September 2009

Well, well, well, what have we here! Spotify has been making some ground in the Internet music streaming market for a little while now. A thoroughly well thought out business plan and an excellent product to boot. Premium subscription fee of £10 per month is not exactly cheap, but if you think that the cost of an album is around £15, you should be saving in the long run. Make sure you have a flat rate data tariff or you could get stung.

As a non-registered Spotify PC user, registration was a breeze, a little too easy maybe? Once I’d downloaded the application from the Android market I was done. If you have Spotify running on your computer and you also press play on your phone, the track will be instantly paused on your computer. This is to stop you using the same account in more than one location at the same time and to you Mr Spotty Man I say, furry muff! The only downside so far is that if you drop from the 3G network to 2G, Spotify really doesn’t like it and stops until you are back on 3G again.

If you have an Android phone, I say do it, do it now! And if you have an iPhone, I say get back to your marketing. No really someone needs your thought leadership somewhere…


My perfect morning would be waking naturally to the warmth of the sun, steaming through the window into a corner of the room. A tiger like raw with a simultaneous stretch of the arms and legs under the crisp white sheets, the smell of freshly made coffee rising from the kitchen.

Turning sideways to my feet, toes spread individually apart on the wooden floor. I rise slowly to the bathroom adjacent to the bedroom. The sun follows me wherever I go. Splashing icy water, I catch my reflection, a smile smugly crosses my face as I realise the day is my own.

I shower with my mind wondering from this, to that, with no real place to be. No purpose, no meaning, just bright images and sounds rattling around my brain. Towelled dry, in the fluffiest and whitest of clouds, I reach for a fresh pair of jeans, ever so slightly tighter than normal, but I notice. A white t-shirt slips over my head as I inhale a breath of lightly flowered fabric softener. No thought for a jumper today, today is perfect…

“Do Unto Others as You Would Have Others Do Unto You” – Jesus H Christ. I am in no way religious, but that’s a kick ass quote.

If there was one word that I had to choose to describe the way I live my life, it would be “integrity”. To me this means living with honesty, morality, accountability and respect to others.

Sometimes this means standing up for yourself or others if you believe respect or honesty is not being given in return. Other times this means saying no to opportunities if you have compromise your integrity.

We all have different values and different tolerance levels, but I hope that along the way I meet more people with integrity than without.

A great business tool if used correctly. Keep it professional and up-to-date. Get involved in groups you are interested in. It’s a good place for job opportunities and keeping an eye on where your piers are at.

I see Twitter as the voice of the market. I think that it will get two busy following unlimited amounts of user chatter, but if you are interesting in a specific topic or subject matter then this could really be the place for you.

Facebook is a fun social activity. I’ve read many a blog about how to make the most out of Facebook for business, but I feel it gives you little gain. Have fun, make silly comments and generally be your-self. Be careful that others don’t tag you in a picture with your testicals out…it could come back and haunt you one day.

All too often I have found myself unwillingly involved in projects that have a fixed delivery date, even before any estimates have been produced by the team that is delivering the work. For those who aren’t familiar with software engineering, it’s kind of like an estate agent saying when a house will be ready for sale without ever asking the builder when it will be built.

OK, OK, we’ve all been there, “the customer has a fixed date for their marketing”, a “seasonal event must be taken advantage of”, or we must be “live before everyone is off on holiday”. Well that’s OK then……erm, hell no! It’s unfair to project the poor planning of others onto the team who is to deliver the work. You want to keep the customer happy and hopefully make some money in the process, but in the long run I think running a project in this way is detrimental to your customers, company and staff.

If you run projects in this way you will set customer expectations and working practices, which can never be undone. No matter how explicit you are to your customer. You’ve done it once, so you can do it again and again. You may have met the deadline one or even twice, but one day, you’ll mess up and the customer will be pissed. They will always want quality to be high, it’s just customers don’t always know it.

Your company will start to loose money as you will have to start paying overtime to keep people compensated, but not motivated. You can kiss good bye to getting any quality of work out of them. By the end of it all you’ll start to loose staff. Often your best staff as they will be they key players in the team who are continually called upon to go the extra mile.

So please, please, please, stop doing it!!!

For further reading: Managing projects with unrealistic deadlines -

After “lengthy” consideration on which phone to finally upgrade, I decided on the HTC Magic. The HTC G1 wasn’t really for me. Design does matter and the G1 felt unrefined and poorly made. I’d also worked with T-Mobile indirectly and was less than impressed with their professionalism. The iPhone has a proven track record and in my opinion you can never complain about Apple design. However, you can complain about the cost. Apple has expensive contracts and the devices are often costly. The HTC Magic was new to the market and glowing reviews.

I have had my Magic for two or three months now and have been more than happy with it. It does everything I need. I’d like a 3mm jack and longer battery life and maybe an external camera button, but hey love what you’ve got not what you’re missing. Maybe I’m in love with HTC, maybe Android, but more likely is that it’s seamlessness with everything Google. I can’t see too much difference with the HTC Hero, slightly different design and firmware, but overall I’d stick with Vodafone and the Magic over T-Mobile and the Hero.