How to be a CEO
Tumblr CEO Matt Mullenweg on open-sourcing social media
After taking WordPress from a small blogging site in the 2000s to an all-in-one website creation platform, which is now the backbone of around a third of all websites, Matt Mullenweg has now set his sights on social media. Now as CEO of Tumblr, Matt reveals his plans to revamp the site, welcome disillusioned ex-Twitter and Reddit users, and create a social site that is, at its core, open-source. In this episode:
- Matt’s battleplan for making Tumblr better
- How social media sites copy features from competitors
- Where Matt got his nickname as ‘the blog prince’
- How Wordpress took on tech giants like Microsoft, Google & AOL
- Making Tumblr’s algorithm open-source
- How AI will play a role in improving Tumblr
- Is generative AI a concern?
- Can social media actually help people connect?
For more news, interviews and analysis go to standard.co.uk/business.
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Comic Relief's Samir Patel: Running a charity in a cost-of-living crisis15:26This is a special edition of How to be a CEO, in support of the Evening Standard and Comic Relief’s Winter Survival Campaign. To donate go to comicrelief.com/winterdonate. The campaign continues until December 22nd.Running a business in a cost of living crisis is hard. Imagine running a charity? Samir Patel’s the CEO of Comic Relief, which last year raised fifty million pounds to help causes addressing poverty and injustice. But the crises just keep coming, and economies around the world remain volatile. So, in all that, how do you persuade people with less money in their own pockets to give you something? In this episode we talk about: • How Comic Relief believes charity can be fun and the need to inspire hope• The constant change required to stay relevant• How global crises are affecting donations to the charity sector• The shocking deprivation this year's Evening Standard & Comic Relief Winter Survival campaign is trying to tackleFor more on the campaign go to standard.co.uk. To donate, go to comicrelief.com/winterdonate Get more interviews, news and analysis at standard.co.uk/business
GoPro CEO Nick Woodman on luck, AI and beating the competition23:30It was 2002 when entrepreneur Nick Woodman first set up his GoPro business, something he calls today "the realisation of a dream".What was only intended to be a small, niche business offering a new way of filming for surfers, grew into a household name synonymous with action cameras for extreme sports, adventuring and capturing footage in all conditions.In this episode Nick tells us about his 21-year journey with GoPro, how he deals with competition in the secctor, the company's ethos of helping creators do more, and his future plans for the brand. In this episode:Nick's belief in 'a great deal of lucky timing'Why he was 'terrified' of hiring people at the startNick's fear of competition and what he does to stay on topPlans for desktop video editing software, and AI to make editing easier'Stay tuned' for new types of camera from GoProWhy being passionate about a business is key to successFor more news, interviews and analysis go to standard.co.uk/business.
79. B&Q CEO Graham Bell's blueprint for the future25:32Graham Bell took the reigns at B&Q in 2018, and has seen the company through a rapid evolution. In this episode we talk about: His first day on the job and what his priorities wereHow the Covid pandemic turbocharged their developmentWhat the company's priorities are nowHow customer demands led to them opening smaller storesWhy he's grateful to the person who bought the diy.com URL all those years agoFor more interviews, news and analysis, go to standard.co.uk/business
78. Joseph Joseph: From 'Gremlinesque' mistakes to global success21:34Twenty years ago Richard and his twin brother Anthony Joseph set up their company, Joseph Joseph, with an idea to revolutionise tasks in the home. Simple things like making better chopping boards for the kitchen, ironing boards that fold, and all sorts of ways to tidy up those kitchen drawers. Of course, not everything worked out. Yet, even with a few missteps here and there, Richard’s now CEO of a company that made a pre-tax profit of 20 million pounds last year, with 75% of their sales coming from outside of the UK. Not bad for a couple of brothers whose first steps into the international market involved loading a small car with chopping boards and driving around Europe for three weeks. In this episode we talk about:· How Joseph Joseph was formed· The kitchenware buyer that saved the company with one order· Why Richard’s been buying up their old designs on ebay, and what they’re worth today· Why product prices are “quite far down the track” during development· How their homes are all full of prototypes of failed experiments· The “gremlinesque” story of the spring-activated potato masher that didn’t go to plan· How online reviews have transformed how they listen to customers· How they got to a point where 75% of their sales are internationalFor more interviews, news and analysis, go to standard.co.uk/business.
77. Charlie Bigham: The beauty of simplicity25:07Charlie Bigham is the founder of the food company that bears his own name. Created in 1996 in his own kitchen, it now employs 700 people and sells dishes from chicken and mushroom pies you put in the oven to pan-fried Pad Thais. In this episode we talk about: Why he gave up his career as a management consultant to pursue his own businessThe importance of keeping things simple, from business ideas to recipesWhy it would have been harder to set up a company like his in France or ItalyHow the business is adapting to new technology and AIFor more business interviews, news and analysis, go to standard.co.uk or pick up the Evening Standard newspaper.
76. How BT Business CEO Bas Burger's preparing for the next tech revolution27:59When BT Business was officially launched in April this year, Bas Burger was the man entrusted to take the reigns. He’s in charge of 24,000 people, and a multi-billion pound strategy to make the UK’s broadband infrastructure fit for the future. In this episode we talk about:· Why BT Business had to be created and why he wanted the top job· Why a CEO should “ask questions and not give answers for as long as you can”· The challenges it faces to make the UK prepared for the AI revolution· Why every company’s a digital company and what that means for technology demand· How Canadian ice hockey legend Wayne Gretsky’s influenced his strategy· The importance of knowing “what’s not going to happen” in the future· Why the UK’s “arguably” fallen behind Europe in digital communication· How he was first made a CEO at the age of 31, and how fast he had to learn· Why as a student he spent all his money on a plane trip from the Netherlands to the UK to get his first ever jobFor more business interviews, news and analysis go to standard.co.uk/business, or pick up the Evening Standard newspaper.
75. Candy Crush: How it wrote the blueprint for mobile game success16:32Tjodolf Sommestad is the President of King Games, creators of Candy Crush. One of the earliest 'freemium' games, over the last decade it's become the most downloaded match game in the world, with three billion downloads across platforms. In this episode we talk about: How Candy Crush was developedWhy its rapid success forced Tjodolf to put his own job at riskWhat you do when there's no map to follow in a new marketCould AI play Candy Crush for you?What level of the game is he on?For more interviews, news and analysis go to standard.co.uk/business.
73. DrDoctor's Tom Whicher: What happens if you're too ahead of the game?20:24If you've ever had a text reminding you about a hospital appointment, there's a good chance it'll have come via DrDoctor. The platform was built in 2012 and allows patients to book or cancel visits. When co-founder Tom Whicher was developing the idea, the concept of sharing data, and using AI in healthcare was controversial. Now, it's commonplace and the company started this year by winning £10 million of funding. So, how did they do that? We also talk about: The use of AI in healthcare and why doctors will never be replaced by machines. Why winning large funding rounds means the work has only just begunHow they kept the company going through its rough earliest yearsHis reaction when he got his first real appointment reminder text via his own companyThe car he sold to get DrDoctor started, and the one he's just bought (which might surprise you) For more news, interviews and analysis go to standard.co.uk/business.