A technology and product operator with extensive experience across startups, agencies, public sector and large organisations including Made by Many, Analog Folk, Nando's, the Liberal Democrats, the V&A, and Serco.
I am a maker with deep technical knowledge† across a wide range of languages, frameworks and approaches having designed and developed websites, e-commerce applications, social platforms and marketplaces, aided by a modern leadership approach† that supports teams who grow to become trusted experts within their organisations.
My preference is for a strategy that starts with the early research and development, scales a product and team to fit, adopts a continuous delivery workflow, and defines the full integration model for long term adoption, often as part of a wider modernisation programme.
I look to assemble small groups of talented people with a high ceiling for growth†, who fit contextually within an organisation suited to making the most of their individual skills.
I work best when I can define and align teams around a clear long term vision, grow and engage people with directed coaching and mentoring, and where I can reduce friction with automation and workflows that provide a solid DevOps support framework.
I fit best where I can help people to adapt, implement and scale new ways of working, and where I can help organisations align and scale a modern technology function that is able to design, validate and deliver products that users love†.
Working as a digital leader for e-commerce, political, and public sector companies, my goal has been to help implement new ways of working, launch innovative products, and transform the role of digital within their organisations. ↩︎
I advocate for lean and agile approaches to ensure that we build and deliver the best features for the right people, and I find growth in building and coaching diverse teams through the full product delivery lifecycle.
I approach every opportunity with a mindset of vision, coaching, and operations:
- aligning people around a clear vision and narrative for long term goals
- using data and research to clarify the near term objectives
- investing time in coaching and mentoring at all levels
- defending time by automating workflows, and repetitive tasks
- adopting a continuous development approach for delivery at speed
This approach stems from hands-on startup experience of founding, validating and financing ideas, taking them to market, and attempting to cross the chasm ‡ of mass adoption.
- Continuous investment in the product narrative
- Change comes from collaborative discovery, shared problem solving, and transparent decision-making
- Ring-fenced time for innovation & creative problem solving always uncovers opportunites for growth
- Integration models ensure the long-term adoption of progressive changes
- The most valuable data always comes from within the product team
- Invest in clean, readable and defensive coding
As a technology polyglot I often play a role in delivering large-scale digital modernisation programmes aimed at migrating toward modern infrastructures, using tech ops, automation and machine learning along with agile processes, product thinking and improved team collaboration. These projects result in a delivery of measurable savings and growth in the short term whilst moving the organisation forwards without disrupting their ability to carry out business as usual.
I have extensive experience of modern software development using open and closed source frameworks, DevOps, Continuous Integration, APIs, cloud (AWS/GCP/Azure) and micro-services. I am equally comfortable pair-programming with developers, helping to design architectural solutions, running design sprints, and analysing data to uncover new opportunities whilst encouraging the adoption of tools that allow us to work smarter, along with contributions to innovative open source projects. ↩︎
I believe that high-performing teams need a reflective culture that supports transparent and creative decision-making at speed and under pressure, delivering complex software products. To do this requires a positive operational environment where:
- leadership stems from influence, observation, and demonstrable skills
- we adopt an influence > advise > inform approach to ensure each team maintains autonomy
- the product narrative includes integration models that ensure changes are sustainable and progress isn't lost
I have guided teams through successful digital modernisation journeys that have reduced technical debt, indentified the key traits and values needed for hiring, and broken down complex technical decisions to create a roadmap and backlog. ↩︎
With a background in startups I know just how valuable a product mindset can be, especially when combined with:
- a startup perspective that promotes product discovery and growth
- an enterprise perspective where delivery and traction are operationally important
- hands-on knowledge of the importance of leading product development with defined user personas
Many of the teams that I have joined were in the process of adopting a product mindset that can set them at odds with the wider organisation. Part of my role is to listen to customers, colleagues, investors and donors, in order to recognise and address these contradictions before they impact the product. ↩︎
- 2021 - Present: Chief Technology & Product Officer, Serco
- 2020 - 2021: Chief Technology Officer, Liberal Democrats
- 2018 - 2020: Technical Director, Analog Folk
- 2016 - 2018: Technical Lead, Victoria & Albert Museum
- 2012 - 2016: Founder & CTO, Somewhere Collaborative Media GmbH
- 2010 - 2012: Creative Technologist, Made by Many
- 2008 - 2010: Co-founder & CTO, GameLayers.com
- 2001 - 2008: Developer at SelfTrade, UpMyStreet, Time Out, 3rd Sense, Cominded
- Creative Review, The AI Issue - for work in passive AI and digital art
- The Next Web winner - Best Startup, Somewhere.com
- Schön! Magazine - featured as part of a 'future is now' series
- Guest speaker, MEGA Plus - Media Business School
- Guardian.co.uk - named Runner-up Game of the Year, Gamelayers.com
- The Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences - nominated for Game of the Year, Gamelayers.com
- Multiple conference appearances including Festival of Marketing, Creative Mornings, Playful, and Wired
- Code Complete - Steve McConnell
- Crossing the Chasm - Geoffrey A. Moore ↩︎
- Make Art Make Money - Elizabeth Hyde Stevens
- Sprint - Jake Knapp
- INSEAD - Leading organisations in disruptive times