On being different
Being Different... Read more
I am a South African Chartered Accountant by profession and training. I moved to the UK from South Africa just before the millennium. To cut a long story short, the internet grabbed my attention in 1995 and that’s what I have focussed on since.
I am an ideas person. I love the internet for its power to disrupt business models and its ability to make middle-men rather uncomfortable.
I love the internet and how it disrupts markets and makes so many things that once were difficult, possible. These are the projects I enjoy working on.
Being Different... Read more
Euan Semple is my kind of guy. Mollie is Euan’s young teenage daughter. Inspired by her Dad, Mollie blogs in the open, public domain of the internet. No password, no firewall: her identity out there, for everyone to see and... Read more
It’s been nearly two months since I jumped ship to Android. Is it a permanent move? Most people are shocked when they discover the conspicuous absence of my iPhone 5S. Tis true, I certainly was a die hard iPhone fan.... Read more
Price, Price & Price Online ticketing needs a no frills, mobile optimised solution. I am the Treasurer of various organisations that raise money from events (most of them for charity). I always try and convince my committees to offer online... Read more
Typos? Brevity? This is my disclaimer: If it weren’t for smartphones I’d probably have to settle for a desk bound job or at the very least I’d be less able to take on all the committments I seem to have... Read more
Welcome to the Internet where the Middleman wakes up to discover he’s lost his job. Made redundant by the web that now performs it quicker, easier, better and cheaper, he looks back on those heady days when all he had... Read more
Collaborating online Teamwork is an important skill our children need to learn from a young age. For centuries, our schools have grasped this…sadly offline only, that is. The internet has empowered all of us to collaborate in ways we hardly... Read more
Conceived in 2006, Project365 was a Flickr community initiative. Simple in concept, you take a photo every day for a year and post it publicly. I’ve been envious of those who have looked back at their year in photos. I’ve... Read more
Booking a hotel room online using your smartphone isn’t as simple and pleasurable as it should be. Hotel Tonight is making a difference but it can’t be an easy job: I’ll tell you why. It doesn’t matter if you’re booking... Read more
1. The luxury of time I’ve tried the Google Pact before and became easily irritated by the more complex Android interface so went running back to my comfy old iPhone. This time I was on holiday in Australia for 2... Read more
We scratched our own itch. More than two years ago, one of our Condiment clients, The Old Rectory – Suffolk, asked us to develop them a new website but also asked us what options they had for offering online booking. We researched the market. The only products out there were proverbial sledgehammers to the nut.They not only were hard to implement and expensive but were badly designed and just looked terrible too. So we started building Inn Style.
It’s aimed at owner managed accommodation owners that operate boutique hotels, B&Bs, Holiday Cottages and Camp or caravan sites… in fact anyone who has a bookable to keep track of.
Inn Style is hosted in the cloud and it offers its clients a nifty online administration tool to help them run their B&B or whatever accommodation they have on offer. It has an integrated card merchant service enabling them to take bookings by card over the phone and (only if they wish) online too. It has a neat little Property Management System that keeps track of who is booked into what rooms, makes sure confirmation are sent out to guests and helps with the check in and check out procedure producing check out statements and lets the accommodation provider keep track of extras added to the guests bill during their stay.
Inn Style is completely Pay-as-you-go and there is no risk in signing up. We only take a 2% commission when hoteliers use our system to process payments. Card payments are administered by Stripe.
We and our clients were frustrated with the lack of cost-effective simple systems to sell tickets. Ticket Gun helped us “scratch that itch”
Yes there is EventBrite and Amiando but they are both relatively expensive and take too long to setup because the frills get in the way.
We wanted a no-nonsense solution that didn’t cost the earth.
Ticket Gun’s competitors weren’t built “mobile-first” and therefore booking tickets on mobile is inevitably a compromised experience. I blogged about this earlier in the year and then a little spec and whole bunch of code later and Ticket Gun was born in 5 days worth of slog. Every week we enhance the product with no-nonsense features and you’ll be surprised what we have in store!
Please give it a whirl for your gigs, concerts, parties and events! Let me know what you think. Please visit http://ticketgun.com – you’ll be selling tickets in minutes of setup… that’s our pledge to you.
In modern times it’s more of a challenge and opportunity to curate the piles of quality content out there than create it from scratch. Sharing it to build up audience and SEO could be an integrated process using one tool. Kurasie helps with that challenge.
Kurasie is a big funnel that takes up RSS feeds from all your chosen sources. It helps you distill all the good stuff and then schedule and share the content you’ve rated with your networks including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn your own website.
Please have a play with Kurasie.com by creating a free 90 day account.
(Creative Marketing Agency)
Thinking the Unconventional
In 2010, shortly after moving from London to Woodbridge, I placed a bit of work out to all 5 of the “Big 5″ Suffolk Marketing Agencies. Condiment snuck onto the list as they were pretty new to the scene. In five minutes I knew I wanted to work with James and Chris. So I did. Together we are building Inn Style and a number of other products because it’s better to make money in one’s sleep than sell time and create value for others.
We’ve made a few mistakes along the way, hired the wrong people (and the right people) but we are now lean and mean. We are having fun every step of the way.
We only take on Condiment clients we choose to. What makes James and Chris a cracking team is that they are far ahead with Ideas, Copywriting and Coding. I still can’t quite believe some of the work produced out of Suffolk – it’s not even responsive so doesn’t work properly on mobile. You won’t see Condiment make those kind of mistakes.
Condiment built the new New Wolsey Theatre website for instance.
Two friends of mine ours their fight against Breast Cancer and ask me to be number 3 when we co-founded Art for Cure in 2013. Initially, it was destined to be a one-off event held over the first bank holiday weekend in May 2014. We took over Belinda Gray’s home Bredfield House and turned it into the most amazing Art Gallery that showcased local and national Artist and Sculptor’s work. The Gallery commissions were donated to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. We were staggered by the support we received from visitors and art buyers.
I remember sitting at an initial committee meeting recommending an ambitious fundraising target of £50k. My ambition was laughed at but I stuck to my guns. The team blue that target out of the water by doubling it. What an awesome experience.
Over the weekend we built an entire Gallery infrastructure that allowed us to sell nearly £200k’s worth of Art and Sculpture and raised a staggering 6 figure sum for Breakthrough.
I have been a Trustee of charities, large and small, but I was humbled by the spirit of the friends and volunteers that supported Belinda and Sally. Art for Cure is to be incorporated as its own charity and thanks to the support of so many,I feel it has an amazing future ahead of it.
I was so proud to have been able to help with the Digital Marketing and Finance and Art for Cure 2014 has been the highlight of my Philanthropic projects this year. What a result and what a privilege to work with two women who spared no time in their decision making. No decision paralysis at all. So refreshing.
We’ve launched an Online Gallery, please pay it a visit.
Over the last few years, Condiment and I have supported The Suffolk Community Foundation where we’ve been able to. We have help them with their brand marketing and have created a fresh, new and exciting website for them.
It’s really a terrific charity. There is so much hidden need in Suffolk. In fact, some of the need isn’t even that well hidden. The Suffolk Community Foundation is OUR charity that helps fund need in Suffolk. Most of the grants they make are to grassroots organisations powered by the community that make a difference to people in need every single day.
I look forward to a long journey with The Suffolk Community Foundation and Suffolk Giving is in its infancy. Through the brand of Suffolk Giving, it is our quest that every single person in Suffolk knows and understands the work that our Community Foundation performs. Hopefully, by supporting Suffolk Giving, each and everyone will make some contribution to helping others in our County who need our support.