Client Spotlight: Volt

One of the newest and friendliest teams to join our flagship building on Dufferin Street is Volt, who bring product development back to basics to focus on what users need and the simplest path to get to a meaningful solution.

With some recent and current clients including Spotify, Google and Nokia, Volt’s reputation precedes itself. Volt works with product owners and entrepreneurs to design, test and develop digital products that are simple for both the client and end-user.

Volt worked with Spotify to enhance the way people share their favourite music with others. Spotify Codes allows users to share any track, artist, album or playlist available on Spotify, as easily as taking a picture.

Volt worked alongside the team at Vinterest to design and build their groundbreaking wine home delivery service.

John Lanyon, Founder at Volt, said: “We’ve been going for almost three years and recently we’ve developed a high-end wine home delivery service for a UK startup, and brought some new and exciting user experiences to Spotify. It’s this diversity that keeps us fresh and allows us to uncover the universal truths about the right and wrong ways to develop a great digital product.” 

Volt also invests in its own products and experiences using all learnings to supercharge the team’s work with clients. Founder of Volt, John Lanyon, is passionate about the build process and product development.

He continues: “Visit the business section of any bookshop and you’ll see a million and one astonishingly complicated ways to build something ‘great’. But the truth is that great ideas (more often than not) are incredibly simple. Finding this simplicity for our clients ultimately enhances almost every aspect of their business." 

Find out more about Volt on the company website.

Sans Pere revolutionises life and work

Innovative lighting sets the scene.

Innovative lighting sets the scene.

Fantastic décor with no shortcuts.

We often compartmentalise our lives in work and play, but what if they became more blended? 

Work doesn't have to be rows of desks flooded with clinical, fluorescent lighting. Work can be modern and with comfortable decor – we're talking designer sofas, real wood tables and fantastic interior design. Interspersed with a healthy and vibrant lifestyle – on-site superfood smoothies and snacks, close proximity to gyms and Central London – and you have Sans Pere.

The last twelve months has seen the explosion of the gig economy where people are increasingly working as freelancers and on a project-by-project basis. Self employment has boomed in the last decade as a whole, from sitting at 3.8m in 2008 to a massive 4.8m in 2017 – an increase of over 26%. The modern way of working is less 9-to-5 and now more flexible with people demanding more freedom and comfortable working environments.

A meeting and events space you actually want to be in.

A meeting and events space you actually want to be in.

Sans Pere is capitalising on this movement and I have to say, on my last two visits I was remarkably comfortable and well-fed. From loose-leaf tea and a handmade baguette on my first visit to a green smoothie and delectable pastry on the second, Sans Pere caters to everyone. Inside you'll find a comfortable and formal seating areas and a bookable events/meeting space. There is also covered outside seating where you can watch the bustle of the city go by.

We liked Sans Pere so much, our next event How To Qualify A Deal is going to be taking place there on 20th July 2017, where deal-making expert Mikael Mulavassilis shares his three-step approach to securing winning deals – signup available here. 

Client Spotlight: Cuvva

It just a few weeks ago that we welcome one of newest clients, Cuvva, to our flagship building on Dufferin Street and it hasn’t taken us long to see why the team has raised over £2.2million from investors. By bringing together technology and apps Cuvva is disrupting the car insurance market with its hourly plans and continues to change the way we approach insuring our vehicles.

Cuvva is disrupting the realm of car insurance, placing you – not the traditional insurance company – back in the driving seat.
— Freddy Macnamara, Founder and CEO at Cuvva

Cuvva is the UK’s first ever insurance app that allows its users to be insured on a car for as little as an hour, and saves significant time in obtaining insurance by going straight to underwriters. One you’ve downloaded the app and Cuvva has verified your details, it takes just three minutes to be insured on your friend’s car for a great price without affecting their insurance policy whatsoever.

Cuvva’s app is beautifully designed and is a quick and easy platform to use, placing control over car insurance back into the hands of the driver. Whilst Cuvva’s main product is hourly car insurance, the company also now offers hourly insurance for learner drivers.

Freddy Macnamara, Founder and CEO at Cuvva, said: “Technology has changed so many industries and given consumers cheaper, more convenient alternatives. Yet car insurance continues to be opaque and inflexible, costing some people a lot more than it should. Cuvva is disrupting the realm of car insurance, placing you – not the traditional insurance company – back in the driving seat.”

For more information visit the Cuvva website or contact laura.dyett@cuvva.com

Mind The [Tech Skills] Gap

Photograph of a hackathon, where coders, designers and project managers work together intensely on software projects.

Photograph of a hackathon, where coders, designers and project managers work together intensely on software projects.

This won't be the first time you've heard that the tech industry is growing – and it should come at no surprise – we live our lives online through apps, websites and social networks. Our day-to-day real and digital lives are becoming evermore integrated and someone has to create the means for that to happen.

Learning to code has never been part of the UK curriculum, and it's always been down to passionate third parties to spread the word that this sector is booming. In a world where students are worried about finding the perfect graduate job, turning their attention to the dynamic world of digital design, coding and programming will find them an abundance of jobs as the result of a widening skills gap.

According to Alphr.com, one third of programmers in the UK are from EU countries, and, with Brexit looming this poses as threat to how many will end up wanting to stay here. Python developers are apparently the most sought after with salaries for entry level jobs far exceeding the average UK salary. What's more, self-teaching has become the norm with programming, and a continuous development mindset is necessary. 

Treehouse is one of the front-runners in subscription-based online learning, with a particular focus on coding as well as business and marketing.

Treehouse is one of the front-runners in subscription-based online learning, with a particular focus on coding as well as business and marketing.

Learning to code is easier than ever, with a shedload of online resources, classes and workshops to guide you through it all. Online teaching websites such as Treehouse, Codeacademy and Codewars (to name but a few) allow those working a full-time job to invest a small amount of time and money to learn a new skills that could take them into an exciting new direction in their career.

With London's Old Street being the country's leading tech cluster, there's no better time to learn coding and find the ideal spot to either launch a startup or finding a creative tech company that demands these skills.

What does success mean to you?

The word "success" means something different to everyone. One person could define it as making the world a better place and another as having the highest salary.

Chasing success can be thrilling but it can also lead to burnout, so how can we redefine what success means to us?

The richest man in the world says he has no use for money and instead now focuses his time and money on more prominent world issues. Bill Gates has a net worth of $83.9billion and owns a home worth $124million. He's now given away $28billion, has a plan to eradicate polio, and also stated that he has no need for money.

A TED Talk by Richard St John – a man who is considered a "success expert" and has written speeches for CEOs, won several design awards and run over 50 marathons – says that chasing and achieving success led him to laziness. St John said that success is clouded by money and we shouldn't perceive it as a journey with an endpoint, but as a cycle which needs to be maintained. 

An article by Kimanzi Constable – a world-traveling author, consultant, and coach – says success should be replaced by freedom. In other words, the harder you work, the more you earn you earn, and the more freedom you have. Freedom means being able to live a life that you can be happy to live in each day, that opens you up to experiences and makes you proud to look back on.

He suggests that unfortunately, too many people get caught up in the byproduct of success – money – so much that they do not find freedom.

So what's the moral of the story? Bill Gates' story tells us to follow passion, not paycheques. Richard St. John says success should be a continuous cycle that needs to be maintained. Kimanzi Constable says that money is a byproduct of success, but freedom is what we should be seeking.

Find passion, stay motivated, seek freedom.