Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Lethal Excitement 4 Project Redstripe

October 25, 2006

Hollow tipped bullets have got a great reputation in 1980s action films. Dums dums, as these bullets are known in the professional killing community, do not pass clean through the body. Instead, they vibrate wildly, destroying all internal organs.

Why do I bring up these lethal weapons? Because I feel like I’ve been shot with a dum dum. A dum dum of excitement, that is. You see I’m shaking with anticipation, but keeping it all on the inside.

I think I’m in with a shout for this Project Redstripe lark, but can’t get too pumped about it, because I’ll be crushed if I don’t get it. There’s a permanent nervous energy coursing through me as I turn over the amazingness of this opportunity. Yet there’s a phony war feeling at the same time as it might pass me by. Hell, I just can’t wait to find out.

I thought I’d tie the post together by getting a pop culture reference, and first flick I could remember that has hollow point chat is Lethal Weapon. A trip to IMDB brought up the quote and how apposite it was. Unstable Martin Riggs, played by psycho young Mel Gibson, tells his partner Murtaugh he regulary contemplates suicide and he keeps a hollow point bullet to make a clean job of topping himself.

Check out the reason why he doesn’t end it all :

“You know why I don’t do it? This is gonna make you laugh! You know why I don’t do it? The job! Doin’ the job! Now that’s the reason!”

The job! Doin’ the job! Now that’s the reason for all this excitement too.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Crazy Mel


What speed for Project Redstripe? Ramming speed.

October 16, 2006

That is the speed that I would like to see on Project Redstripe. We’ll have the honour of working on the coolest project in the world. It’s our duty to the history of The Economist to give it everything.

I want to order pizza in when we’re working late on something that absolutely has to get done. I want to hook up at weekends to work through unexpected bugs. I want to do the web startup thing until, when we finish, everything I’ve got will be in that bloody Project.

Imagine, for a second, how I’m seeing it. When I joined The Economist after my ill fated web venture, I knew I’d love being at The Econ, and thought I might get to dabble in some web things.

Now, if things were to go well for me, I’ll have the honour of twopointzeroing (and that is the first sighting of that verb) the world’s most well respected international publication.

That’s why, if I get on Project Redstripe, I hope I’m working with people who are as infected by the web as I am. I want to hear their ideas, find out what they think, learn, learn, learn, until we come up with humzinger of an idea.

We’re being given the keys to the castle, we owe it to James Wilson, Walter Bagehot and The Economist to hammer along at ramming speed.

And, more importantly, it will be outrageously fun.

I, just like The Pointer Sisters, am so exci-ay-ay-ay-ted

Killing Cancer Has Never Been So Much Fun

October 9, 2006

After a few opinion posts I thought I’d write about another project I’ve pushed through. I can just imagine how entertaining it must be to read me spouting off about all manner of things but you might prefer to see things I’ve done.

And as I’m fresh out of ado, here’s The Kill Cancer Death Rally (if you mind swearing then please don’t read this site). It was a rally for Cancer Research UK where every car got sponsored before driving down to Barcelona.

It has pretty much the toughest name of any charity event in the world.

Kill Cancer because that’s what we were trying to do. Death Rally because it sounds rock’n’roll. So on Thursday 28th November I set out from work with a general’s outfit in my bag, to a car in the City, that had been redecorated by D*Face, an amazing London grafitti artist.


 You’re right. That car is covered in 100s of plastic animals

From there we drove onto the Eurotunnel to Le Touquet then to Tours, then to Toulouse until we arrived in Barcelona on Sunday afternoon. 18 people came on the rally and we were all raising money for Cancer Research UK.


And that is a Crazy Golf on the car 

The good thing was we all had an amazing time. The really great thing is we’re going to raise about £10 000 for cancer.

As is my wont, I made a blog for the cruise. It’s a pretty spiffy site, I think. There’s a fair bit YouTubing on it, some use of Flickr and even the world’s best wiki (have a read and you’ll find out why).

I can’t tell you how proud I was that this went from idea to reality. It made that enormous step out of the realm of pub chat. Then, suddenly, I found myself driving into Barcelona, not quite believing it was happening after four of the most fun days of my life.

I put an enormous amount of work into this. Working through weekends for it, and most nights of the week. This level of energy and dedication will be something I can bring to Project Redstripe.

If I’m passionate about something I’ll push it to the limit. As I think that working Project Redstripe would be the best job in the world, you’ll probably have to prise me out of the office with a crowbar.


Things which take time Pt. 1 : angle-grinding turrets into cars

Don’t listen to me. Listen to Daniel Franklin

October 4, 2006

You don’t get the nickname Blogman without speaking to a lot of people about the web (not just blogs). Like a true ad salesman I thought it would be useful to ask some of them to give me a testimonial.

The first one I got was from Daniel Franklin, The Economist online editor and Flintoffesque cricket allrounder :

I first met Tom in the lift at The Tower, and it took him no more than an elevator ride to let me know of his passion for internet entrepreneurship, in particular social networks. Since then he has bombarded me with ideas and comments on web developments – over lunch and in emails with links to pertinent blogs. It’s a welcome bombardment: the ideas are invariably pertinent and interesting. It’s clear that he would love nothing more than to follow his passion.”

I don’t know about the ideas being pertinent, but it’s certainly true about the bombardment. Web 2.0 is the stuff I live and breathe. I’ve got an RSS feed reader full of tech feeds and like nothing more than find out what’s going down on Techcrunch.

If passion for all things webby were the only criteria for this position, I’d back myself all the way.