Posts by dan

IT Is Too Big To Fail

At some point in the last 30 years, software transitioned from being a powerful productivity boost for individuals, to an indispensable tool for teams working together. I’ll bet that having Windows 3.1 and Microsoft Office on your desktop computer in the early 90s helped you get your job done, but you could probably still (just […]

How SQLizer.io Became the Internet’s #1 Database Import Tool

Back in August 2014, D4 launched an experimental product named sqlizer.io. The idea was simple: sqlizer.io would be an easy to use tool that helps people to migrate data into databases, by converting data files into SQL scripts. When we launched it, we had no idea whether it would be useful, but it’s been a huge success. […]

Running for Portage

When you have children, you hope and pray that everything will be ok. That they will be born healthy and grow up just like everyone else. When our second daughter, Imogen, was born that’s exactly how we felt. But when Immy was about 1 year old we realised that she was having significant difficulty sitting up, walking […]

Most People’s Approach to Delegation is Wrong

In his biography of Steve Jobs, Walter Issacson tells the story of how Jobs used to go down to Jonny Ive’s design department most Wednesday afternoons to go over prototypes and review proposals. Most people hear that story and think, “Wow, Steve Jobs really focused on design and built the most valuable company in the world as a […]

Founder Meetups in Birmingham

Startup founders can often become quite isolated. That they are required to appear optimistic and up beat to employees, investors, potential customers and the press. Meanwhile their family and friends probably have no experience of starting their own business and, as much as they may want to, they cannot relate to many of the challenges […]

Where Customer Service Goes to Die

“Sorry to bother you…”, the email from my client began. It was Monday morning, and I knew the company this person worked for always had conference calls with their customers on a Monday. No doubt she was prepping for a difficult one. The email went on, “but could you help us with the query below?” […]

The Fear that Drives Me On

I built a thing, but it didn’t work out. Plenty of people said the need was real, I got hundreds of people to come along and try it, quite a few of them said they loved it, but virtually no one continued to use it more than 48 hours after signing up, and pretty much […]

Why Bitcoin is Worse Than Cigarettes and the Euro

Say you’re a gang leader and you control a territory. In order to pay your henchmen and enrich yourself, you decide to tax the local population and extract a proportion of all their wealth. Now, they might conduct most of their trade with each other using silver pieces, cigarettes, US Dollars, or bundles of pink […]

Perfection Considered Harmful

People are always making mistakes. People send emails to the wrong person, or forget an attachment. They give you the wrong change at the checkout or bump into you in the street. Every day, people make little mistakes. For the most part we’re quite forgiving of each other. We understand that the other human being […]