On a Personal Note

It’s a while since I’ve been blogging regularly, but as I’m now leaving Google, 5 years to the month that I started at AdMob, I want to get back to some more writing. Not necessarily just here, but guest posts on other sites and maybe even in print, if that isn’t sooo last century.

I haven’t confirmed any long term plans yet, but there are a few things coming up that I’d like to share, if anyone is still reading out there in MobHappy Land.

Here’s how I’ll be spending some of my time:

Angel Investing

I’m keen to do a little more of this – I’ve made one investment so far, but they haven’t announced it yet, so I don’t want to scoop them before they’re ready.

But if you or your pals are looking at an Angel round, feel free to get in contact as russell AT mobhappy DOT com. I’m really only interested in mobile and companies based in Europe. And, being a marketing dude, companies that I understand 🙂 By that, I mean I’m unlikely to invest in some kind of clever middleware or something that does amazing stuff on a purely technical level.

As with most Angels, it’s inevitable that I’ll turn down more than I accept. But I promise always to give quality feedback and tell you why I’m not interested. My aim here is to help entrepreneurs think through their propositions and benefit from my startup experience – the failures as much as the successes.


I’m still lucky enough to be invited to give speeches around the world. A few coming up that you might be interested in:

Post Transcendent Man on 9th April. It’s a Saturday, so you haven’t got a work excuse not to attend!

Those of you who know me will also know that The Singularity and what happens in Humanity 2.0 has long been a passion. The discussion promises to be a great one, with fascinating and opinionated fellow panelists.

April 12th sees me return to my Promotional Marketing (or Sales Promotion as we quaintly called it – what did we know?) roots for Mobile 4.0. I’m giving a talk on “Tomorrow’s World” and what it might mean for marketing.

On April 14th, I’ll be running a panel of very distinguished senior people at the Rutberg Summit at Claridge’s in London on the subject of “Mobile + Retail”. Rutberg is an invitation only audience and one of the most prestigious in the conference calendar, so very flattered to be asked.

Last, but not least, that week I’ll be doing Key Developments in Mobile Advertising, which has a great bunch of old friends talking mobsessively. Also on April 14th, it should be great.

It’s busy being unemployed, I’m telling you.

Other Stuff

Some other random, but important and interesting (to me) stuff.

I’m doing a fair amount of Non-Exec and Advisory roles. But I don’t think someone can take on too many of these without just becoming a dude who doesn’t add a lot of value, which defeats the purpose.

I’m planning on doing a lot more mentoring via both the excellent Springboard acceleration programme at Cambridge University and the School of Communication Arts 2.0. Both are definitely worth checking out.

Springboard is about accelerating the success of startups, following a successful recipe from the US, such as Y Combinator and others.

The School is for young people who either want a career in advertising/marketing or who want to be entrepreneurs and need help to refine their ideas and propositions. Both sets of students are doing really well, with the ad people winning awards against real agencies and the Intrepreneurs coming up with great ideas with a lot of potential.

The mentoring is something I’m planning to get more involved with when I return to the UK to live in the Summer, after 8 years in Germany.

Finally, the UK Department of Trade and Investment launched Catalyst UK in March, recognising that the UK needs to promote business and entrepreneurship. I’ve been invited to be one of the “influential business figures, established in international markets, who are supporters of the UK as a place to do business.”

So, trying to draw this together in one cogent theme, I’m planning to spend the next 10 years helping the UK to become a world class part of the tech scene and one which regularly produces mega-successes like the next Twitter, the next Facebook or the next Amazon. There’s plenty of reasons why The Valley has the advantage over us – early stage funding and a huge natural early adopter market, are my personal bugbears. But if we think big and harness the creativity and talent available, I believe it’s a realisable dream.

On the other hand, as Mike Tyson said “Everybody’s got plans…..until they get hit”. But that’s my thinking for now.

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