Tech Nation 2016

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The 2016 Tech Nation report was released today, and things are looking good: the UK’s Digital Industries are growing 32% faster than the rest of the UK economy, and estimated turnover is £161 billion!

Nudjed is part of the South Wales tech cluster, and we were asked to give our thoughts on what it’s like to start and grow a business in this area. Obviously, we’re big fans; CEO Warren says:

There are lots of active, supportive communities of entrepreneurs. Organisations like Cardiff Start and Welsh ICE have been incredibly valuable to us and the Welsh Government is very supportive of new business, with various technology funds, tax incentives and graduate employment schemes designed to help startups to succeed.

You can read the full report at http://www.techcityuk.com/technation/

 

Nudge Theory – The Psychology Behind Nudjed

Nudge theory is the theory behind the way Nudjed works, and it has recently hit headlines because of its application in British politics – both David Cameron and Barack Obama are fans of the theory.

It’s a concept that explains how people think, make decisions, and behave. The theory was first put forward in the book ‘Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness’, written by American academics Richard H Thaler and Cass R Sunstein, and is based on the Nobel prize-winning work of the Israeli-American psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky.

The UK Government introduced a body called the Behavioural Insights Team in 2010. Their aim was to shape public behaviour through encouraging good choices, rather than through more traditional methods such as legislation, bans, taxes and benefits. For example, they created an initiative to encourage more unemployed people to attend job interviews by sending cleverly worded text prompts – after implementing the scheme, attendance increased by around 16%, and the initiative is now used in all job centres across the UK. You can read more about the government’s use of nudge theory in this report from BBC News.

So, how does nudge theory become Nudjed? Nudge theory proposes that the designing of choices should be based on how people actually think and decide (instinctively and rather irrationally), rather than how leaders and authorities traditionally (and typically incorrectly) believe people think and decide (logically and rationally).

For example, if the NHS or other authorities wanted make people healthier, they might use tools like the official recommended daily allowance of sugar. The problem with this is that those methods don’t really have much effect on the decisions ordinary people make in their day-to-day lives – we all know that doctors want us to eat less sugar, but that doesn’t stop us from deciding to have a chocolate bar when we’re hungry.

nudjed-icon-sugar

Nudge theory works by encouraging and enabling people to make the right choices. So, if you were to use Nudjed to encourage people to eat less sugar, we would use nudges (or ‘nudjes’, because we’re a startup and that’s the kind of thing we do) to inform people about the dangers of eating too much sugar. We could also suggest practical alternatives for other snacks you could have that are just as nice but have less sugar than a chocolate bar, like dried fruit or a trail mix with dark chocolate pieces.

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Nudjed sends ‘nudjes’ in the form of text message or email reminders, which encourage you to stay on track with the healthy challenge you’ve decided to take. When we work with organisations, we could suggest that the company provides healthier snack options in the workplace – enabling people to make the right decision.Nudjed-Logo-Colour-800x600

If you’d like to learn more about nudge theory, this article explains it very well. And if you’d like to learn more about how Nudjed can make you or your business healthier, then don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Nudjed and Edgar – Best Buddies!

At Nudjed, we like to be open about our business, from the Lean and Agile methodologies we follow to the software we use. You can read up on some of that stuff here: the Startup Starter Kit, a look inside our office, and some thoughts from our UX developer on agile development and working in CSS.

Today, we’d like to share a social media marketing secret that we swear by – and his name is Edgar.

Edgar is a social media scheduling tool with a difference. We’ve used the whole run of apps, including Buffer, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck and many more, and nothing has impressed us more than Edgar. The premise is simple – the majority of your social media updates are effectively wasted. Organic reach for Facebook posts is down to 4%, and a tweet is only seen by the small proportion of your followers who happen to be online when you post it.

Edgar works by creating a library of your social media updates, and publishes them according to a schedule that you can customise for each of your networks – and when all of your new updates are posted, Edgar goes back and starts recycling older updates that your followers may have missed the first time round!

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Edgar has saved us a huge amount of time by effectively automating our social media updates – this leaves us with more time for creating new content, engaging with our followers in real time, and getting on with other important business-type stuff. We’ve also been hugely impressed with Edgar HQ’s active community Facebook group – the team behind Edgar are consistently available to help out with any questions or problems, and the users share content, tips and solutions in an awesome friendly environment.

In short, we love Edgar – and we think you might too! You can find out more by visiting meetedgar.com. If there are other aspects of the Nudjed process you think we should cover on this blog, feel free to get in touch – just email becky@nudjed.com!

In Conversation With The Nudjed Board: Part Three

Earlier this week, we announced the appointment of our Board of Advisors. With over 100 years of combined experience, they are an invaluable asset to the company, and we’re greatly looking forward to benefiting from their words of wisdom! In this series, we ask the board members for their opinions and insights on topics including investment, health, and the South Wales startup scene.

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Q5: What do you think of the tech scene in Wales, and Nudjed’s place in it?

David Ward Walton: The tech scene in Wales is vibrant and growing, with a developing support infrastructure. Nudjed is the only health app, so it’s well placed.

Paul Watkins: I see Wales as under-represented in Britain’s tech scene. Nudjed is helping to redress the balance.

Ashley Cooper: Wales is producing a significant volume of entrepreneurial talent, much of it within the technology sector. There are some interesting and innovative products coming to market, including the Nudjed offering.

Mark Hindmarsh: I’ve been monitoring the early stage tech scene in Wales for some time now and will say that, in the last two years, I have experienced the noticeable emergence of several promising digital tech start-up businesses coming out of the country’s two main cities, Swansea and Cardiff. Nudjed is one of these new Welsh businesses that has an opportunity to scale globally and become a role model that encourages others to follow.

If you missed the previous articles in this series, you can find them here: Part One; Part Two. For more great content around health, tech and startups, follow us on Twitter!

In Conversation With The Nudjed Board: Part Two

Earlier this week, we announced the appointment of our Board of Advisors. With over 100 years of combined experience, they are an invaluable asset to the company, and we’re greatly looking forward to benefiting from their words of wisdom! In this series, we ask the board members for their opinions and insights on topics including investment, health, and the South Wales startup scene.

nudjed-advisoryboard-edit-dec14

Q3: What do you think of the health technology business opportunity and marketplace?

David Ward Walton: ‘Health’ is a huge and growing market. As a product that provides tailored nuggets of health advice for busy people, Nudjed is right on the money. And as a B2B proposition, by targeting employees though their companies, the route-to-market strategy is very do-able.

Paul Watkins: The problem that Nudjed is trying to solve is very current. There is an urgent need to find tools that lead to health improvements through behavioural change and nutrition education. Business and industry are demanding it. Nudjed’s approach gives the help that people need just at the moment when they need it during their day. A company that can provide demonstrable health and productivity improvements to a workforce is a powerful business proposition.

Ashley Cooper: The key to business performance is the performance of the people within the business. Improving the physical and mental well-being is a challenge for all organisations, in order to improve productivity and increase engagement. As a result, the potential for Nudjed as a product is significant.

Mark Hindmarsh: Health and wellbeing are becoming ever more prevalent in people’s everyday lives, be it at home or more increasingly in the workplace. This presents a significant business opportunity for a company like Nudjed to offer non-obtrusive beneficial health solutions that are affordable and which fit into and around people’s daily routines

What would you say to potential investors about Nudjed?

David Ward Walton: Nudjed is a good bet – huge market, smart proposition, committed and talented founders, great route-to-market strategy.

Paul Watkins: Nudjed has what investors look for: a differentiated product, an intelligent and energetic team that can work together, the ability to execute a plan and deliver results – and they have built something of real quality.

Ashley Cooper: Nudjed presents a significant opportunity to invest in a fast-growing business. The potential is massive and the possible returns significant. Tech businesses can grow very fast and can command very high values, as we have seen with the likes of Facebook and Whatsapp.

Mark Hindmarsh: No investment in an unproven start-up is a sure thing, but Nudjed is as good as any and, in my opinion, has what it takes to succeed: a great team, a compelling proposition and a huge addressable market opportunity in a hot topic area that effects everyone, health and wellbeing.

Keep your eyes peeled for more from our board over the next few days – follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss a thing! If you missed yesterday’s article, you can read it here.

Board Members Fact Sheet

NUDJED BOARD MEMBERS – KEY FACTS

David Ward Walton

  • Business and Marketing Consultant
  • Presentation Skills and Pitch Coach (runs masterclasses throughout the UK)
  • Business experience includes: Saatchi & Saatchi, Sony, GTECH, Lyons
  • Entrepreneur – three successful businesses built
  • Also a Board Member with Publicate Ltd and Quiz For Biz Ltd
  • @davidwardwalton
  • uk.linkedin.com/in/davidwardwalton
  • Paul Watkins

  • Chairman of Nudjed Advisory Board
  • Executive Coach based in Geneva, Switzerland
  • Non-Executive Director for Agroceutical Products Ltd
  • Member of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council
  • Also a registered ski instructor and open water diver
  • Previous roles with IBM, Corsair Inc., and Micron.
  • ch.linkedin.com/pub/paul-watkins/1/92a/87b
  • Mark Hindmarsh

  • Serial Entrepreneur & Business Development Professional – helped start Active Imaging (AIM listing – 1996), yet2.com (sold to Scipher – 2002) and Coull
  • Also an advisor and investor with Verticly, KlausTech, Shomei, Dizzyjam
  • Previous exits with SearchRev, Analog Analytics and JiWire Europe
  • @MarkHindmarsh2
  • uk.linkedin.com/in/markhindmarsh
  • Ashley Cooper

  • Founder of TES Aviation Group, CEO 1995-July 2014; NED July 2014-Dec 2014
  • Business Coach and Mentor; Big Ideas Wales Role Model
  • Previously: Rolls-Royce Aero Engines, GE Aircraft Engines; Biotec Services International (NED)
  • Board Director and Investor in multiple businesses
  • Founder and Director Catalyst Growth Partners
  • @AshleyGCooper
  • uk.linkedin.com/pub/ashley-cooper/17/781/48a
  • For more information, visit www.nudjed.com/press or email press@nudjed.com

    Finance Wales Announcement

    We’re thrilled to officially announce today that we have secured £125,000 in investment from Finance Wales – we’re the first company to benefit from their new investment fund!

    This is huge news for us, as it represents a vote of confidence in what Nudjed is doing as a business and our future potential. We’ll be using the money to increase the size of our engineering and delivery teams.

    Economy Minister Edwina Hart welcomed the news, saying, “The Wales Technology Seed Fund provides exciting technology start-ups like Nudjed with the backing to become leading Welsh technology businesses of the future, boosting the Welsh economy and supporting business growth. Nudjed will also be able to benefit from Finance Wales’ links with other early stage investors.”

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    Nudjed co-founders Warren Fauvel and Neil Atherton with James Henderson of Finance Wales.

    This news is especially exciting considering the news last week that in order to tackle the obesity crisis, the government will be giving funds to businesses to encourage their staff to lose weight. Nudjed is ahead of the curve in this regard, as we offer B2B service specifically designed to make whole offices healthier – you can read more about that here.

    Neil Cocker, CEO of CardiffStart, the largest community of tech entrepreneurs in the region, believes that this windfall is good news for other South Wales businesses. He commented: “The Nudjed team are really pioneering in their field and within the community. If anyone can succeed, these guys will!”

    For media enquiries, visit our press page or email press@nudjed.com.

    The Roadmap – Part Three: Making A Sale

    Nudjed-StartupStarterKit-Roadmap3

    The ‘Roadmap’ section of the Startup Starter Kit is an outline of the background research you’ll need to do and the steps you’ll need to take to get your business from the ‘idea’ stage to a viable business. If you’ve come to this in the wrong order, start with part 1, Finding A Market. This section will take you through making your first few sales and validating your product.

    Timescale: 1-2 weeks

    Skills: Communication

    Success: Getting 10 people to part with their cash and thus validating your idea.

    Failure: If your vision doesn’t sell, go back and change it.

    Every company needs to sell something. If you’ve read the Roadmap this far, we’re going to assume you’re not a $mm funded Y-Combinator Alum with a crack team of devs working 18 hour days (though if that is the case, come say hello!).

    If you’re bootstrapping, you can’t bet on virality. Plan for it by all means, but please, don’t try to build Facebook.2 from your kitchen table.

    Sales are financial validation.

    But wait… you haven’t built anything yet…

     

    Why build something nobody wants?

    • Ash Mayura

     

    Do you really want to risk writing ‘000s of lines of code before selling to 10 people?

    Full disclosure: We did this bit badly. We put it down to lack of experience/balls. Honestly: define a vision/demographic, set a price, and go pitch it.

    Setting a price

    There are hundreds of articles about how to charge for your service out there. I’d advocate a Keep It Simple Model. You’re not trying to innovate here, you’re trying to validate.

     

    Higher up-front payment = Higher levels of validation

     

    As a basic level, I’d go for up-front annual subscription. Try a higher price than you think, then discount it if people resist.

    Nudjed-MobileApp+Web-PriceAnchor.jpg

    Find some people to sell to:

    Finding sales targets is also an issue, but we found two neat ways to do it.

    Here’s a simple way to validate your pricing digitally:

    • Set up a PayPal/Stripe Account

    • Build a landing page on Onbounce/Wordpress

    • Set your vision out with a clear call to action

    • Set your target demographic on Facebook Ads

    • Send users to your page

    • Contact every person who buys directly, explaining the lack of service.

    It’s great because it’s very quantifiable, but it will cost only a few bucks to do.

    Or if you prefer physically:

    • Create a short sales contract – something with pricing on it

    • Produce some sales literature (iPad/Leaflet)

    • Go to a networking event/street corner where your target demographic dwell

    • Pitch it until people sign up

    • Once someone has committed to paying, explain the lack of service

    When you have at least 10 sales (more is good!) you’ve validated the service. In reality, you will have probably pitched it 100’s of times or spent hours tweaking your landing page.

    Learning is what you’re after though!

     

    You can find the previous part of The Startup Starter Kit, ‘Defining Your Vision’, here.

    The next part of the Roadmap, ‘Bootstrap Funding’, is here.

    To be the first to know when we publish installments of The Startup Starter Kit, and keep on top of our other great news and content, sign up to our mailing list: nudjed.com/newsletter


    The Roadmap – Part Four: Bootstrap Funding

    Nudjed-StartupStarterKit-Roadmap4

    The ‘Roadmap’ section of the Startup Starter Kit is an outline of the background research you’ll need to do and the steps you’ll need to take to get your business from the ‘idea’ stage to a viable business. If you’ve come to this in the wrong order, start with part 1, Finding A Market. This section will take you through bootstrap funding – how to get your business started up with minimal investment and expenditure.

    Timescale: 1-4 Weeks

    Skills: Communication

    Success: Getting your networks to back your idea for £5k-£50k and increase your runway

    Failure: If you can’t raise from existing networks, build new ones, or re-evaluate if this is the strategy for you.

    By now you should have a sales-validated vision, in a sizeable market. Which means you’re ready to kick on to investment. Not a lot, just enough to get you to the next phase. But, there’s a few ideal criteria for your first round of investors to bear in mind:

    • You want them to like you

    • You need them to understand the vision may still change

    • They have to be in for the long-run

    If they can also bring useful contacts for your business, or extra funding contacts, great.

    Ideally you want to raise enough to keep you running for 12 months on a light-burn rate (then you’re going to spend it in about 6). That’s enough time to get things wrong, build a product and recruit anyone you need.

    For a 1 man band, this could be as little as £5k, for us it was £50k. There’s a few rules we set out for ourselves that I think are pretty sensible now:

    • Don’t take less than £5k from one person – it’s not worth it

    • Don’t take all the money from one person unless they are a dream investor

    • Keep the term sheet simple. If people want complex terms, say no.

    We raised from friends and family using a mechanism called a convertible loan note. You can research it yourself, but the benefits of it are mostly that you can delay valuing the business.

    Hint: Your business has no value at this stage. People are betting on you.

    You can find the previous part of The Startup Starter Kit, ‘Making A Sale’, here.

    The next part of the Roadmap, ‘Building an MVP’, is here.

    To be the first to know when we publish installments of The Startup Starter Kit, and keep on top of our other great news and content, sign up to our mailing list: nudjed.com/newsletter


    The Roadmap – Part Five: Building An MVP

    Nudjed-StartupStarterKit-Roadmap5

    The ‘Roadmap’ section of the Startup Starter Kit is an outline of the background research you’ll need to do and the steps you’ll need to take to get your business from the ‘idea’ stage to a viable business. If you’ve come to this in the wrong order, start with part 1, Finding A Market. This section will explain the importance of creating a Minimal Viable Product (MVP).

    Timescale: 1-12 Weeks

    Skills: Technical

    Success: A product you can sell to 100-500 people without breaking your team

    Failure: No product, you run out of money and the business dies.

    For Nudjed a minimum viable product is defined as:

    The cheapest (time/money) way we can make something scalable

    That usually means hacking things together. WordPress, Unbounce, Facebook Groups, Campaign Monitor, Mailchimp, Text Marketer – we’ve used them all.

    There are some essential skills here. If you don’t have them, you’ll need to build them or buy them:

    • A good grounding in technology (HTML, CSS, PHP, Javascript, etc.) If you can’t write a line of code, you will struggle.

    • A knowledge of User Experience design (wireframing, flow-diagrams). If you can’t plan it, you can’t hack it.

    • An up-to-date knowledge of what’s already out there (API’s, SDK’s, Frameworks). This will save you a tonne of time.

    For Nudjed, we had 3 phases of MVP. Each one helped us to scale up slightly more effectively:

    • V1 – A spreadsheet, facebook group and manual text messaging/phone calls

    • V2 – An Unbounce landing page, hacked into Wufoo, CapsuleCRM and Campaign Monitors API

    • V3 – A WordPress site, using MemberMouse and Campaign Monitor API

    • V4 – WordPress (heavily modified), Stripe, Text Marketer API

    The key thing for any MVP is to define its scope. What is the core value that it adds, and how are you going to create that value with minimal effort?

    A good way to do this is to define a core user story – what’s the key problem you solve for your early adopters? How can you improve on the last versions scalability?

    Here’s how it looked for us:

    V1

    Story : As a user I’d like to be reminded to be healthy, with information I can trust, so I can make good choices.

    Scalability: N/A

    V2

    Story: As a user I’d like to choose a specific focus for my health and be reminded of it each day, so I know I’m working towards bigger achievements.

    Scalability: As a team member I want to send messages to users automatically, so that I don’t spend so much time managing admin.

    V3

    Story: As a user I’d like to be able to search various health challenges so I can find something more specific to my needs.

    Scalability: As a team member I want to be able to create health challenges in a simple way, so that I can spend less time coding them by hand.

    V4

    Story: As a user I’d like to receive reminders to my phone, so that I can always access the health advice at a time suitable for me.

    Scalability: As a team member I want to automate payment and user management so that I spend less time on admin.

    You can find the previous part of The Startup Starter Kit, ‘Bootstrap Funding’, here.

    To be the first to know when we publish installments of The Startup Starter Kit, and keep on top of our other great news and content, sign up to our mailing list: nudjed.com/newsletter