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Haphazard Business has been a short journey around England, in an old camper van named Brook, seeking to discover how ideas form and become reality. The goal has been to use the learning from the trip to create a new type of Innovation Hub.


Recent Posts

  • THE CODED GAZE
    The Coded Gaze is the term used by technologist and poet, Joy Buolamwini to cleverly describe, in a fascinating 8-min TED talk, the bias that exists within many machine algorithms and risks this poses to society. (1min read)
  • TOWNS AS MICROHUBS
    Start-ups are creating a large proportion of new jobs, which is why global cities are vying to attract nimble young companies. Yet, these same cities are creating barriers for those wishing to set up business and this provides opportunity for smaller towns to become MicroHubs. (5min read) Job Creation It … Read More
  • DISMANTLING DISCRIMINATION
    With the EU classifying 'consumers' in general as 'vulnerable’, the need to diversify the workforce creating Ai-enabled technology is becoming ever more urgent if we are to stop the risks from unintended biases. (3mins read)
  • SECONDARY AI ECOSYSTEM
    How will local needs and demands be met by small-scale entrepreneurs in an Ai-enabled world where machines have few moving parts and much of the software is proprietary? (2min read)
  • COLLABORATIVE HUB
    The Innovation Hub will be an environment where the public and entrepreneurs come together to learn more about the latest advances in technology being developed inside companies and university labs (2min read).
  • AI HUB
    With Ai embedded technologies pervading life in general, whether wanted or not, an objective of the Innovation Hub will be to raise awareness of what is already available and the opportunities these innovations offer to improve people’s lives (5min read).
  • MAESTROS AND IMPRESARIOS
    Not all hubs need a physical space; many form around a dynamic charismatic individual who creates a unique community that becomes like an orchestra, making a greater impact collectively than any individual player could achieve alone (5min read).
  • MARGATE
    Margate needs a leader to take it to the next stage to becoming a Creative Industries Hub, until then it is down to Turner Contemporary and Dreamland to lead the way (4min read).
  • THE BARN AT ASSINGTON
    Discovering a small retail park with a host of excellent independent businesses in rural England, creating a perfect commercial hub, was a particularly fine surprise (2min read)
  • END OF THE ROAD
    The Haphazard trip has prematurely ended due to an issue with Brook the camper van’s engine. (1min read).
  • CLIFTONVILLE
    Cliftonville in Kent has many of the ingredients to becoming an east Kent hub for the creative industries, particularly design and small tech start ups, if only the powers embrace the area. (10mins read).
  • HERNE BAY
    Potential for Herne Bay in Kent to reinvent itself as a forward-looking dynamic, economically vibrant town is stifled by nostalgia for a faded golden period. (3mins read)
  • ELECTRIC VEHICLES
    Electric vehicles were already being mass produced more than a 100 years before Elon Musk released Tesla's first cars, demonstrates that being ahead of the curve is not always best, even when the business case is correct! (4min read).
  • LEISTON AND SIZEWELL
    Are radical and determined people attracted to towns were there are already radical and determined people or do people become radical and determined by living in a radical and determined town? This was the main takeaway from a visit to Leiston in Suffolk. (2min read)
  • ELIZABETH GARRETT ANDERSON
    Elizabeth Garrett was the first woman to qualify in Britain as a doctor and surgeon. Using her career as a case study, this post poses the question whether a strong support network is the only way overt discrimination can be overcome? (read 5mins)
  • TRIM TABS
    Although grand projects are important, it is the small, almost unnoticed ideas and actions of millions of people that build societies and drive progress. A successful hub requires lots of people doing something they want to do, no matter how minor it may seem, creating a hive of activity and … Read More
  • GREAT YARMOUTH
    Great Yarmouth has amazing potential with numerous historic buildings and fantastic waterfronts. It just requires a strong grand vision to drive it into the 21st century (7min read).
  • FLAT BATTERY
    A flat battery at the beginning of a journey is a good analogy for how quickly plans can go wrong. (1min read)
  • HAPHAZARD WEATHER
    Planning for the weather when organising an event can be a useful metaphor for explaining how the best laid plans can quickly disintegrate if contingency is not built-in. (1min read)
  • HAPHAZARD CAREERS
    What will the place of work look like over the coming decades as lifelong jobs with one employer virtually disappear? Will careers become more Haphazard? (2min read)
  • BREXIT BRITAIN
    Touring Brexit Britain seeking to discover what novel ideas will emerge from such a tumultuous period.
  • OUT OF TIME RECORDS
    Recording of Chris Mortimer, founder of Out Of Time Records discussing the changes he has seen in Ipswich over the past 30 years.
  • IPSWICH
    Ipswich in Suffolk is undergoing a transformation and appears to be building many of the key elements to make it into a hub city that will attract business, new residents and investment. Day one of Haphazard business was full of pleasant surprises.
  • MUSIC METADATA
    For music rights to be shared equitably, standardisation for inputting metadata is required, yet until technology takes over, it will fall to people recording music to have a routine to ensure accurate information is enter, so they get paid all that is due.
  • HAPHAZARD SELF
    American scientists have termed ‘Haphazard Self’ to describe men who are no longer rooted to a job, religion or partner and, in attempting to give-back to the community, sometimes find themselves spiralling into counter-productive tendencies. Many of the motivations and thought processes identified in America were also present during the … Read More
  • HAPHAZARD PERCEPTION
    The perception of Haphazardness often overrides the reality. In creating the Haphazard Index (Hi) it will be necessary to distinguish between what is actually happening and how it is being perceived.
  • ABUNDANT CHOICE
    Is the abundance of choice a potential barrier to starting a business or developing an idea?
  • CREATING A SUCCESSFUL HUB
    In this guest blog post, Founder and Managing Director of Busworks, Gillian Harwood describes her incredible journey from being handed a letter by a bailiff, while hold two small children, taking possession of her house to creating the highly successful Busworks business hub and other creative spaces around Britain.
  • HUB THREATS
    This post discusses the threat to hubs and creative spaces across London and internationally as global capital require higher returns from rent and developments.
  • CREATIVE WORK AND THE CITY SYMPOSIUM
    The Creative Work And The City symposium discussed some of the issues facing creative hubs in London and Southeast Asia.

More on the original outline of the Haphazard trip

There was no fixed route or direction of travel. The journey was dictated by events, recommendations, invitations, weather, roadworks, and just randomly stopping. The intention was to mimic the sense of haphazardness often felt when starting a business, developing a useful product or creating an artwork.

The menu (hamburger top left corner) contains blog posts, photos, recordings and short videos of places visited, interviews and discussions on how ideas emerge, creating stimulating discussion and debate.

Feel free to comment or write a guest blog post. Welcome along…

Donation

This is a self-funded project, any donations to Haphazard Business are very welcome. Thanks John M

£5.00

John M

5 comments

  1. Reply

    In my view, if anything the world is becoming less predictable and forecasting is guess work. If you have an objective in mind then you need to ensure that your approach is agile and that you can adapt what you are doing by comparing where you are with where you want to be. Planning years ahead and expecting to achieve the end goal without adapting won’t usually get you where you want ot be although Universities such as the one I work at do take such an approach.

    1. Thanks for comment Carol, there are other comments along similar lines appearing in regards the need for agility. Karl Richter mentions the need of coping mechanisms for the ‘current mega trends re increasing uncertainty and unpredictability’ (Haphazard Routine) and Prof. John Wood touches on the idea ‘auspicious combinations’ (Abundant Choice), which can create a synergy from two or more perceived negatives.

      The question this poses is how much agility can a person/organisation build into a plan? With such rapid improvement in technology and the unstable political situation likely to continue for a long period, is the risk decision makers just sit on their hands?
      John M

  2. Reply

    survival of the fittest, those that adapt will survive, the Kodak’s of this world won’t. If your plan does not have a mechanism for feedback and acting on it like many public secotr organisations it wil eventually fail. People who manage more established businesses are probably at the highest risk and the most likely to sit on their hands till it is too late.

    1. Your response prompted me to look up Kodak to see what it is up to these days. I became friends with an ex-Kodak exec who gives a fantastic talk on the Kodak collapse, and highlights some of the things you mention here. This Kodak video from 2014 , https://youtu.be/Dmy167ABd3E discusses the journey of their new SONORA system, and clearly feedback is front and centre in the General Manager’s mind and how they have been expanding the business. This might be a good case study for later in this project. Thanks, John M

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