19 September 2012 - 6:30pm | posted by | 0 comments

BIMA Digital Hall of Fame - second list of inaugural inductees announced including Pete Cashmore, Rory Sutherland and Alan Rusbridger

The second list of inductees into the inaugural BIMA Digital Hall of Fame have been announced this evening at ad:tech, including founder of Mashable Pete Cashmore, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger and Ogilvy’s Rory Sutherland.

The initial 10 were inducted earlier today, and can be found here.

Creative Review: 

Alan Rusbridger

Alan Rusbridger

It was a visit to America in 1993 that alerted the then supplement editor of the Guardian to the threat of ‘the internet’. Alan Rusbridger, now editor-in-chief of the Guardian, witnessed the looming problems that few newspaper executives were aware of.

Born in Northern Rhodesia [now Zambia], in 1953, he was educated in Surrey and read English at Cambridge, before joining the Cambridge Evening News as a reporter. In 1979 he joined the Guardian and after a sojourn at The Observer as its TV critic and then the London Daily News as its Washington editor, he returned to the UK. When he became editor of the Guardian in 1995, he oversaw the launch of the Guardian Unlimited website, but his influence was shown early on.

“I heard about this thing called the web in 1993,” he says. “I went to America in late 1993/1994 with Tony Ageh [then head of product development, but now the BBC’s Controller of Archive Development, and also led the team who developed the iPlayer].

There was a little playpen in the Guardian, like a research unit. Having invented The Guide, they then discovered digital as well. So with Tony, I went to New York, Chicago and Colorado. New York wasn’t very interesting. The Chicago Tribune was doing AOL, and posted readers CDs. They had a mock up of what classified advertising would look like online, and they had three photos of people’s houses would look like. It took five minutes to download a little picture. I thought, ‘this is amazing’.”

But it was in the unassuming Boulder, Colorado that Rusbridger found his target.

“We flew to Boulder, where Knight Ridder had a lab [Knight Ridder was a significant publishing house in West America]. They had a tablet and they said ‘this is what the newspaper of the future is going to be like’. I came back here, and said to Peter Preston [the then editor], ‘there’s this thing called the Internet and it’s going to change newspapers forever’. So from about 1994 to 1995, I had this missionary zeal that there was this thing that was either going to destroy us or transform us.”

Following the launch of Guardian Unlimited, as was, the newspaper has ramped up its online offering and has publicly declared that digital is at the heart of its move forward.

“For the first time in history, anyone can be a publisher,” says Rusbridger. “Or anyone can create. I think we haven’t even begun to realise what that means. We haven’t begun to work what that means in terms of democracy or business. Media is a small part of it, in a way.”

Rusbridger is at heart a digital evangelist. Owner of six MACs and a PC, and an advocate of social media, he empowered his staff to embrace Facebook and Twitter. “I actually made it more or less compulsory for people to use it at work,” he says. “I gave the heads of departments little tasks every week; to upload photos, then videos. And the same with Twitter. Of course now, it’s not remarkable. You have to stay a bit ahead of the curve.”

Andy Hobsbawm

Andy Hobsbawm

Andy Hobsbawm, co-founder of Green Thing and EVRYTHNG, has founding the first international internet agency amongst his list of accreditations.

Discussing how he thought the internet has changed since the launch of Internet Publishing in 1994, Hobsbawm says: “New technology suddenly opens up previously unimagined new horizons, but human wants, luxuries, tastes and necessities don’t change. How these needs are supplied, in what quantities, where and how rapidly, does.

“You could argue that all digital innovations, whether wireless broadband access, peer-to-peer networks, smartphones or the real-time, social web, illustrate how technology is finally catching up with the way people naturally behave.

“The internet has always been about connecting people and helping them find information, utility, entertainment and community. There’s only ever been one magic ingredient for truly compelling net interactions: people.”

Hobsbawm is co-founder and CMO of EVRYTHNG, an internet software company which he describes as “a Facebook for things”.

He believes the web of things, the focus of this tech venture, is the future of digital: “I believe a new kind of digitally connected real world is taking shape. One where our everyday experiences are becoming super-charged with digital content and services which make more of the physical things we interact with.

“EVRYTHNG believes the world’s physical things should have their own addressable digital identity and persistent presence on the web. By giving an object a unique social identity online, it can communicate with other people, objects and machines, and deliver personalised digital services and an ongoing one-to-one relationship with its users and makers.”

He also co-founded not-for-profit public service Green Thing with Naresh Ramchandani in 2007 as the pair felt nobody had come up with an inspiring, creative brand for the issue of environmental behaviour change.

He told The Drum: “The internet symbolises a potential global connectedness the like of which we’ve never seen, at a time when a challenge like climate change represents a global crisis, the like of which we’ve never faced.

“Global solutions for global problems will not be found without the unification of the planet the internet makes possible.

And whatever else we might think about it, a network linking together human brains which aims for a higher level of global understanding and consciousness is a more unambiguously positive version of progress than, say, hacking genetic code to re-engineer the human body.”

Dr Michael Lynch

Dr Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch OBE is a force to be reckoned with. As founder and former CEO of FTSE 100 company Autonomy, which was bought by Hewlett Packard for £7bn in 2011, Lynch brought his innovative approach to the UK tech market, becoming the country’s first software billionaire.

Despite leaving Autonomy in May 2012 after reported continued issues with HP management, Lynch is clearly not finished his realm in the tech world, telling The Drum: “Science and technology has been my home ground for a long time so I’ll stick around for a bit.”

Science is certainly ingrained in Lynch’s background and forms the foundations of his entrepreneurial career. Prior to completing a PhD in signal processing and communications research at Cambridge, his study of mathematics as part of a natural sciences degree preceded his key insight in launching Autonomy – that the theorem of 18th century mathematician Thomas Bayes could be implemented to search and understand the problem of unstructured data.

It’s this spirit of innovation which has led to Lynch’s success in leading a global business. Following the news of Lynch’s departure from Autonomy, the Guardian’s Wendy Grossman wrote that ‘HP’s loss is Britain’s gain’.

Since he founded Autonomy in 1996, it has grown from a tiny start-up to one of the UK’s largest tech firms. He was also named Entrepreneur of the Year by Management Today in 2009 – so what advice would Lynch give budding digital entrepreneurs? Speaking to The Drum, he recommends returning to basic principles and focusing on the task in hand.

“There is a lot of very good advice out there, but it is difficult to follow it all. Instead, go back to first principles. Don’t ask yourself, ‘how is this meant to be done?’ but ‘how could this be done’? You need to keep up with a rapidly-moving technology scene that thrives on new ways of doing things. Always have a clear advantage in what you do, always take a gun to a knife fight and always focus. ‘What are the five things I need to make happen today?’

Do that, and don’t worry about the rest.”

As inventor of augmented reality platform Aurasma, Lynch sees AR and other emerging technologies having a deep impact on marketing.

“Emerging technologies and shifting customer trends have brought about huge change in the marketing world,” says Lynch. In terms of other key marketing trends, Lynch states that the impact of personalisation of content and micro-targeting is “going to be very profound”.

So what’s next on the horizon for Lynch? He says: “It is an incredibly exciting time to be in the technology sector, with the leaps and bounds we have made in processing power, mobility and super-computers, and the huge impact all this has on our lives.”

“When I started this job, I knew nothing about business, no one would give me any money or even talk to me. That has changed now – should be fun.”

Helen Milner

Helen Milner

Helen Milner is chief executive of Online Centres Foundation, the social enterprise that supports communities across the country to tackle social and digital exclusion.

For more than 20 years she has worked in the e-learning industry and is vocal in her vision to employ digital skills to build capacity in local communities, and the benefits that ‘digital by default’ service delivery can provide.

Asked what she would change about the internet, Milner says the only thing would be “that more people could access it and take advantage of all the benefits that it provides,” before adding, “oh, and probably less ads!”

The lack of universal access is something Milner is passionate about addressing, pointing out that only 32 per cent of people worldwide are currently online. She looks to Norway, where 97 per cent of the population are internet users and argues that the UK should aim to emulate this in the next five years. “New, affordable tablets and freely available WiFi will go some way achieving this,” she says, “but whatever the technology, people will still need inspiring, and they’ll need a helping hand to gain the confidence they need – either to go online for the first time or to learn how to do more than a few simple things.”

But as access to the internet continues to grow, has Milner witnessed a sea change in the way people approach its use?

“Yes and no,” she says. “In many ways it’s got easier to use, which comes from it being designed for mass use. It’s driven by less clutter, less clicks and it’s easier to get around and find what you want. But, it’s still really hard for some. Lots of people still find clicking a mouse really difficult, and many are still wary of trying new websites.”

Coming to the internet for the first time and not knowing how to use it, it can seem very big, scary and inaccessible, says Milner, “so people need someone patient and trusted to help guide them”.

“They also need to understand the benefits so when it gets hard they can keep on going. Then it’s all about practice, but in an environment where they feel safe – a bit like learning to ride a bike in the park rather than on the road.”

It is the devotion of people like Milner, providing this safe environment and patiently guiding new users through the benefits and possibilities of the internet, that will ultimately close the digital divide.

Nick Hynes

Nick Hynes

Nick Hynes, CEO and chairman of mobile marketing agency Somo, has his background in paid search. Often lauded as the ‘founder of paid search in Europe’, Hynes established Overture Europe which later became Yahoo! Search Marketing, and in his career has launched some of the world’s first loyalty and data marketing schemes, including electronic points systems for Air Miles and Sainsbury’s reward card, as well as loyalty schemes for the NatWest credit card and the Shell smartcard.

Hynes graduated from the University of Bath with a Masters in Business Administration in 1991.

In 2000, Hynes, alongside co-founder Carl Uminski, made his name as founder, CEO and President of Overture Europe, which he grew from a start-up company into a substantial $1bn internet business. Together they built the European division of Overture from the ground up, achieving a $600m turnover in just three years, acquiring Alta Vista and Fast (alltheweb.com) in the process and launching the world’s first mobile search engine for Orange. It subsequently rolled out across UK and 13 Eurpoean countries. Overture was sold to Yahoo! in 2003 for $1.6bn, where it became Yahoo! Search Marketing.

In 2004, Hynes founded The Search Works, which became Europe’s largest paid search agency as well as Google’s biggest European customer. After expanding the businesses from scratch across Europe, Japan and Korea, he sold the group to TradeDoubler AB in 2007 for £56m and joined its board as chairman of the IMW Group, which includes The Search works and The Technology Works.

In 2009, Hynes partnered once again with Carl Uminski to found Somo with a view to helping brands make sense of the emerging opportunities in mobile marketing and technology.

Somo saw an opportunity in the launch of Apple’s iPhone and the changing the mobile landscape, with mobile phones moving from being a handy device, to becoming an individual’s personal computer.

From a company which started in his lounge, Somo got its first client, Interflora, four months later, after a 4-way pitch.

Hynes, along with Uminski, has built up Somo to become a team of 70 with offices on both US coasts and south-east Asia, serving clients such as Audi, EasyJet, Microsoft and Zygna.

Somo was named as the fastest growing mobile company in Europe at the GP Bullhound Media Momentum Awards.

Nicolas Roope

Nicolas Roope

The first time Nicolas Roope used the web was in 1995 at his late friend Andy Cameron’s house to download some dodgy images for the Antirom art project. And, as images chugged slowly down the beige framed Mac monitor screen, a switch flicked within him.

With a background in fine art and sculpture, Roope says the problem for him with conventional art forms “stuck in alienating, exclusive gallery spaces” was their separateness. “Creativity in the service of a small, rarified audience never really excited me,” he explains to The Drum.

With the web, however, he saw how “inclusivity and openness would prevail” in a networked world – something that synced with his own outlook and attitude.

It was love at first sight and from the get-go. Roope saw creativity as a central issue in defining the new digital age, something that would “once again cast it as valuable, heroic even, rather than the peripheral role it seemed to play in other spheres”.

So, in 2001, with the dot-com bubble deflating at full speed and the web still a curious and frightening thing for most, the time was ripe for young, fresh thinking, creative entrepreneurs like Roope to take charge of the digital industry, harness the endless opportunities that the internet offered and open it up to the world.

With the launch of Poke London, Roope had a canvas on which to explore the endless possibilities of digital media, to shun established materials and practices and be more experimental and innovative.

He told The Drum: “I am excited more when ideas, materials and contexts are as fluid as possible, where the rules haven’t been set and everything you do isn’t haunted by the legacies laid down before you.”

The birth of modernism, in which artistic practice played a central role, fascinated Roope at art school, and frustrated him at the same time with the knowledge it wouldn’t happen like that again. The digital revolution, however, is “no less significant than the modernist movement” he says, “and the role of the artist and creative no less important”. 

Being at the centre of this revolution was therefore the most logical place for Roope.

He explains that the reason he likes working with the web is its transparency. “So often what we see is that smartly applied creativity makes a massive, tangible difference to how ideas are transmitted, distributed and received. 

“I love the fact that there’s nothing to hide behind. I love the fact that being boring isn’t an option.”

Poke, which employs 60 people in its London office and a further 25 in New York, says it builds “simple things and complex, living systems” and that “you won’t always be able to tell which is which”. 

Pete Cashmore

Pete Cashmore

In 2005, 19 year-old Pete Cashmore founded blog site Mashable from the comfort of his bedroom in Banchory, Aberdeenshire. The site was created by Cashmore as he wanted to be part of the growing online conversation about technology. Mashable now gives a voice to millions around the world who are using digital innovation to make their lives better. Known as the ‘Brad Pitt of the blogosphere’ Cashmore has said in past interviews he created Mashable for the simple reason that it was “something I could do in bed and still feel like I was achieving something.”

Describing the origins of the name Mashable, back in 2007, Cashmore explained: “These days, virtually everything on the web is remixable … Mashable, in other words.

“In recent years, people have been combining pieces of the web in interesting ways; you might want to plot photos from your Flickr account on Google Maps, for instance. Whenever you combine parts of the web like this, it’s called a ‘mashup’.”

Cashmore now divides his time between his home town and New York and helms a 40-strong team of full-time bloggers and contributors, making Mashable one of the most popular technology blogs around the globe.

His influence stretches beyond the digital community and as of July 2012 Cashmore has amassed more than 2.9 million followers on Twitter. In an interview in 2009, shortly after being named as the most influential Briton on Twitter, Cashmore commented: “Social media is becoming the web, and social media is becoming the media.

It’s been a nice area to be covering these last few years, and we’ve been able to grow as a blog alongside it. There’s very little on the web that hasn’t had this social element built in to it. It’s integrated in to every site you use now.”

An avid supporter of using social and digital media for good, on his 23rd birthday Cashmore utilised his social media sites to raise money to build freshwater wells in Africa. He later launched the Social Good Summit, which is an annual conference dedicated to making a better world through social media.

Cashmore described the internet as a compelling medium and is quoted as saying he doesn’t own a TV or watch movies as he doesn’t want to be “broadcast to.” He adds: “I want to participate. If I can’t engage with it, it’s frustrating and I don’t feel like I have any influence over it, so what’s the point.” According to Cashmore, his favourite part of the internet is the “unlimited possibilities it provides.”

To date, Mashable attracts more than 50 million page views a month and generates most of its revenue from display advertising.

In early 2012, Cashmore was awarded a coveted place on Time magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People’ list.

Robin Klein

Robin Klein

Setting out on an entrepreneurial career with a £2,500 loan from his grandfather, Robin Klein built his experience by creating and selling a series of companies from the 1970s onwards, beginning with Berda Electric in the 70s, Salton in the 80s and Innovations in the 90s. He then changed routes in the late 90s, going on to become one of Britain’s most respected technology investors, co-founding The Accelerator Group with his son Saul in 1998 to invest in early-stage internet services, e-commerce and digital media businesses.

Some of The Accelerator Group’s ten exits include Agent Provocateur, where Klein was chairman for five years, and which was sold to 3i; Sit Up TV (sold to Virgin Media) where he was board member for four years; Lastminute, which went to an IPO in 2000; boutique travel social network Dopplr, bought by Nokia in 2009; Lovefilm, acquired by Amazon in 2011; Last.fm, sold to CBS; Fizzback, acquired by NICE Systems, and Tweetdeck, sold to Twitter for £25m in 2011.

Klein has been central to many success stories in the UK’s digital revolution and as well as The Accelerator Group, which has invested in more than 60 early stage companies, he is also a venture partner at Index Ventures, the Swiss-based venture capital investment firm, a key investor in Seedcamp, the European micro Seed Fund for internet technology companies, and has built a portfolio which includes blue-chip brands such as Lovefilm, Wonga, Zoopla and Moshi Monsters.

Between each of these ventures Klein backs companies at all stages, whether seed, venture or growth, focusing heavily on technology and investing anything from half a million pounds upwards.

Klein earmarks cloud computing, mobile and e-commerce as key markets, with e-commerce in particular close to his heart having founded Innovations, a household and technology gadgets company, which conducted the UK’s first secure internet transaction supported by NatWest Bank and ICL. It is something he sees as continuing to grow significantly, as consumers get ever more comfortable about buying online.

He has an uncanny ability to stay ahead of the curve, particularly in the technology sector where he makes the majority of his investments, and is passionate about building the European technology start-up ecosystem which he describes as ‘dynamic’, with plenty of talent, truly global markets, and an abundance of great companies.

Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland

Born in Monmouthshire in 1965, Rory Sutherland spent a probationary year teaching Classics before applying to marketing and advertising agencies and joining Ogilvy & Mather Direct in 1988.

He was involved with the agency’s relaunch and restructure as OgilvyOne after his promotion to creative director in 1997, went on to become executive creative director in 2002 and, more recently, vice-chairman of the Ogilvy Group in the UK.

Sutherland’s meteoric rise is attributed, in part, to his understanding of the possibilities of digital technology, one of his passions. Once famously described as the worst graduate trainee Ogilvy & Mather had ever hired (he was fired from the planning department before joining the creative department as a junior copywriter), he understands the importance of finding your ‘secret weapon’ when trying to carve an advertising career. Speaking to The Drum and quoting Ogilvy’s love affair with direct mail, Sutherland says: “David Ogilvy described direct mail as his ‘....first love and secret weapon’. I suppose my own passion now would be experience design, because it sits at that sweet spot where technology and psychology overlap.”

His advice to graduates trying to make a name for themselves in the industry, then, is to “try to become good at two overlapping things, rather than specialising in one. All real progress nowadays comes not from within specialisms, but from the collision of two different specialisms.”

When asked how brands can better interpret digital consumers, Sutherland argues that context is often overlooked in marketing messages, and that consumers shouldn’t be separated into digital or analogue silos.

“It isn’t about consumers being digital or analogue. Most consumers will form their impression of brands from a whole mixture of digital and analogue media – and of course real world experiences. What we need to understand much better is the idea of context – the idea that messages should have a target moment, not just a target audience.”

Another question in today’s measured advertising world is the question of accountability versus creativity – how can the two coexist? Sutherland believes it’s impossible to calculate the value of a brand by placing hard value on all of its individual contributions.

“I am a huge devotee of measurement and experimentation, which are often the handmaidens of creativity. But accountability is the wrong word to use. It demands a degree of certainty and predictability which is a dangerous aspiration for any system that involves something as complex as mass human behaviour.

“If you seriously believe it is possible to calculate the value of a brand by isolating all its contributions to the value of a business and then placing a hard value on all of them, then you are either the most brilliant mathematician in the world or a bit of an idiot.”

Dr Michael Lynch

Dr Michael Lynch

Michael Lynch OBE is a force to be reckoned with. As founder and former CEO of FTSE 100 company Autonomy, which was bought by Hewlett Packard for £7bn in 2011, Lynch brought his innovative approach to the UK tech market, becoming the country’s first software billionaire.

Despite leaving Autonomy in May 2012 after reported continued issues with HP management, Lynch is clearly not finished his realm in the tech world, telling The Drum: “Science and technology has been my home ground for a long time so I’ll stick around for a bit.”

Science is certainly ingrained in Lynch’s background and forms the foundations of his entrepreneurial career. Prior to completing a PhD in signal processing and communications research at Cambridge, his study of mathematics as part of a natural sciences degree preceded his key insight in launching Autonomy – that the theorem of 18th century mathematician Thomas Bayes could be implemented to search and understand the problem of unstructured data.

It’s this spirit of innovation which has led to Lynch’s success in leading a global business. Following the news of Lynch’s departure from Autonomy, the Guardian’s Wendy Grossman wrote that ‘HP’s loss is Britain’s gain’.

Since he founded Autonomy in 1996, it has grown from a tiny start-up to one of the UK’s largest tech firms. He was also named Entrepreneur of the Year by Management Today in 2009 – so what advice would Lynch give budding digital entrepreneurs? Speaking to The Drum, he recommends returning to basic principles and focusing on the task in hand.

“There is a lot of very good advice out there, but it is difficult to follow it all. Instead, go back to first principles. Don’t ask yourself, ‘how is this meant to be done?’ but ‘how could this be done’? You need to keep up with a rapidly-moving technology scene that thrives on new ways of doing things. Always have a clear advantage in what you do, always take a gun to a knife fight and always focus. ‘What are the five things I need to make happen today?’ Do that, and don’t worry about the rest.”

As inventor of augmented reality platform Aurasma, Lynch sees AR and other emerging technologies having a deep impact on marketing.

“Emerging technologies and shifting customer trends have brought about huge change in the marketing world,” says Lynch. In terms of other key marketing trends, Lynch states that the impact of personalisation of content and micro-targeting is “going to be very profound”.

So what’s next on the horizon for Lynch? He says: “It is an incredibly exciting time to be in the technology sector, with the leaps and bounds we have made in processing power, mobility and super-computers, and the huge impact all this has on our lives.”

“When I started this job, I knew nothing about business, no one would give me any money or even talk to me. That has changed now – should be fun.”

Tom Roope

Tom Roope

In the early 90s Roope was a member of the visionary Antirom collective formed by a group of Londoners as a protest against “ill-conceived point-and-click 3D interfaces.” Antirom’s initial CD-ROM, a collection of small, playful interactive pieces, was inspired by Gerald Van Der Kaap’s BlindRom, and is now a collector’s item.

Antirom was featured as one of the ten websites that changed the world as part of Internet Week Europe 2011, and it has been argued the collective altered the face of interactive design by exploring interaction as a media in its own right.

From its beginnings as an art collective, Antirom developed into a commercial venture and continued until 1999, when Roope founded Tomato Interactive alongside former Antirom members Anthony Rodgers and Joel Baumann.

In his own words his work focuses on “the next phase of how digital in moving into entertainment and the emotional communication this brings to the world
of film.”

He added in a recent online interview: “I’ve always worked in an area which is in that undefined space, trying to take on the new possibilities of technologies. For example, looking at how once social networks get involved what does that mean for interaction, what does that mean for traditional marketing?

“I’m always floating in the Venn diagram of these new kinds of practices. I’ve never been able to say ‘I do this’ or ‘I’m one of those’, but that always happens on the edge of change. Titles exist because things become defined and engraved.”

Roope is now creative director at the Rumpus Room, where he is a founding partner. The Rumpus Room specialises in hybrid communication, working with agencies, broadcasters, charities and clients to design and develop technology to create social entertainment across mobile, web and real world experiences, focusing on building a transactional experience that has value to both the consumer and the client.

The Rumpus Room has worked on various high profile projects such as music videos for Lily Allen and the Pet Shop Boys, digital work for Bon Jovi’s 2010 Circle World Tour, and adverts for the likes of Coca-Cola and Cadbury.

The company has a track record for innovative global projects and works directly with sister film company New Zealand’s The Sweet Shop, on integrated online campaigns. The Rumpus Room has been recognised with some of the highest accolades by award bodies including D&AD, Cannes, One Show and Brit Insurance Design of the Year.

In 2008 Roope was awarded ‘Most Outstanding Contribution to Digital Culture’ as part of the first Europe Internet Week.

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