Thursday, 15 September 2011

Rob Enters The Dragon....

Slightly risque headline which could be taken in many ways. A friend of mine in the shape of Rob Berrisford is going to pitch his business Crowdity.com on the UK version of Dragon's Den on Monday 26th September on BBC2.
I have deliberately not asked him whether he received investment or not because I'm genuinely interested to see how the Dragons view online group buying. I have my own views (which Rob may not agree with - we haven't really discussed it), but there is also an added ingredient for me which is Theo Paphitis. Theo gave me my first break in the world of online when I was 17 and working for my beloved football club Millwall. In conjunction with another guy called Michael Kesta, he and I also built the first incarnations of Ryman.co.uk and LaSenza.co.uk. I left Theo's employment in 2000 to join Kitbag.com. Ever since I have been bouncing around the European internet industry in one form or another ever since. I have always respected Theo's philosophies and views on business, after all you don't get to where he is by not being very shrewd. I also really love Rob's energy and approach to business, so I'm very intrigued on how these two people I know quite well, meet for the first time on national TV. It will be surreal, but an episode I'm very much looking forward to :-)

UPDATE: Unfortunately they didn't secure the investment they were looking for and as of October 2011, Rob and the other partners sold the business to Wowcher and have since moved onto new ventures. Best of luck with it Rob!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Goodbye Just-Eat....

Firstly, welcome to my new blogging home www.thegalviniser.com. I admit it sounds a bit like one of those annoying nicknames somebody gives to themselves to try and make them look hip and happening. It's actually a nickname I have had since my early school days and had always detested it, but in a world where unique domain names and Twitter handles are becoming increasingly scarce, I have embraced it fully for the purposes of individuality. You've been 'Galvinised'! There, it's done. It's out of the way. I promise I will never utter that sentence again. Except maybe to the wife ;-)
So, why the new home? Well the primary reason is that my old blog was on a work-related domain name and I never really thought through about what would happen if I say, stopped working there. Well that bridge got crossed recently and now hence the more generic domain name and new home.
I know many former colleagues and friends are wondering why I left Just-Eat Ireland, having spent almost 3 years building the business up to the 4th biggest country in the group, which is no mean feat for a country like Ireland with no postcodes and in the midst of its worst financial state in over 20 years. Well the truth is, it boils down to one word - vision. I always had a vision of what I wanted the business to be and in the manner of how it should be achieved. However, as time went on it became increasingly apparent that my vision was not the same as others, which in the end can make even the simplest things difficult to achieve. When it gets to that, its the business that ultimately suffers and that is one thing I never wanted to happen. So I decided it was best that I left on good terms with the senior management team, proud of everything I had achieved to date. I may have led the crusade but I was certainly not alone, and I have to thank many people for their help and support in helping getting Ireland from where it was to where it is today. Probably too many to list here, but to all who did help in any way, many thanks. Just-Eat.ie is going through a transitional period right now, but I believe fully that the business will become everything I envisioned it to be and much more. I will always be proud to have been part of the success story. Good luck to all of my old muckers at Just-Eat!
So what of me? What's next? Well, due to the nature of my exit deal from Just-Eat I am in no rush to jump head first into the first thing that comes along, but needless to say that before Just-Eat I never knew I was an entrepreneur. I always felt I was, but it's only when you are thrown into the deep end do you KNOW. So needless to say, I will be looking at opportunities that allow me to be the entrepreneur that I have become, and there are one or two interesting ideas floating around - so watch this space!