I’ve been TaxiBlogged!

My thing about YogaLadder has been lifted by the London Taxi News: There’s a YogaLadder in My Taxi | London Taxi News

I feel special.

As I’m now on the TaxiWeb here’s something else taxi related. I saw this parked near Old St yesterday:

smut taxi

It’s a London Cab painted with pole dancers. I thought to myself. That can’t be right, I’m sure the Taxi drivers code wouldn’t allow you to advertise like that. Especially with a ‘drive to you smutville for free’ promotion. Then I realised it didn’t have the light on the top. So it’s not a real cab, it’s just a smut-cruiser. What a horrible thing.


It’s silly season.

I don’t know where to start with this. I don’t think I can describe it. Basically there’s a new trend for putting ‘baddly spelld capshunz’ over odd photos. If they’re photos of cats (or katz) they’re called LOLcats, if they’re whales, they’re called LOLwhales, even LOLgays has a big scene.

Like I said, I can’t explain it. So you’re going to have to see it for yourself:


I’ll say no more.

Explore the phenomenon for yourself at Buzzfeed: http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzz/Lolblanks
and Gawker has something to say on it too.

Looks like http://icanhascheezburger.com/ is the daddy. But I’m not sure I’m qualified to comment.

There’s a YogaLadder in My Taxi

yogaladderI was getting a cab the other night when I noticed a sign stuck to the window. This wasn’t the usual ‘keep your feet off the seats’ or ‘no smoking’ request. It was a press clipping.

It was a copy of two articlse from the Metro and the Sunday Times Style magazine talking about a cab driver who’d invented a Yoga aid called YogaLadder. The cab driver in question was the guy who was sitting right in front of me, driving the cab (thankfully).

So I started talking to him about his invention.

It’s pretty straightforward (like a lot of the best innovations). It’s a piece of leather with holes cut in it. It’s to help people doing Yoga who are less then flexibile to hold poses or stretches, it also helps people to gently improve their stretches by allowing them to ‘walk’ up the ladder with their hands. There’s also some additional slightly more technical benefits in as far as it doesn’t force you to grip it like a regular Yoga strap, which ends up putting your wrist and elbow out of alignment.

The invention was interesting to me. But the thing I liked most was the fact that this guy was using his cab as a personal media space. And as soon as I’d asked him about it, he was into story telling mode. I was going to say ‘sales mode’, but it wasn’t, and that’s what made it work. He didn’t push anything on to me and he waited for me to bring it up.

Another great example of small startup businesses being resourceful.

(And YogaLadder really does work – I tried mine out and it’s good).

Zopa Wins a Webby

Webby Awards Winners

I found out yesterday that Zopa won a Webby award. Which made me happy.

I’m not normally all that excited about awards. Having been on the judging side a couple of times you start to see how ‘the system’ works. And to be honest I think that a lot of the work Poke do isn’t really ‘award fodder’. The Webby’s are slightly different. The judges come from a wider base, the entry process doesn’t allow you to submit a jazzy film to explain why you should win. It’s basically just the URL to the site. The judges then have to figure out if, and why, it’s good.

I know that the Zopa win isn’t just down to Poke. It won because it’s an interesting idea (that hopefully we helped to express in an appropriate way).

In many respects it was a dream job for us. We got to work with a brand that had an awesome tone of voice and heaps of personality, as well as it being a proposition that’s totally right for now. And that’s not to mention the team we got to work with…

I’m not saying that working with a startup is easier. It has its own set of challenges: everyone is very close to the brand and has a strong opinion on everything and they work in startup time (i.e. it needs to happen now). But the energy and enthusiasm that an entrepreneurial team generates is really motivating.

Without wanting to miss anyone at Zopa out. Sarah, Justin, Dave, Tom, James, Tim and the sadly missed Richard we thank you all for everything.