Lessons from 15 months at The Tab a venture capital backed media startup

The last twelve months have been a very turbulent time in the media industry with profit forecasts and jobs being slashed across both digital and print. Growing a sustainable business in the modern diversified world of media is a hard nut to crack. This is even harder when you have to raise funds every 12 […]

Competitively actionable analytics at The Tab

Competitively actionable analytics was a core element of the technology and product strategy at The Tab. The below details how this approach has translated into product and how that went on to affect user behaviour. The Tab had built a set of micro services to data mine Facebook, WordPress and Google Analytics which¬†created a rich […]

Metro10: Going native growing on Android

I spent nine months in 2014 designing, building and iterating an Android app called Metro10 for the UK Newspaper Metro. This taught me a lot about the benefits and frustrations of native app development and marketing. The benefits of app users are huge in terms of their engagement and propensity to return daily. Being able […]

How Docker Containers simplify Microservice management and deployment

My recent personal and professional development efforts have taken a microservices approach. This escalated to having 8 services running 3 different languages across 5 different frameworks. After banging my head against the command line for a few days trying to get these to coexist I decided to try Docker containers to attempt streamline and simplify […]

Lessons from virtualising local development environments

While working at ANDigital we used multiple languages/frameworks/web servers for both internal projects and external client work. Our goal was to be able to continuously deploy each of the services that we were involved with. I came to the conclusion that scripted virtualisation for local development put us on the right track to achieving this […]

What 275 days of intensive care taught me about managing complex projects

For 275 days after his birth my son Jack lived in the intensive care units of various London hospitals. A large team of consultants, doctors, nurses and cleaners worked together 24/7 to support Jack’s daily needs whilst solving his long term health problems. Managing complex projects is a large part of my job so being […]

Scarcity and the trap of the daily deadline

For the past four years I have been working in an editorial environment Metro, the third largest daily UK newspaper. Over this time I have been amazed at the number of times that serious change has been attempted and failed. This seems to be a common problem with newspapers. Initially it confused me as there […]

21 product development tips from the trenches

Over the past four years at Metro we have delivered one replatform, four redesigns, multiple native apps and built and sold an online casino. From these experiences we have iteratively built a process and environment that aids product development. An Agile mindset has helped the development team achieve a consistent output. This coupled with Lean […]

How software ate manual content placement on Metro.co.uk

The majority of content placement on metro.co.uk is now managed by software. This has been a long journey based on real world feedback and incremental addition of complexity. My goal has always been to take a developer’s view of the editorial process and optimise where possible. Looking at the numbers it became clear that for […]

21 product guidelines forged while growing Metro.co.uk 400%

For the last two years I have been focused on the design, build and growth of Metro.co.uk utilising the WordPress VIP platform. Our approach consists of constant experimentation with both product and content which has returned a large set of data mixed with editorial feedback. This has been refined into a list of product guidelines […]