The past, present, and future of conversation


I'm a serial entrepreneur and innovator. My first company, Curtis Hoy, pioneered radio sales promotion from 1989. Highlights included introducing fixed frequency low cost radios as a sampling driver for the Pepsi taste test, bringing drive-in movies to the UK for the first time ever (Diet Pepsi) and designing the first marketing use of virtual reality in 1993 (for a Unilever brand).

In 1994 Mike Beeston and I set up CHBi as a division of Curtis Hoy, to explore the potential of “new" media. CHBi created Yell for Yellow Pages, interactive retail games for Allied Domecq, some of the first branded online communities and launched online traffic news and route planning for the RAC – a world first.

In 1998 CHBi was acquired by Razorfish. I became Global EVP Products and Service and ran a change management programme for all 2,000 employees which restructured Razorfish's approach to clients and projects.

In 2001 I co-founded service design consultancy Fjord with Mike Beeston and Olof Schybergson. At Fjord I am Chief Client Officer, and my role spans offer definition, marketing and business development. Fjord was acquired by Accenture in May 2013. Between 2005 and 2011 I ran Flirtomatic, a mobile dating start-up incubated by Fjord. As CEO I raised over $10m and pioneered mobile dating, bringing a freemium revenue model to mobile for the first time.

I am a frequent speaker at conferences and commentator in the media. I've published a book, "Distraction - Being Human in the Digital Age". Inspired by the wisdom of crowds theory I also invented a reality TV format "You're The Manager" which gave fans the ability to choose players for their football team each week using mobile. The programme was commissioned for a season by C4 in the UK, only to be banned by the football authorities a week before broadcast as too disruptive to football’s established order! I remain convinced that digital technology will help give football back to the fans.

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