Guy Kawasaki - innovation for start ups

Guy Kawasaki was in town (Edinburgh) for a few days this week – Guy is a bit of a legend in the land of the geek – particularly of those in the Apple fan base.

Guy was in town to be the keynote speaker at the University of Edinburgh’s Informatics Investor Showcase event. Being the avid networker that I am and with connections to the University, Digital Face was invited to showcase a technology.

With limited availability (i.e. invite only) the event was only attended by known investors and associated companies looking for investment, nurturing and mentorship – so what did we do?

I was involved in a start-up company 18 months ago that I am still completely convinced has mileage – all action was suspended because I need to earn a living (couldn’t devote enough time to something that did not have enough investment) and the technical whizz whose idea it was lost interest (I should also point out that he left the country with little or no intention of ever coming back – although he had to... visa expired).

I would value your feedback on this little idea – we called it

It is an ‘api’ that can sit on any website or mobile phone application.

Essentially if you wish to purchase something of a small amount (up to £1) rather than enter your address and credit card details you can choose to pay nothing. The catch is you have to watch a video advert for 20-30 seconds. What would you rather do?

Ok so questions:

Q. Who pays for the goods?
A. The advertiser

Q. Surely you can do other stuff rather than just watch the ad, like close the window...?
A. The video goes full screen and random targets appear that you have to hover your mouse over in order for the video to keep playing – the video freezes and restarts if you don’t...

Q. Why would the advertiser want to pay for the goods – they’ll get cheaper advertising elsewhere?
A. There is an AdPay registration website that you enter a Username, password, age, sex and postcode – the advertiser gets this info when you agree to watch an ad instead of pay.

Q. Who is going to have AdPay on their website or mobile phone application?
A. That’s why we were at the University of Edinburgh (#eie09) Informatics showcase event with Guy Kawasaki!

Where are we in the development of this technology?

There is a prototype and a development specification document. We have made connections with Media Agencies – advertisers on the whole (Tesco oddly were not convinced) love the idea especially those in the business of collecting consumer data. We have our development agency (Company Net with further support from KMI) who are on standby to get cracking on tweaking the technology for the first web or phone application.

I guess you’re all dying to know how the technology was perceived at the event... well it received lots of great advice about where it could be used... there’s possibly more, we’ll have to wait and see.


  1. Glad you enjoyed the event. Photos and video of the day are online at:



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