Nick's Notes

Trust and Leadership

There is, for people interested in politics like I am, an increasingly fascinating election campaign going on in the UK. It is too close for the pollsters to call, and more than ever the result will be determined by the vote of approximately 90 marginal constituencies. The complexity of the picture is exacerbated by the number of parties standing for []

Flight 4U9525

In these blog posts, I have tried to develop a way of commenting on the news or anything else that caught my eye and somehow maneouvering that to allow me to make a point about IT, and especially the role of the CIO. Not today. The unfolding news of Germanwings flight 4U9525 is too grim for that, especially as so []


As I write this in London, the sun is almost entirely eclipsed by the moon. 85% of the disk is covered. I know this because it has been calculated – a heavy cloud prevents any observation. London is eerily gloomy and the street lights have come back on. Eclipses are quite rare – the next one with 100% coverage (Total []

What is Reality?

My mother has Alzheimer’s disease. She is still in the early phase – memory loss, and some associated confusion but she is still able to live a largely independent life, especially with the incredible support she gets from her friends. And yet, already it is hard to have a meaningful conversation with her – although she enjoys “a chat”, when []

Embedded Intelligence

Recently I was talking with a CIO about the apparently contradictory research showing that even though the “democratization” of computer knowledge appears to be sweeping all before it, many people remain frightened of breaking their computer by doing something wrong. At home this is responsible for the phenomenal success of the Raspberry Pi – it’s so cheap the kids can []

Customer Journeys

There is a lot of talk these days about customer journeys. Whilst the phrase is jargon the idea behind it – that customer needs are not static – is important. Equally important is the idea that customers go through a decision making process before committing to buy from you. With online engagement, markers can be identified which allow organisations to []

Unpleasant isn’t (necessarily) bad

I have just recovered from a brief but unpleasant bout of sickness brought on, I think, by something I ate. It was unpleasant, but it was “good” for me in that my body removed the toxins. Don’t worry, we’ll go no further! It crossed my mind during my recuperation that things that are unpleasant are not always bad for us. []

Shibboleths, Totems, Props and Placebos

I’m not sure there is an exact word for what I want to discuss this week – if there is let me know in the comments. None of the words in the title quite do it, but come quite close. There is a firestorm amongst audiophiles raging on the internet. For some time DAC (digital / analogue conversion) has been []

Awkward Squad?

Almost every team has at least one of them – a fully paid up member of the awkward squad. You know the sort of people, always asking “difficult” questions, not taking yes for an answer, whittling away at things by never quite dropping it. You notice them because they are working against the consensus. If the same questioning techniques are []

Losing the magic?

Three things struck me this week which I thought I would share with you. In no particular order: Apple’s quarterly results were astonishing The iPhone 6 hit a chord, bigger screen phones are something many people want. But alongside that highlight was the news that iPad sales declined 18%. It is roughly 5 years since Steve jobs announced the iPad []

Constraining Ideas

I read a story in the newspapers over the weekend that made me surprised and disappointed. The article was about a trial of driverless cars on the roads of the UK. There are to be four locations for a trial, and that this innovation is being taken so seriously surprised me. But then the disappointment kicked in as there is []

Je suis…

There has been so much coverage of the dreadful events in Paris, and they are so far away from my usual subjects in this blog, save for the knee-jerk reaction of some politicians to want to put in place surveillance measures that damage our freedoms in the name of freedom that having referenced the phrase that so many have spoken []
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