Why I’ll be covering more Climate and Social Impact tech in the future

In August, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its major sixth assessment report on the physical science of climate change. The details, which I wrote about, are grim, and the report was stern and blunt in its conclusions. The report concluded that human activity is changing the climate at an unprecedented rate, and was described as a “code red for humanity” by its authors. It also assessed

How to tell stories about your startup beyond funding

Since I wrote my original rant… sorry, essay about why tech startups often fail to engage productively with the media, (“The Press release is dead”) and what do to about it, I’ve had a lot of feedback. Most people seemed to like and appreciate the advice. But of course, eventually, some started to ask me what they could do beyond ‘the basics’ (which is what my original presentation was designed

Two years ago today I found myself on Newsnight talking about WhatsApp

Two years ago today I found myself on BBC’s Newsnight sitting in front of Jeremy Paxman at 11.10pm. Twenty minutes earlier I’d been in a pub in Shoreditch, relaxing after work on a Friday night. Two pints and one G&T in, I was alerted that Facebook had bought WhatsApp for $19bn, one of the biggest startup acquisitions in history. Newsnight’s Producer rang me and asked me to get in a

The Press Release Is Dead — Use This Instead

I’m QUITE TIRED of dealing with MILLIONS of tech entrepreneurs (these days there are a HELL of a lot of you) and (some) PR people who have ZERO clue how to pitch me/TechCrunch/the media. Their pitches are long-winded and rambling. They ask if they could ‘send some more information’. Listen, I have no idea if it’s interesting or not until you send it! Many just ask me out to lunch

The Olympics has inspired #TeamGB — Maybe now it’s time for #TechGB

This is an unashamedly personal post which I thought sat better on my (slightly neglected) personal blog than on TechCrunch. Up until The Olympics in London it’s fair to say “The United Kindom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” (to use our full name) had become a pretty cynical place. The economy is in the doldrums, people and businesses are really hurting day-to-day – and we’d had myriad scandals amongst

How To Deal With Tech Media

Below is a talk I’ve given dozens of times on how to deal with the tech media, especially when you are a tech startup – usually the ‘blogging’ type media these days. It’s not definitive, it’s just my personal perspective, but I hope it’s useful. Underneath is a video of me giving the presentation. It’s roughly based on a rant… sorry, essay I wrote. Mike Butcher – Startup Turkey 2015

I met Steve Jobs once

I met Steve Jobs once. It was at the launch of the iPhone in the UK in September 2007 (here are my pictures from that day). It was a busy day. A few weeks before there had been a frenzy after the launch in the US. Days after the UK launch I was covering people sleeping outside the store on Regent Street. The iPhone had changed everything. But on that

Reuters TV asked me about Berlin

When a TV crew rings you up and asks you to appear in a report you generally say yes, though one doesn’t normally know how it’ll turn out. In this case I think Reuters got the story right (embedded below). Berlin is indeed becoming a big startup hub in Europe (and ‘ll be back there again next week, as it happens). Why is this? First of all: it’s cheap. It’s

Lessons Unlearned: The Lame Startup

Some of the following examples are the kinds of things all bad startups do. But a few of them are particular to European startups. Let’s see…

I come across a lot of immaturity in the startup market in Europe. Some of it is accidental. Some wilful ignorance, created because people simple won’t inform themselves.

So here, dear reader, is your cut out and keep guide to how not to do a startup in Europe.

Let’s start off with money.

Stay really dumb about money. Don’t read anything. Subscribe to no blogs about how venture capital works. Next up, confuse venture capital with startups and assume you simply must have an Angel round. Avoid working out a business model which may actually bring in revenue. Cashflow always beats taking investment — but you’ll ignore that.