For all the buzz that surrounds the tech start-up scene it’s easy to forget that founding and growing a successful social tech business from scratch is incredibly challenging and labour-intensive. Simultaneously developing a sustainable business, building key partnerships and pitching to funders and investors is no mean feat. Add to that the challenge of creating a product or service that effectively addresses a pressing social challenge and it is easy to feel overwhelmed.
I have a confession to make. And it is not just a one-off moral lapse, but a sustained pattern of behaviour, all the more shameful given my professional occupation. Here it goes... I hate surveys, and will do anything I can to avoid completing them. Pop-up surveys online are greeted by a dismissive flurry of mouse clicking and muttering (sometimes swearing) as I curse their intrusion into my browsing. The merest sight of a clipboard on the high street is enough to set me off on an evasive run that should catch the eye of the England Rugby selectors. more >
One of the key challenges of using a theory of change is remembering to look at it again after you’ve made it. So often, they’re created then left by the wayside as the project develops. At best they get brought up in evaluation conversations, but rarely do they find their way into operational planning or daily reflection. This is a shame as they form the foundation for testing the efficacy of a project or venture in achieving its social goals. more >
In 2010, IT consultants Gartner, predicted that the amount of data held by enterprises would increase 800% over the next five years. They also predicted that 80% of this data would be unstructured i.e. it would be made up of emails, reports, webpages, blogs, comments, videos and audio clips, etc. And this is just the data that organisations hold directly. more >
In a world where it’s hard enough for social tech entrepreneurs to find the funding to keep their idea going, spending time on measurement can seem like a bit of a luxury.
But in the fast paced start-up world where entrepreneurs are constantly reacting to new opportunities and iterating their model on a day-to-day basis, knowing how effectively they’re progressing is vital. Otherwise they risk drifting and throwing precious time, energy and money at areas that don’t support their overall growth. more >
Monday 23rd June may have been a night for great ‘acrobatics’ for Nominet at ICANN on one side of London, meanwhile on the other side of town I was having my mind bent out of shape by the brilliance of the young people up for the Apps for Good Awards 2014. more >