along to the Beers & Innovation series, shared their ideas, enjoyed themselves, commented or found something interesting here, or just sent me messages by carrier pidgeon 🙂

And thanks to the WordPress team who are just generally fab and who’s spam filter software is phenomenally efficient for a free service.

Ideas for the future?

Hopefully as a community that shares expertise and ideas, we can give people a chance to make connections and to reflect usefully and fruitfully on the issues. And hopefully, we can make a difference and help move things forward….

But forward to what? I’ve got a few thoughts darting about but what I really want is to hear from you. Got any suggestions about future events or what we should be doing? If you prefer not to comment here, email me on deirdre.molloy (AT) nmk.co.uk



4 responses to “On the radar

  1. Look at the business, social, political and cultural barriers to innovation. For instance, risk conscious in business and society, concerns about the impact of production and consumption, separation of arts and sciences, distrust of expertise, precautionary thinking, etc. I appreciate this is at a different level from events to date.

  2. what say i get the chaps from IBM Emerging Technology to come and do an event showing why and how an IT behemoth is spending time playing with Second Life in their Hursley Labs in Hampshire… something about linking grassroots and Fortune 500 innovation styles and or people, something the Americans are really good at, but we’re not. innovation clusters. perhaps some cambridge cluster people?

  3. oh yeah – happy birthday! great name for a cool event series… 😉

  4. @ Nico – thanks for these suggestions. The barriers to innovation you list (which are all sort of connected to “precautionary thinking”, perhaps) are all worth exploring some more, in the context of particular service / market or technology development topics. I have a theme in mind for November’s B&I that would be related to this.

    @ James – your ideas are very welcome and thought-provoking too. The one about linking grassroots and Fortune 500 styles &/or people is most intriguing. Is this what goes on at all those parties and mixers in the Valley… or is it more structured than that? Clusters could be a good one – in fact Nico raised the issue of clusters at B&I in Februry. But can we get people who mostly live in Greater London to an event about clusters? Not to be a cosmopolitan snob or anything, just wondering… Now, this stuff about IBM and Second Life… i’ll be getting in touch for the full story 😉

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