This week marks the start of my next adventure. I joined Freeformers and started working in digital transformation just under 2 years ago, which had set me up for life far more than I could have realised at the time of starting.
(Skip down if you know my story)
Prior to Freeformers I’d been running my own startups in areas I knew little about at first, and it was either working too slow for too long (the web hosting company) or luck (the mobile app) that got it to where it was. But once the mobile app didn’t instantly go viral, gain 10m users overnight or attract the Silicon Valley investors overnight (no surprise there), I started to look back at the lessons of building businesses I had just experienced, the hard way.
Fortunately at the same I bumped into an old school friend who introduced me to Freeformers. What attracted me to this company was the small team, experience they had and passion from everyone working there. It was so infectious, and realising the skills I could learn, I put the mobile app to one side and joined them full-time. I had a joined a company whose business was to understand, communicate and inspire.
Thinking back to when I was 12 years old and having my parents point at the computer asking me what it meant. This was the equivalent of that, but on a far more interesting scale. Now banks and world leading media companies needed all their team’s understanding code, digital marketing and innovation to enable them to operate like Facebook and Google. These skills that are not just nice to have but essential for any business today, were something that came incredibly natural to me. Like many others around my age and younger, I had grown up just doing this stuff, usually not knowing how desired these skills were. Hence the term “digital native”.
When I was training CEOs of FTSE 100 companies or somebody who’s grandchild could operate an iPad better than they could, Freeformers taught me exactly how to understand them, deliver the right level of detail and to ensure they left the workshop full of confidence in a topic they’d swept under the carpet ever since it arose (digital).
AND NOW IT’S TIME
So it’s time to move away from delivering workshops in the grand historic premises of Somerset House with Freeformers and start that dream of travelling.
For the next 6-12 months I’m taking to the roads and helping businesses use digital better. But not as your traditional digital consultant, someone that many SMEs might not understand and therefore risk the investment. I’ll be bartering my digital skills with whatever can be offered in return.
The aim of the digital bartering is:
1. Not have financial constraints on where I go and how long for.
2. Whilst bartering is the oldest form of trade, it’s rarely done today. Relationships are skewed when the money defines them. So what happens when you take that pressure out of the equation?