As you may have digested from the Eno Land (E Nolan Developments) moniker I do, or did, have an interest in commercial property. Luckily ‘development’ can apply to almost anything.
Commercial property was too pedestrian and dry for me. Though the work of retail property guru Joey Kaempfer (BAA McArthur Glen) did ultimately inspire me to pursue areas that were more consumer focused.
A fleeting dalliance with out of home advertising introduced me to the seductive world of the media, from there I discovered the warp speed world of ad tech. Additionally some of my wider activities have reached into diverse areas from road pricing to blockchain, and a whole lot more in between.
I gravitate towards work that involves tackling big problems, whether this is developing strategies to disrupt mature markets or by creating large new ones. There’s nearly always a better way to do something, it just needs a creative and curious mindset to approach it.
In the recent past I had hoped to launch a venture focusing on developing a multi-vendor consumer engagement platform that bridged online – offline retail. But raising the significant capital requirement proved insurmountable. The work involved building a DSP (Demand Side Platform), anyone familiar with these will realise the sort of figures I’m talking about – and that was just a small part of what was needed.
Unperturbed I had persisted trying to raise funds by utilising a complex financial structure involving derivatives, but ultimately had to concede that the market wasn’t ready for this just yet.
More recently I’ve founded a start-up that has a novel and ambitious take on the UK’s £2bn cut-flowers market. Just behind the big supermarkets and disounters it is hoped that this will become one of the largest retailer of cut-flowers in the UK, but it’s still at a very early stage.
Whilst cut-flowers may not seem like the most dynamic of industries, navigating a complex and nuanced supply chain involving highly perishable goods and balancing this with demand will be a constant and exciting challenge.
Needless to say much of my work on consumer engagement will be also rolled out with the venture. As it is a novel proposition, consumer adoption will replicate that of a complex contagion, therefore sophisticated proprietary promotional tools with be used to ensure it has a high viral coefficient.
The immediate opportunity and future valuable optionality created by the venture is significant enough to sustain my attention for sometime. But my work on consumer engagement will continue in parallel and be enhanced with the venture as well.