In the UK currently we’re coming to the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee – while at the same time everyone’s talking about how our country needs to be more innovative and entrepreneurial. But might not the first rule out the second?


The more we celebrate Royalty and take days off to do this, the more we acknowledge we know our place, and believe that privilege and wealth are to be accidents of birth. Hardly a philosophy that encourages us to aspire and innovate and to seek reward for invention, hard work and risk-taking.

Instead we are encouraged to gawp and admire, contrast ourselves and feel vaguely disatissfied with our lots in life. We compare, when we could be creating.

Now William and Kate are all well and good for the profits of Hello, OK and the Daily Mail : but they are about as inspiring to innovation as a couple of cookware department managers in John Lewis (excellent service, mind you). They are middling intelligent, middling attractive and with massive Middle England appeal… but when was entrepreneurialism ever middling?

Brain Food

No, I’m much keener on stories of people like Joel Hughes, a web developer who has been pootling about in Newport market with his company Jojet for several years.

Last Friday, Joel held Port 80 a ‘a pow-wow for web folk’ over at Newport University.

A couple of hundred geeks filled a lecture theatre to hear about the importance of speed on a site, how to create content strategy and whether an app is the right choice for clients or responsive design.

Varied and fascinating speakers created an atmosphere where you could almost hear the synaptic connections snapping together as neurons fired up. No posturing, intelligent questions and fabulous learning.

So Joel’s reinvented himself, whether he wants to or not, as a web learning ninja. He’s intending to hold more events like this and good luck to him.

I can’t help thinking that local and vivid reinvention like this is much more constructive for progress, and a better role model for our kids, than the envy and complacency induced by Royalty.

God save the bold.

By szcz

6 thoughts on “Stop Comparing: Start Creating”
  1. Hi Pippa,
    wow – what a lovely thing to say! 🙂

    To give you (and your readers) a bit of background, I first started thinking about doing an event about 2 years ago, I did some research, got a bit daunted and then backed off. In fact, I saw a tweet go around about 18 months ago where someone was researching about launching a South Wales web event. I sat that tweet, added my 2p to the questionnaire and assumed that someone else would step up to the plate so I forgot about my ideas.

    But nothing happened.

    And then at the start of this year I realised that still NOTHING was happening. And, this time, I decided that bugger it, yes I have no clue how to do such an event but I’m happy to take that risk and to give it a go.

    It paid off as the day was fantastic and went smoothly. However, I’m pretty sure that if we had a lot more hiccups on the day, people would have still been happy.

    The real issue is that most of us aren’t comfortable sticking out neck out and trying something. I’m bored of being safe & hiding behind excuses for not doing things. Ideas are one thing; executing them is another.


  2. Yes…and not to be pretentious or anything…but some philosopher…Kiergerkaard I think said ‘Truth is in action’ or something like that…

    Whatever: you done good. Looking forward to the next one.

  3. way to go Joel! congrats on a great event!
    And way to go Pippa, great article, as thought provoking as ever, and thats what we need ultimately, our thoughts provoked!

    1. Yo, thank-you Tony and it was a grand affair…

      Funnily enough, have just been asked to provide the Scotch eggs and sausage rolls for the village Jubilee celebration party… but then the path of honest thought-provoking never did run easy.. did it?

      We are all primed now for OI next…onwards and upwards…

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