dbyhundred: Building business on Open principles

By all measures our project “SplashMaps” is turning out to be a success and is now a thiving business.

We launched the business in November, it gained over £8000 in crowd funding in December and in January we held our first show at the Outdoors Show.  In terms of publicity our integrated marketing programme has led to 2 live radio appearances and 7 news slots on BBC Television News.  We’ve featured in on-line media and when the TV programme Dragons Den came to visit us at our Outdoors Show they could not beat their way through the press to talk with us!

So why the clamour?  Isn’t this just a very simple idea.

Innovation, of course, is not about the idea.  It’s about putting the idea into action.  And in part the interest is as much about how we created our proposition as it is about the fabulous product itself.  So here’s what we’ve done.

1) We’ve taken the best principles from the technologies we understand

2) We’ve applied them to optimise our design

3) We’ve done this with our future customers on-board

4) We’ve used the “crowd” to provide data, funding and product improvement ideas

5) Our physical product improves with every iteration and the range of products are targeted at key markets where we actually KNOW they are in demand.

Our result is a product that beats the physical and digital mapping competition on weight, size, clarity, handlability, durability, profitability and usability.  Well, that’s what SplashMaps customers tell us anyway ;-).

The Space Between thoughts

In the three years since launching dbyhundred there has been little “down-time”.  I am sure many people experience this if you work for yourself or for someone else.  The work takes over.  You pull-out all the stops on one piece of work whilst chasing the next.

The lengths I go to to assimilate with Scandinavian colleagues
INSPIRE conference 2011 … hope 2012 is as fun!

With the Innovation Leadership Forum I learnt about the space between thoughts.  And I’ve been visualising ever since as a potent route to creativity and innovation.  Interestingly with the ILF I developed my Viking approach to innovation… and there I was at last years INSPIRE conference… dressed to slaughter surrounded by my Scandinavian colleagues.

Having finished 2 large contracts at the same time (European Commission and EuroGeographics), the “space between contracts” seems to offer the same potential.  On Saturday I spent the day at a Bloxstore workshop and am proud to announce that I am now a member of their elite team of expert innovators, geospatial experts and self confessed geeks!  The proposition is clear, phased and already populated with the best in our fields.  It takes advantage of the many now working independently, bringing us together to address important European contracts, offering an SME (Small to medium enterprise) alternative to the large “usual” professional  bid chasers.  I will be sure to keep you posted as we approach our first successes together!