Saturday, 4 July 2009

Innovators


I seem to be working or meeting with lots of innovators these days. A few days ago saw me at Hawke & Hunter again having lunch with a couple of guys who have succeeded in gaining funding (almost done deal whilst going to press) for a Scottish Social Network; their premis is to hook up like minded individuals that have Scottish roots "KILTR".

Yesterday I was at ECM (Edinburgh Coffee Morning #edcm) the home of media savvy, social networking geeks with interests from film production to Humanist 'Celebrants'. It was great to see a few new faces - Tori Long from Head Resourcing, Dave Cummings from Limbo (film and music producer with great digital marketing strategy knowledge) and some old faces - Jon Mountjoy from Sales Force, Marc Tanenbaum a flash games developer, Darcie from Channel 4...

I then went on to meet Tim Barlow from Attacat for lunch down in Canonmills at the Circle Cafe which had really great food (we both had the specials, my salmon was wrapped in pastry with a light pesto sauce)... wow. Tim is starting a new project and is looking both for funding (of which he's got a great starting point for) and a development team. I can't give too much away but suffice to say it's an amazing idea that is absolutely possible. His challenge though is finding a 4 or 5 man team that can develop or take to market this formula whilst also providing him with an outline cost for developing the product. There are quite a few unknown quantities involved because it is something that has to integrate across multiple browsers and platforms (he's looking for people with knowledge of the Google toolbox) whilst intelligently deciphering live written content replacing elements in all forms of online written content. Where does he start?

When we were looking for a development partner for AdPay they fell into our lap - I now realise how lucky we were. However now there is 38 Minutes; here is a website that is supported by Channel 4ip and Scottish Enterprise that holds Scotland and Northern Ireland's online community of creative, social media, techy geek sorts. Post a request here and software developers will come flooding in.

Finally last night we were out for a bite (my wife and I) to eat with our dear friends Neil and Leena who are on the cusp of getting married. We went to Channings Hotel in the new town. It has been a long time since I was there and my goodness it's changed; the Town House Group are never ones to rest on their laurels but they have certainly grabbed the bull by the horns and have developed a little gold mine - the outside terrace (beer garden) is a dream spot. The real innovation here though is not the building but the staff. At one time or another we have either worked in the service industry or know someone that has. These guys were attentive, friendly, and always there when you wanted them; and when I say friendly I mean it felt comfortable not pushy just really helpful (lets hear the applause). As you may gather I get out and about a lot, it's not often I am so effusive about good service. Great work Channings!