So it’s been over a month since I last posted here, as you might be able to tell things have been *very* busy for me. I’ve moved from being pretty much full-time in the midlands (Coventry) to now living in London for the majority of the week and visiting our offices in Coventry twice a week. This is a great move for my projects, and I have a handful of new ones to announce early next month!
Next week I turn 21, and it marks a significant milestone in my career. Over the last few years I’ve started businesses that have achieved national acclaim, i’ve played poker with investors and won the support of some of the biggest brands in the UK. Now it’s time to get really serious and make my mark!
The ‘trading’ environment has been tricky over the last 12 months, we’ve all tuned into the news and heard the headlines. As you may know, we closed Youmeo down last year, my favourite project, but it just wasn’t generating revenue. We weren’t a victim of the recession, we were a business that wasn’t making money. The “recession” just made us realise it’s about time we bucked up our ideas and worked on real business models!
Although most people still think we’re in this recession, I truly believe we’re experiencing the new normal!
I don’t believe things are going to get any worse than they are now, but I don’t think they’re going to improve too quickly either. This so called recession has meant that the businesses that needed to buck their ideas up – have no choice but to do so, and those that can’t – have disappeared.
In my home town of Coventry there has been talk of the prestigious London taxi building company: LTI – moving their operations to China. Whilst here locally this means job losses, every London cabbie i’ve spoke to has welcomed the news, they’ve spoken of great frustrations with reliability and the fact that LTI have had the market for too long. LTI now also have competition, for the first time a modified Mercedes has been licensed to be treated in the same way as a traditional cab. The recession has forced LTI to rethink their business and hopefully they’ll be able to grab this chance to start producing some great vehicles once again!
So what else has happened so far in 2010?
Steve Jobs’ last dance at Apple, was announced on 27th January 2010. This was the release of the iPad. The jury still seems to be out, on whether or not it will revolutionise the reading market as it is claimed it should. This year, is marked as the year of the eBook and if it turns out that way then the iPad is sitting on the precipice of being another visionary piece of work by Jobs, if not, he will probably be remembered for its failure.
Going green seems to be having a major focus after the Copenhagen Accord was acknowledged. More and more businesses are starting to look at their environmental responsibilities, and the larger than normal costs associated with them. Is the ‘recession’ holding it back somewhat? This could be a welcome change for the future.
Food for thought
The largest European food and beverage deal has taken place and created the world largest confectioner. Kraft’s £11.9bn purchase of Cadburys has caused many concerns about job cuts and product reductions. Hopes of saving the Somerdale plant were shattered when Kraft announced it closure and thus costing 400 jobs. Kraft had mentioned pre purchase that they would try and save the plant, but have now acknowledged that Cadbury’s plans to move to Poland were too advanced. Again this is one that has effected the local economy here in the midlands.
The UK automotive industry was warned by KPMG to be wary of 2010 manufacturing prospects even though there was a 64.9% increase in January production figures compared to last years January figures. This marked increase is great news for a beleaguered industry, but 2009 is a very low base. The caution, however, has merit in that they also mentioned that more firms fail coming out of a recession than going into it.
Act quickly, think slowly
The Greek financial crisis has thrown the Eurozone into deep discussions about how it can help the debt laden country without creating a bail-out scheme. The Greek banks have been downgraded by ratings agencies to BBB, and discussion has taken place as to the future effect on the Euro. The Euro’s central bank policy of not doing bail out schemes is good in principal, but interventions of some sort will be required to ensure economic stability for the region and the major trading partners in Europe.
Here’s to the next 3/4 of 2010!
Good luck to everyone in the next quarter of 2010! And if anyone is up for a coffee in London or anywhere else, give me a shout, i’d love to chat!