Why the solar eclipse left me cold

Hurrah, it was cloudy yesterday morning. Really cloudy: that dirty-white duvet-thick covering that only British skies seem capable of. Oh, how I love the British weather on such occasions as the solar eclipse. There was absolutely no chance of viewing it here in London, meaning there was absolutely no chance of being distracted by yet another daft thing intended to …

Do outsiders have to be better? Just ask the man (not) from the Pru

The entire premise of Malcolm Gladwell’s best-selling book David & Goliath is that misfits and outsiders have inbuilt advantages they can exploit for personal gain. The book’s eponymous hero, David, is a case in point. David took on the warrior giant, not head to head, but by using his shepherd-boy guile. Declining the heavy armour offered to him, he instead …

Entrepreneurs as social superheroes: not so fast

Oh no, I’ve just made myself unpopular again. This time it was at a breakfast event (at the House of Lords, donchaknow) – celebrating social enterprise and entrepreneurialism as a social good. Why I couldn’t have kept my big gob shut I don’t know. But I couldn’t. I just had to ruin it, saying that entrepreneurs tend to be selfish …

Steve Strange: the outsider (poacher) turned insider (gamekeeper)

I’m not great at reacting to news immediately, which – I realise – is not a fantastic trait in a blogger. I’d rather ponder news, digesting it for a while before reacting. In fact, I’m not even sure what news affects me until – after a few days – I notice it’s still there: in my brain – worming away. …

Wazzocks, Walters and working class creativity (or how the full grant transformed Britain into an outsider’s paradise)

I’m in that obligatory gap between completing my latest book and it’s publication (in April). Yet the time’s filling up with newsy examples of what The Outside Edge is all about: the notion that outsiders are disadvantaged (ever more so) but that their unique viewpoint can support their success – with vision, the right mindset and lots of hard work. …

My New Year’s resolution: think “beautiful thoughts”

“Come on you old bag, get a move on.” I didn’t actually utter these words. But I thought them – stuck in the queue in the bakers on New Year’s Eve. In fact, I think such thoughts a lot. Sometimes “bag” is replaced with “git”, and “old” may become “stupid”. But, other than that, I’m pretty much guaranteed to think along …

The Cereal Killer entrepreneurs and the Channel 4 drive-by shooting

I’m often asked why I went into PR rather than pursue my primary skill of journalism. For many PRs, the reason for moving to the “dark side” is due to money. The wages are assumed to be better, although that sometimes hides the fact opportunities for journalists can thin-out once over a certain age. Yet that wasn’t my reason. I’m …

Is Brand the “psycho” in claret and blue?

I’ve always been rather proud of West Ham’s higher-than-average celebrity following. All the more so because, unlike – say – Chelsea or Manchester United (or even Liverpool), West Ham isn’t a cup-winning club attracting famous supporters for that reason. Rather, it’s a local football club that happens to be located in an area generating lots of high-achievers. All those celebrity …