Thought for Today

Don’t Regret April 28th, 2017

Do you believe in destiny? It’s a big question and one that I’ve given much thought. After my avalanche experience many years ago, I’ve often said that your last thoughts in life won’t be about what you achieved; they will be about the chances you didn’t take and the opportunities you missed. Having been buried under feet of snow and had to face the very real possibility that this is the end, I can tell you that the last thing on my mind was what I had achieved. My thoughts were firmly on my family, the people I love, and the opportunities that I wish I had taken. Looking back at my life before the avalanche, there is a clear difference in perspective. Had the… Read the Rest »

What Do You Want to Be? April 27th, 2017

What do you want to do? Who do you want to be? I read a blog post by Sir Richard Branson this week asking those questions. The post read: “There’s a big difference between being and doing. You can’t do happy, healthy, respected, or appreciated. Decide what you want to be, and then work out what you need to do to make it happen.” It’s a very simple philosophy but it is very much true, and correlates with how we do business here at UKFast. We’re built on a set of core values that guide what we as a company and a team want to be: ‘dynamic, professional, passionate, innovative and supportive’. We’ve had these values in place for more than a decade and they… Read the Rest »

Forward Focus April 26th, 2017

Entrepreneurs are often asked ‘if you could go back in time, what’s the one thing you would change?’ It seems to be one of the favourite questions at business events! But it’s not a great one! I am all for learning from mistakes but ultimately, I am a person who looks forward and not backwards. They say ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ and no one has killed me yet! Whilst it is essential to learn from your errors and misfortunes, how can you plan your future and prepare for what’s to come if you’re fixated on the view from the rear-view mirror rather than the windscreen? I don’t believe I would be the same person if I had not made the mistakes I… Read the Rest »

Rise of the Machines April 25th, 2017

When it comes to business technology machine learning, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are all hard to avoid at the moment. It seems that everyone is talking about the potential of one or all of these technologies combined. But they all rely on one thing: the internet. All of that data has to be stored somewhere too. That’s why the BBC Breakfast team came over to UKFast Data Centres this morning. Covering the story of machine learning, there was only really one place that they could go: to the very heart of the internet. Walking down the hot and cold aisles, surrounded by 20,000 servers, it really puts the internet into perspective. We all use the internet but how many… Read the Rest »

Mind Over Matter April 24th, 2017

We’ve all heard of ‘mind over matter’ but could you keep going if you had nothing left in the tank? I ask this question following the London Marathon yesterday. Seeing David Wyeth, of local running club Chorlton Runners, battling through the final 200 metres of the marathon as his legs buckled beneath him, I was completely inspired. This man had nothing left in the tank. He was wobbling, stumbling and at one point began to fall backwards, but his feet were still moving forward. Despite the obvious agony of his screaming muscles and exhausted body, his mind was driving him towards his end goal. Knowing the inconceivable amount of work and effort that this man had put in to getting that far, so close to… Read the Rest »

My Greatest Piece of Advice April 21st, 2017

I am often asked what my greatest piece of advice is. The answer really depends on when you ask me the question and what has happened that day, but more often than not, it comes down to the people around you; most of all never be afraid of asking for help. It took me years to realise the importance of reaching out to others. Nowadays there are hundreds of avenues to gain advice; in fact, it can be hard to find the right advice among all of the consultants and bloggers! I would always look for someone with a real story to tell, someone who has been where you are and grown from there. Someone who can relate to you. Alongside any online advice, find… Read the Rest »

It’s Our Opportunity April 20th, 2017

Manchester has a history of incredibly strong leaders – you only have to look at Sir Howard Bernstein and Sir Richard Leese to see how well the city and region’s leaders stack up. As Sir Howard steps down from the council, there is undeniably a space that needs to be filled, alongside that we also have the opportunity to elect the first Greater Manchester Mayor on May 4th. I was interested to meet Andy Burnham MP at UKFast Campus a little while ago to hear what he proposes to bring to the role of Manchester mayor. I was impressed by his focus on digital and his passion to get to know the region’s digital industry. While he was here he set out his intentions to… Read the Rest »

Time for Action April 19th, 2017

One in five UK firms was hacked last year. One in five. That’s according to the latest research from the British Chamber of Commerce. Although, I have to admit, I am not surprised. In fact, I would have thought the numbers would have been higher. We see attacks on our networks every single day and it’s a constant challenge to stay one step ahead. Hackers are not only becoming increasingly sophisticated, but they are increasing in numbers too. Hacking is a lucrative and competitive practice that’s not only about making more money but causing more damage than the hacker before you. Groups like Anonymous have also made hacking become a tool for social change – if you’re seen to be behaving untoward, you’re more than… Read the Rest »

Snap Election April 18th, 2017

What do you think of today’s news that a general election has been called for June 8th? Whatever your politics, this move demonstrates Theresa May’s confidence in both the Conservative Party and in her own leadership. Even though her party has a lead in the polls, we’ve seen polls be miles off the mark – just look at Trump! – so it’s still a gamble. It is a gamble that’s also risking May’s legacy; if it doesn’t pay off she could go down as one of the country’s shortest serving Prime Ministers. Having seen what’s happened in America, it is very likely that social media will win this election; whoever mobilises the platforms best and targets the masses most effectively – regardless of their party… Read the Rest »

A Decade in the Making April 13th, 2017

What a week! On holiday with my family yesterday, I got the call from my team that I’d been waiting for. It’s been a decade in the making but it is finally happening. After years of listening to thousands of business leaders who are becoming increasingly concerned and frustrated with the “skills gap” and the lack of work-ready kids coming from schools and universities, we decided to do our level best to do something about it. Just over 10 years ago, we began this adventure with a young man called Aaron. A friend and teacher in a local Manchester school. We worked with him to influence and shape the curriculum. It was a tiny partnership at the time, the size of an acorn, but one with… Read the Rest »

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