What do you get when you cross classic strategy frameworks with a start-up?

* This is a guest post from Bryan Tookey, UK MD of social media monitoring company Brandwatch who also tweets here

What do you get when you cross classic strategy frameworks with a start-up? Paralysing indecision. This rather depressing conclusion came to me two years into my role as the COO of our company, a start-up that has been booming in the social media monitoring sector.

I was confident I could help frame and direct the company’s strategy, having spent six years as a strategic consultant at McKinsey and then four years with strategically minded jobs at Google and Ask.com (two companies with very different strategic needs). Continue reading

Secret ambitions, early exits and bootstrapped lessons

* This is the first post by James Devonport Wood, MD of accredited Facebook developer PageHub

There is a significant gap in Europe for early stage funding for startups seeking less than £500,000. While new funds and incubators are starting to emerge, the lack of finance available is leaving European tech businesses at a disadvantage to their North American counterparts.

For many startups, bootstrapping a business is the only method of starting a company although this does have its advantages. Bootstrapped startups are more likely to have a more realistic business model and to be profitable early on. Continue reading

London games start-up hits paydirt with Smash Cops iOS racing game

Five ex-PlayStation developers who set up a start-up studio in London’s Shoreditch last year have struck gold with their new iOS racing game Smash Cops.

The game launched in the iTunes App Store a week ago after receiving critical acclaim from influential review sites such as Pocket Gamer and EuroGamer and is now at No 2. in the top iPad game chart for paid apps.

The game retails for $2.99 in the US and ‘uses innovative new push controls to control and steer your car in a way that is natural and fun for gamers’. This may be so, but perhaps the FANTASTIC name of the game is also responsible; Police chase felons and drive them off the road.

The company who developed and published the game, Hutch Games is another one of those nifty little UK companies that live around London’s Old Street. Let’s just hope the owners don’t drive to work too often or Old Street roundabout might be a little dangerous.

How to check company names for your start-up

Had that bright idea? Raised some money from your friends and family? Thought of a fantastic name for your start-up? That’s all very well and good, but is that company name available?

Let me introduce you to my special friend, Betty, the Twitter bot that can do that for you. Simply tweet the name of a company you’d like to register at @GoLtd, and Betty will toodle off into Companies House and get back to you within two minutes.

As the blog on the page of the company responsible for Betty says, you should ‘think of her like a Twitter-based Siri, but without the potty mouth… Quite.