London’s always held an aura of excitement for me. Growing up in Africa in the nineties and early naughties, I was captivated by the bright lights, the glamorous people and the bubbling cauldron of creativity that was synonymous with the place I considered to be the epicentre of the world.
Living and working in London today, I can honestly say the perceptions from my childhood were spot on. We’re blessed with so much, all of which is packed deliciously into what is a pretty small space if you think about it. While the traditional delights of the city such as the museums, seemingly endless stream of sporting events and the streets that literally bleed stories of days-gone-by still enthral me on a daily basis, there’s a new ‘noise’ about town that gets the blood pumping just as fast.
I’m talking of course about the humming tech scene which just like the bugs that have awoken for the start of spring, seems to be biting just about anyone you can shake a stick at.
While it goes without saying that Silicon Valley has to be counted as the undisputed heavyweight champion of tech, it’s undeniable that London (and the rest of the UK for that matter) is turning into a serious contender. This is despite some applaudable efforts from a few other cities - Berlin and Tokyo to name a couple.
One just has walk the streets of Shoreditch to gain a sense of how entwined tech has become in the UK’s economy. From Google Campus where budding and established entrepreneurs alike gather to plot and establish the ‘next big thing’ to global organisations like Ciena or Amazon who have set down roots in the area, there’s a fantastic ecosystem taking shape in a suburb that not too long ago was a ‘no go zone’ for many.
You also struggle to get too far into any national paper or well-read news site without stumbling upon some form of tech story. Take for example the news that King, the company behind addictive mobile game Candy Crush has decided to try its luck on Wall Street. Alternatively cast your mind back to the press frenzy that accompanied Yahoo’s purchase of Summly from Surrey whizz Kid Nick D'Aloisio and you start to feel a sense of ‘tech induced’ national pride.
Of course the ongoing success of any sector is always reliant on the backing it receives from its nation’s leaders. When it comes to tech, it appears Westminster’s support is on show on an almost daily basis. Whether it’s David Cameron accompanying Britain’s best to CeBit earlier this month or Boris Johnson hinting at ambitious plans to host London’s own South by South West (OK maybe not THAT big) there’s a definite interest in what’s going on from the guys at the top.
With so much going on around us, particularly in the mobile space there aren’t many better places be at the moment for anyone with even a vague interest in technology than London. I was fortunate enough to arrive in this city just as the technology bubble started to inflate, and was even luckier still to be in a position to work in amongst the thick of all the technology goings on that are happening around us.
I’m absolutely delighted to further immerse myself in the scene by joining the FieldHouse ranks. Working alongside people with the knowledge, experience and passion possessed by Cordelia, Neil and Emma, truly excites me. Born into a city fast becoming designed by tech innovation, there’s no doubt that the agency will go from strength to strength in tandem. Thanks for having me London, I’m definitely hanging around for a while!