Bima Digital Hall of Fame Tweetdeck

Digital Hall of Fame shortlist reflects talent of UK digital industry


By The Drum Team | Editorial

June 22, 2012 | 4 min read

Phil Haslehurst, marketing manager at Propel London, highlights some of the key traits shared by the Digital Hall of Fame nominees announced in the shortlist last issue.

In the last issue the shortlist for the inaugural BIMA Digital Hall of Fame was announced. It’s a diverse group of individuals who have significantly contributed to the British and global digital economy.Such a strong and varied array of British talent is testament to the worldleading position that the UK occupies when it comes to digital. We can rightly take pride in our collective achievements as a sector. Whilst digital is an industry of technology, profoundly influenced by computing it’s important to remember that human talent remains the single most important contributor to success. It’s humans who bring vision, determination, and creativity to the party.It’s humans who join the dots between technological innovations and real experiences. Despite their different backgrounds and career paths there are some key traits that many of the Digital Hall of Fame nominees share.Firstly, they break new ground. Many of the Hall of Fame nominees have founded new kinds of business, pioneered new products, or even created whole technologies. In the words of Nick Hynes, CEO of Somo: “You never set out to be a pioneer, but if you do end up crossing the prairie first you have the unique pleasure of huge strategic choices.”Iain Dodsworth founded Tweetdeck, a new interface for interacting with Twitter. “Rather than breaking new ground as a pursuit in its own right I prefer to think of it as a welcome side effect to fixing real problems” says Iain.“In the early days of Tweetdeck I focused purely on our product and users and didn’t waste attention on the competition – it’s crucial to lead from the front.”Identifying potential niches is a highvalue skill whether you’re an entrepreneur or not. An open and proactive mindset attracts exciting opportunities. As Iain puts it, “you need to be comfortable rolling the dice from time-to-time”, which leads to our second point – the importance of taking risks.Taking risks can lead to great rewards – just ask Phil Jones, founder of The Podge Lunches. In 1995 he was instrumental in moving his company Real Time Studio into the digital space: “Moving away from something existing services that were innovative, proven, and in-demand to focus on digital was risky by anybody’s standards as it certainly had a detrimental effect on profitability at the time. There was a perception that it was difficult to make money in digital, but Real Time went on to benefit from being an early pioneer in the space.”Success isn’t won overnight. It’s inevitable that there will be challenges along the way, and they’ll often seem all-consuming. Sometimes inspiration and creativity aren’t enough – dogged determination is crucial to achieving your goals, and that’s our final trait: sticking at it. Propel London’s CEO Melina Jacovou has experienced her fair share of challenges as she established and directed the digital recruitment company. “Propel has now been through two recessions. Determination and belief in what we were doing helped us to get through those tough times.”According to Melina, sticking at it doesn’t mean demonstrating blind faith – applying some science to what you’re doing is crucial.“You need to have strong plans, robust guiding principles, and a clear understanding of what it is you’re trying to achieve. If you combine those factors with a team of people who share the vision, and have the right skills, then it’s so much easier to find your way through the difficult times.”Of course, it’s not enough to possess just one of these attributes. Phil Jones believes that “it is impossible to succeed without having all three traits in abundance, and one other personal criteria which is fun. Building any business brings with it stresses and strains but if you can make the journey an enjoyable one it’s easier to keep the team together and enjoy their support in the scary times.”
Bima Digital Hall of Fame Tweetdeck

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