Goodbye 2011. Hello 2012.

A belated New Year post to try to summarise a busy 2011 and outline an exciting 2012.

Last year was a real transitional year for me, changing job & city – both were tough decisions and not without consequence (just ask my long suffering girlfriend!).

A brief list of personal highlights from 2011:


Another year for me to wince at my carbon footprint as I was lucky enough to visit:

  • New York – My first trip to the Big Apple with my buddy Sam – March
  • Turkey – A relaxing (all-inclusive) break with my girlfriend just outside Altinkum – June
  • Bulgaria – Another football tour with pristine pitches and Bulgarian football legends – July
  • Prague – A short break in this beautiful city with my girlfriend – November


It was always going to be difficult to top 2010 and a visit to Miami for the WMC, instead I went to a few club nights in London:

  • Erick Morillo at Pulse (a showman as always, Morillo was jumping round the box all night, just a shame about the huge queues to get in)
  • Toolroom Knights at Ministry of Sound (Mark Knight & Umek were fantastic)
  • Toolroom Knights 5th Birthday at the O2 Academy Brixton (brilliant night with some great live PA’s – especially The Man with the Red Face saxophonist)


Towards the backend of 2011 I made the decision to leave OuterArc, the Nottingham-based startup I’d been at since Jan 2009 (after university). It was a difficult call, I learned a hell of a lot and enjoyed every minute of it but I felt it was time to move on.

Given that a few of my friends had just started jobs down in London I gave up a place I loved in Nottingham and moved home with my parents while I sought my next move.

After a couple of weeks I saw a job post for an intern at a startup called PeerIndex, looking at social media marketing and word of mouth advocacy. To cut a long story short the opportunity was perfect and I was offered the chance to join.

Fast forward two months to the start of 2012 – I’m loving it and look forward to an exciting year ahead having accepted a full time role.

Outside of day to day work, I also became involved with updating the platform [to launch in 2012], something close to my heart after visiting the Sierra Leone project in 2010.


Other random things: I enjoyed starting the Nott Cast podcast with my friend Ollie, contributing to the 3six5 project (my post is here) and catching Joe Rogan in Birmingham.

2011: In the news

Where to start: the Arab Spring, the Royal Wedding, the UK riots, the Giggs super injunction twitter fiasco, Steve Jobs passing away, the eurozone crisis – the list goes on.

2012: Looking ahead

I’m looking forward to a busy (but enjoyable!) year at PeerIndex, moving to London in early February, getting the new platform out there, the Olympics (of course), Euro 2012 (please no more penalty shootouts).

Music: Going to Tomorrowland (Belgium), trying to catch Joris Voorn & Sharam

Travel: Canada (to see my friend Simon) and possibly Thailand (if my girlfriend has her way!).

Thanks to all those that helped me last year and I look forward to catching up with friends, old & new in the coming 12 months.

Document the struggle.

After recently reading Tribes by Seth Godin (a book I highly recommend), I realised how poor a job I have done at publicly documenting the work and progress I’ve been a part of at OuterArc.

For me, one of the stand out stories in Tribes was one where Seth Godin described his role at a small software company at the age of 24, titled “Leading from the Bottom”.

The story: Godin had to deliver a number of educational software programs, in the space of a few months, in time for Christmas, with only 3 programmers lent to him by the management (from a pool of 60).

What did he do? Knowing that his task was impossible with the very limited resources he had, Godin sent out a newsletter twice a week to everyone in the company. He documented the struggles of his team but also talked about the great work they were doing and the breakthroughs his team had made.

What happened? People joined the cause. In the space of a few months almost all the programmers had either been assigned to his project or were working on it in their spare time. Seth & his team ended up making the ship date and netted the company millions.

Why? Godin galvanised his team (tribe) by sharing the story of their struggle.

A technical breakthrough, winning a new client, the struggles of market education, market penetration successes – it all provides a great story – you get to see how far you’ve come and more than that, you’re sharing the experiences (good & bad) of the journey (internally & externally). 37Signals do a great job of this with their Signals vs. Noise blog.

The lesson? Document the struggle, share the experience, build a tribe.