Do Apps change behaviour?

I’m on my annual pilgrimage skiing in the alps. I’m very lucky that I generally manage 4 or 5 weeks a year.

I’ve never used a ski tracker app but for this year four of us all downloaded Ski tracks. It’s a useful little app works out when you are on a lift and gives you whole set of stats about your days skiing.

Now I’ve always been a great believer in measurement to drive change. It does take a lot of thought though as if the measures are not well linked to what you are trying to achieve they will not fulfil the objective.

Back to skiing, essentially I go skiing for three reasons, fun, to practice and improve my skiing and also to teach.

An app sounds like it could help with this?

Well it certainly changed behaviours, suddenly we were obsessed with speed and distance and a lesser extent gradient. Where before we’d go down a slope enjoying it and making sure we were making the best set of tramlines or controlling speed on a steep, suddenly it was brains out lets go faster.

Then it was I wonder how far we can go in a day. Gone was the fun, the practice and the teaching it was straight lines between the lifts and repetitions of the longest runs.

The measurement is interesting and something to discuss in the bar, but I’ve taken to not looking at it during the day and gone back to why I go skiing.

Measurement can be good but this is a prime example of why you need to take a lot of time thinking about measures. We had a senior manager from the NHS with and managed to draw a lot of parallels of how targets there have unintended consequences.

There was one interesting by product the apple phones generally measured 10% more speed and distance than the android phones. Maybe Apple owner really will inherit the earth they are certainly being told they are better and faster.

Start up weekend (Sheffield)

Well, what an intense weekend. I was amazed at the calibre of initial pitches and the final 10 teams outputs.

The winning team had a simple concept of managing doctors appointments to drive down no shows. The solution was an enhanced SMS system which was well researched and integratable into most surgery systems.  The final pitch was good and they deserved to win the weekend. Other ideas were around 3D imaging to cut down on the number of returned clothes from on-line purchases, peer parcel systems and an international sports team contact system.

Our team did not disgrace itself, we built a prototype ticketing system which overcomes most of the problems of modern systems. Put simply it provides all the functionality of Oyster at a fraction of the cost.

Even though there was only  couple of hundred people at the final session, the power of twitter spread it far and wide. Since then I’ve been approached by a number of people who are interested in our ticketing ideas.

I’ll put a longer update later, but if anyone is interested in the solution please contact us.






Sheffield Start-up week


This weekend is Sheffield Start-up,  part of the Start-up Global Challenge. From 74400, we have a great idea around using Beacons to revolutionise the ticketing industry.

We have a core team and expect to grow this after the pitching stage this evening.  We’ve planned our pitch and expect to be one of the successful ideas  that go on to run over the weekend.

It will be an intense weekend, 48 hours of focused activity aiming to reach a minimum viable product by Sunday evening, and trying to fit in a little sleep too.

Follow all the action on by following @74400. Also support the event. Make Sheffield the number one start up city in the world by following and retweeting #swsheffield.

More details here after the weekend.






Can big data predict the next Bill Gates?

Well Bloomberg seem to think so. They have looked at the characteristics of successful founders and then used this data to target likely individuals.

Some of this may not indicate the type of people you expect. People aged 30+ seem to have a better chance and also people who have stayed in the same company for a while.

You can read the full article here

It will be interesting to see if this causes anyone to leave full time employment and form a start-up. Bloomberg have certainly kicked of the networking to encourage it. Currently the target candidates are in key start up areas of the States but it will be interesting when Bloomberg spreads the the net wider.

Is 74400 ITK

Welcome to the 74400 blog. When I first say our company name, people say, “That’s different, is there a story there?” Well there is and if you are interested please read on. Otherwise feel free to jump straight to the comments section and leave any feedback or questions.

Many years ago I thought that living in the mountains with the views, the outdoor life and the snow would be the only way to live. What could I do there? In those days, Fatface and White Stuff were still small operations so I thought, “Why not start a T shirt company?” After a lot of soul searching I launched ITK Clothing. ITK stood for “in the know” and each of our T shirts was customised around the post code of a particular ski resort.

Brilliant! A good idea, popular at the time and, with our network of seasonaire friends, we also had the basis of a sales network. They had rarity value as you could only get the shirts if you were ITK about where to find them.

So, based in Chamonix 74400, my first two weeks started really well. Then disaster! I broke my tibia and fibia skiing and had to be airlifted off the mountain. That was the end of the dream and the beginning of six months in plaster. By the next year, I was settled down with a nice well paid corporate job, and ITK went on hold.

So 74400 reminds me every day about keeping the dream and how one day I’ll settle down in Chamonix.

We still have some packaged ITK original T shirts which we’ll be presenting to any new customers. Now, it’s probably below any value to declare as a present, but still worth having. Of course, it’s our expertise and joi de vivre that you really want.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *