Daddy, Please Can You Build Me a Zoo?

It turns out that we all have different ways in which we innovate. If you can identify your default style you can use it to your advantage by putting yourself into situations where that style is most useful. And if you're an entrepreneur or work with entrepreneurs, you're going to…

The Need For Speed

In a candidate's market, speed matters. "I had a great developer, a fantastic candidate", said the tech recruiter of a startup I was chatting with last night. "He had another offer. He was keen on the other company and so I had to move fast. I spoke…

Introducing The Path Forward

How do you turn an idea into a valuable business in 12 months? That's the question at the heart of a new framework that we launched today; The Path Forward. The Path Forward describes the journey of ecommerce and marketplace startups from raw idea to valuable business in the space…

Online marketplaces: What kind of liquidity do you need to grow?

Not all marketplaces are created equal. They all need liquidity to thrive, but liquids come in different flavours. Chicken and Egg One of the challenges in growing any marketplace is getting up and running in the first place. Investors often refer to a marketplace achieving "liquidity". Liquidity is…

Making Time

Consider these two statements... I'll make time to do it I'll find time to do it If you asked someone to do something, which response do you think is more convincing? I'll make time, right? When someone says they'll make time to do something, you know they will. It means…

Marketplaces: Standardisation of the Presentation of Supply

In any system you get out what you put in. Online marketplaces are systems that bring together buyers and sellers. The sellers are varied and have different products. Bringing all of this product together on one platform is how a marketplace provides choice for consumers. One often overlooked yet important…

How Not To Introduce Yourself to a VC

I received an email the other week from an entrepreneur introducing his startup idea to me. It was a perfectly reasonable idea although I didn't take a meeting because it wasn't a fit with our investment strategy. (We specifically focus on early stage UK ecommerce businesses and this wasn't a…

Why My Opinion On Your Start-up Idea Doesn't Matter

As an investor, I am often asked for my opinion on a startup idea. The truth is, my opinion actually doesn't matter. My opinion is not going to be the reason why a startup succeeds or fails. My opinion is just that, an opinion. In the grand scheme of things,…

The basics: Data Protection - What UK startups need to know

Online businesses often handle a significant amount of personal data. There is a significant amount of legislation around handling personal data and as a Director of your business you are responsible for handling this data correctly. This article is not legal advice. Here I simply highlight some key issues that…

The Summit

150 years ago, British Mountaineer Edward Whymper led a party of 6 climbers to the summit of the Matterhorn in Switzerland. At 4,478m, the Matterhorn is not the highest mountain in the Alps, or indeed in Switzerland, but it's distinctive shape (found on Toblerone chocolate bars and Caran d'Ache…