I’m Ewan MacLeod and I write SMS Text News.
I’m 30. I’ve made a lot of money and, rather crucially, I’ve lost a lot of money too — or, if you’re after a different perspective: I’ve invested in a substantial amount of direct experience. Much, much better than an MBA in my opinion and I avoided the long essays too.
At 24, I got my childhood dream sorted: My secret aim was to own a company and sit behind a big desk in the middle of a big office working with some of the best and the brightest. Phenomenal! I’ve now set rather more substantial aims
Three times I’ve sat at a board table and had someone ask to buy my company. Once was a complete surprise. The other two, I had a handle on the situation, but each time was thoroughly exciting.
I’ve worked at almost every level of the interactive business — running companies out of my bedrooms and running them from gorgeous board rooms. I’m fascinated by how we interact via technology and how that translates to commercial advantage. This fascination has prompted me to launch a plethora of websites, communities, services and organisations — most have generally been successful.
I’ve experience raising funding — my colleague Serena and I raised $1m from an American venture firm in 1999. While she led and supervised the process, I learnt a lot.
I have an obsessive need to eventually view business concepts and ideas in cold, hard reality. While I’m pretty good at bluesky thinking, I relish the challenge of rooting them with a sensible and profitable business model. I can generally spot a good business idea at 50 paces. In this context, I never fail to be excited at hearing about new startup companies.
My affinity with the mobile industry is underpinned, I think, by the Bill Gates book, ‘Business At The Speed of Thought’. Most, if not all of his points echoed my own. I want to be able to press a button on my mobile device and have 10 different taxi firms bid for the business to take me from Green Park to Liverpool Street for less than £10. I want some enterprising chap to be able to say upsell me and offer to take me home all the way home for £45. I want the ability to hit ‘yes’ and have the cash debited from my account. I want to see if there’s space at the cinema. Now. I want to send flowers to my friend as she’s had a pretty bad day. Even though I’m in a cab, I want those flowers sorted. Now, and quickly. I don’t want to spend 10 minutes on the phone to a directory services firm trying to find someone to complete the order, nor do I want to spend minutes reading out credit card details. I just want to press three buttons and have it fixed. I want to know where my friends are. I want to be connected to them on demand and without demand. I want to dip into what’s going on in the world — and I want my device to know when to interrupt me and when to give me space. Away for a break, I want to sit on the beach on the Isle of Lewis, gazing out at the awesome Atlantic Ocean with pellets of rain about to fall — and, whilst I let my mind drift to imagine what life was like there 800 years ago, I want to bring out my mobile device and read a mail from my work colleague. Then order Pizza so that when I get back to the cottage, it’s waiting — and paid for.
I want the ability to sit in Bar des Celebrities in Hotel Carlton, Cannes, reading the IHT and all of a sudden, bring out my device and locate the top 3 letting agents in the area and fire off a requirement for a month’s extended stay. Then I want to call my colleague in Australia, just before he leaves work to head for the beach — and check on the company status. Prior to hanging up, I want to receive a quick video he’s taken of his 5 year old surfing in the sun. I want to then watch a bit of Blackadder. I don’t want to carry around my data. I want it all ‘in the sky’ — ready to on demand whenever I want it. Then, I want to check out 5 minutes of Lost or 24, before heading for a stroll along the Cannes sea front. While I’m sat on the balcony at about 11pm, I want to bring out my device and dip into my communications folder and see a template proposal my brother’s working on. Though I’m on holiday, I might feel like taking a look — so I’ll bring it out virtually, mark it up with some ideas, and whack it over to him. Then, since she’s five hours behind, I might flick to see that Natasha’s presence indicator says she’s out having steak in Manhattan — I’ll ping her a ‘hi’ and get a quick video and some pictures in return. Then, I’ll go to sleep.
I very much want — and believe — that a mobile device of sorts will be central to our everyday lives shortly. Right now it’s very much centred around a one or two way communications medium, but we’re getting there.
I invite you to contact me. Say hi and feel free to make a point, a business proposal or tell me about what you’re doing with the mobile industry.
If you’ve got a mobile related company, service or the like that you’d like to tell me about, don’t hesitate as to whether I might be interested. I’m automatically interested ;-) I’m happy to hear from public relations and marketing professionals too.
You can call me direct on +44 7769 658 104. Don’t be surprised if it goes to voicemail though as I can’t always answer. Email on firstname.lastname@example.org — it comes straight through to the Blackberry.
There’s more background to SMS Text News here.