I’m now working most of the week back in the office. I am lucky to have an easy commute (especially at 7.30am), and the commuters travelling in at 7.30am are what I would call the ‘smart sensibles’: 95% or so wear masks. However coming home, with the commuters mixed up with shoppers and others is a different story, with more like 70% wearing masks. I’ve even renewed my Oyster card, now that I’m am travelling around London 3 days a week for work, plus both days at the weekends.

Here are some other observations from a couple of weeks or…


I’m such a data nerd. It’s always a highlight for me when Ofcom’s Online Nation report comes out, and this year’s report came out on Wednesday last week. Always lots of data (it’s nearly 200 pages), and always lots of great nuggets. This year’s is particularly interesting because it shows several effects from a year in lockdown, and how the country has become more dependent on digital media and online shopping.

You can see the full report here.

I’ve now been through it in detail, and here are 5 of my favourite charts:

  1. 16 — Devices used for accessing the…


I first wrote about Clubhouse 3 months ago, reviewing it as someone who had never used it, but had heard a lot about it.

Clubhouse has now launched on Android, and I have finally been able to listen to shows, and so I wanted to do a more ‘proper’ review, looking at some of the formats, and what makes it different.

Many of the ones I’ve heard have been group chats; essentially talking with strangers either around a particular topic (music, business, crypto) or around a particular vibe (dating, ‘roasting’).

All of these offer something that you don’t get with…


Amazon Fresh is Amazon’s UK grocery store. There are currently 3 open in West London, and in the interest of research (& buying some snacks) I visited the store in White City on Saturday, and like a kid after seeing a magic show, I’m still trying to work out how they did it…

The store uses the ‘Go Store’ technology from the US, the Amazon shops where there are no cashiers or checkouts. …


Peter Thiel — Image source: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Peter-Thiel

When I think about start-ups I ask two questions to try to put their businesses into context.

The Peter Thiel Question is the question that the billionaire investor asks to new founders:

“What important truth do very few people agree with you on?”

This really gets to the essence of what their idea is, and what makes it different to what other people are doing.

You can trace the development of social media though the answers that you imagine the founders would have given (note — Thiel is not involved in most of these companies).

Facebook (in the era of…


Pic — Bruce Mars on Unsplash — https://unsplash.com/photos/DBGwy7s3QY0

A slightly different post from me this week — eight really important things I learned from Will Page’s recent book Tarzan Economics — 8 Principles for Pivoting Through Disruption.

Page was the head economist at Spotify (he essentially created the role of economist within the music industry). I read a column he wrote in the FT recently, and was so impressed that I actually put a note in my diary to buy his book on the day it came out.

The expression ‘Tarzan Economics’ is a brilliant way of thinking about disruption. Tarzan swings through the jungle, always looking for…


Image source: © ChaoticMind75/iStocK

I love analogies. An analogy can really unlock your knowledge of a complex or confusing idea by relating it to something you already know.

Here are some that help explain recent concepts (& then a few others…)

I know that analogies are rarely perfect — and people can stretch them much too far until they break — but they can help you understand the basics.

Bitcoins are like banknotes, NFTs are like snowflakes. One bitcoin is exactly the same as another, so they are similar to £5 notes. …


It’s now been more than a year since I worked in an office. What we initially expected would be a few weeks turned into months, and I don’t expect to be back in an office until June at the earliest.

It sounds bizarre, but I sometimes think that the thing that sums up the experience for me most is my toaster. It has been more than ten years since I was in an office where we were allowed toasters in the kitchens (fire risk, I think), but I have become very used to having soup and toast for lunch, and…


Bundles on offer for the new Kings of Leon album (all are sold out)

Last week I wrote about ‘the decade of paid’ and how celebrities were increasingly able to monetise their fame using modern tools and apps.

Thinking about this during the week I wanted to delve a bit further into this, as I find the subject so fascinating.

One industry that this is very relevant for is music. Since the creation of the internet, through Napster, declining physical music sales, the rise of streaming, and finally the pandemic making live music all but impossible, musicians have had to find other ways to monetise what they do, and who they are.

One way…


Last week Twitter announced its plan to introduce paid subscriptions. There have been stories about Twitter starting to introduce payments for a while — Scott Galloway regularly mentions it on Pivot and in his columns — but these were the first announcements from the company.

In our trends deck this year we looked at ‘the decade of paid’ — the idea that this decade will see payment becoming more and more common. …

Dan Calladine

Head of Media Futures for Carat Global, interested in all things media, digital and edible

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