What i would do if i was Prime Minister (not that i’d want to!)


Not that this is any aspiration of mine. I think people who know me would probably agree that i am far too impatient and politically incorrect to run the country. Or any country for that matter.

I do however think that very little is done in terms of ‘out of the box’ thinking to solve our biggest problem here : Unemployment.

Here’s an interesting scenario:

There’s £4.6bn being spent every year on unemployment benefits. There are 750 Job Centres employing 78,000 people scattered around the country. A few of the most common jobs offered are sales rep, carer, call centre agent which pay minimum wage of £6.19 phour.

And then picture this. Of he 2.51m unemployed and able to work, a whopping 99% are literate and  82.7% had some higher education beyond.continue reading »

We are about to overtake Ford Motor company in workforce size!

What I find most remarkable about what we do at PeoplePerHour is giving people real access. That what the internet does through and through one would argue, and its true, but think about the impact of that for a tiny business just starting off

Because of the internet and innovations like PeoplePerHour, a one man band just starting off now has access to a workforce of near 325,000 business. Just a mouse click away

To put this into perspective that’s 2k less than Ford Motor company, a company founded in 1903 and  has – amongst other achievements – commercialized the car!  No small feat by any measure of the imagination J

Or seen otherwise – that’s 15k more than Tesco: the largest retailer in the UK with an annual turnover over £40bn!

Isn’t that truly amazing? How a company of the size of 1 can have more people readily available to work for it, from Day 1. Think of what Tesco had to go through to get there!:)

That’s what’s truly transformational and disruptive about what we do and why we have full conviction that we are at the beginning of a new era for business, for entrepreneurs and for talent the world over.

The Starbucks Index

Starbucks doesn’t just make coffee. It serves as a global standard for the service economy. Much like the Big Mac index is back of the envelope (yet surprisingly accurate) reflection of the purchasing power parity (PPP) between countries, in other words what would it cost you in dollar terms to get a Big mac in country A versus Country B once exchange rate is factored in?   It’s a measure of how much a dollar can take you in those respective countries.

With my frequent travels recently the idea of a services power parity hit me. A cappuccino at Starbucks is a very much a standard committee across the world. Yet go to New York, London, Athens, Dubai and watch and measure the time it takes to make the same commodity. In my case – truth be told – I do give them a somewhat of a hard time, with my extras duper uber dry cappuccino with an extra shot. Even more so:  the speed of comprehension and execution of my customized order is a – again surprising due to its simplicity – reflection of the efficiency of the service economy in these cities. As is the baristas reaction to a customize order in the first place. This is what I’ve called ‘The Starbucks Index”.

So next time you travel, try going to a Starbucks and ordering the exact same coffee you have in your home town and watch the difference. In some countries you will quickly realize how much needs to be done to get them back to a productive state. It has happened to me that I had to wait for the barista in one city to finish a phone conversion on his mobile phone (and believe me it did not sound like a conversation with his boss!)

We are not building a business, we are creating a movement!


I wrote a blog post today on the PPH blog giving an update to our community on the upcoming Hourlies launch. One of the main things i relay in this post is my amazement to date on the sheer diversity of services people are offering, from as little as one hour.  From the bread and butter type services like WordPress template design, creating a logo or a website, to teaching you the basics of social media, how to code or speak a language, creating your caricature OR .. one of my favourites: designing a custom made dog coat in 3 hours for $40 !!

As Hourlies are trickling in by the hour i am more and more seeing validation of my original intuition and vision. That the labour market is ripe for disruption. I see it in the ‘hunger’ of people which leads to the inventiveness and the originality of what they post.

It’s been said that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. I say hunger is.  And i mean hunger in the broader sense here; i mean the deep desire of people to work for themselves, to go out and do something different. To be in control, to do the things they love and earn an income while doing it. And to do it their own way.continue reading »

Internet trends 2012

KPCB Internet Trends – 2012

Why America is still the land of opportunity

I just spent two weeks in New York. It was supposed to be a very non-descript trip, without a concrete purpose. I went there to attend a few tech conferences, meet a few people I had connected to via email and wanted to meet, and get a local vibe of the new hot tech scene that everyone is talking about – now the 2nd largest in the world after silicon valley.

I write this on the plane on the way back to London. And already I have my return flight booked for next week, I have a real estate agent looking to get me a flat (or ‘apartment’ i should say :-)) and I already signed up new office space there. And got close to making my first hire. And I feel I moved slow even. 🙂 That’s the pace this city moves in.continue reading »

What politicians dont get (or do)!

The world economy is in shambles and yet I find if shocking that what politicians are doing about it is virtually all wrong.  No one is really taking a long term view and interest in fixing the problems that got us here…instead we are massaging the truth and giving people false hope. And as much as I am critical of the banking system and its failure to serve society I think our economies were troubled before the banking crisis. Bankers did what they do best – get greedy, put their self interest above all else and by virtue of their misdoing magnify the problem. But they weren’t necessarily the root cause. continue reading »

Bubble or paradigm shift?

I’ve finally decided to write my two pence on what’s become quite a bubbly discussion in itself: are we in another tech bubble?

Let me start by saying rather controversially that first I think this is the wrong question to be asking. Great companies have emerged out of bubbles as we’ve seen in the Web 1.0 phase. Yes there were a lot of failures, busts and losses in early 2000’s; but what we forget is that there have also been big winners whose collective gain outstrips those losses. Companies like eBay, Amazon and Cisco all came out of the first tech bubble and have proven to have strong and sustainable businesses which are still growing. So focus on what YOU are doing not what the herd is doing I say.

And what is a bubble anyway? There are tonnes of text book definitions which ultimately focus on technical definitions like valuation. Are things over-priced and is there too much liquidity being pumped in a sector or asset class? To me these are the wrong definitions. We are at the onset of a paradigm shift (which I explain below) so almost by definition existing valuation models will be wrong, So for me multiples being high means very little. What it comes down to is people getting ahead of themselves and investing in things they don’t fully understand or appreciate – and why? Because someone else is. “Oh I have to jump on this bandwagon…everyone’s doing it” That’s what leads to irrational exuberance . continue reading »