I specialise in writing about the near future, new technologies and the strange ways in which our love of tech has affected social and economic change. That means writing about pretty much everything from renewable energy to AI voice assistants, 3D printing, robotics, self-service shopping experiences, selfies, the future of banking, on-demand entertainment… if it’s digital, I’m writing about it. Luckily, I’m a quick study which helps me get in-depth fast, and I worked for twenty years in cutting edge digital tech, so I’ve got a good grasp of the many subtle ways new technologies can drive unexpected and far reaching change.
My writing background goes back about fifteen years, when I first worked as a copywriter for ad campaigns. I’ve written for newspapers and magazines (The Independent, The Guardian, .Net and Web User) and written a critically acclaimed (but lousy sales) ebook on cognitive bias in business (“ScrewProof: Doing deals that won’t f*ck up”). I’ve also reported live on the social media buzz for election coverage on BBC Radio 4; been the tech pundit on BBC Radio, CNN and Sky News; written and broadcast business and economy features for the Renegade Inc. TV show.
More recently, I’ve been writing features and white papers for corporate clients, and also ghostwriting dozens of articles for high profile execs who are too busy to write for themselves. So I interview them, write the piece (like I used to in the newspaper days)… and they get the byline.
Before I was a full time writer I was called a lot of things – like ‘serial entrepreneur’ ‘digital disruptor’ and ‘start-up geek’ – all terms I disliked, but the tech scene loves jargon and you just have to roll with it.
I earned those cliché spam titles by co-founding four successful digital companies: Creative agency & mobile app developer Thin Martian; social media monitoring news app company Tweetminster; election news monitoring company Electionista and Optanon (data privacy software). Perhaps most notable was a company I backed as an investor & was their first CEO, a big data analysis company Semetric (now part of Apple).
Tweetminster was the first UK company to track politicians on Twitter, which meant I got to interview lots of politicians, including the UK Prime Minister. In fact I was the first person to hold a live interview with a Prime Minster, asking questions coming in live from the Twitter audience.
In 2012 I was fortunate enough to sell out of my various business interests and swapped the warehouse in Shoreditch for a cottage in the countryside. I traded in the rat race for playing Lego with the kids, and decided to only work on projects that inspired me. I spent too many nights stressed-out and chain smoking into the small hours in my geek-disruptor-entrepreneur days, so now I’m trying to live and work differently.
I’m also working on two novel manuscripts. My fiction is mostly science fiction, and curiously, my non-fiction is much the same. That’s the world we live in now, where the fantastic ideas of my childhood are becoming reality. Imagine explaining the Facebook mobile app to your grandparents in the 1970s, it would have sounded like pure fantasy. That’s hugely exciting when you wonder what’s coming next and the with the pace of change accelerating, you won’t need to wait until you’re a grandparent to find out.
The latest future is arriving next week, and the week after, and…