5 Minutes With...

5 mins with Sam from Skdlr

 

Sam from Skdlr came into the Adjust Media office today to discuss his business

Sam from Skdlr
Sam from Skdlr

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and Skdlr?

My name Samuel Des Baux – Chances are you just pronounced my surname wrong ;) . I’m that person that if someone asks me why, I’ll say why not. Skdlr pronounced Scheduler is a business event platform providing resources, tips and advice.

Give us the Skdlr story so far?

I started Skdlr in 2012 after realising it was hard to find credible source for event’s for advice, tips and particularly for the youth market. We have had a high interest throughout immediate networks and events we have attended. At the minute we are building the foundations and supporting business functions to get ready to produce our final full solution.

Why is there a need for Skdlr?

Skdlr will provide a one stop solution for business event hosts from the initial idea and planning to execution. Many SME’s lack the resources and skills to plan, schedule and host events. Many of our features are still in the concept stage and are awaiting development which is what will really define what we are about so watch this space!

Is there any single obstacle to Skdlr’s progress?

Nope, I wouldn’t say there is a single obstacle, although there are contributing factors which we will have to overcome.

What is your daily routine like?

My daily routine changes regularly, some nights I will be working through until early hours of the morning, other nights I will be out.

Is this your first business?

Nope, Skdlr is my second business. My first business was domain & email hosting which I started during College.

What is your favourite app?

Hmm this is a tricky one. Its got to be Microsoft One Note, yes boring I know but without I’m not sure what I would do. I take notes on the move on my iPad, iPhone, Netbook and having them all synced across all of my devices is peace of mind!

What is the best invention of the 21st century?

Going to go for something practical, got to be the iPhone, not sure what I would do without it.

Any last words, what’s on the cards for Sam and Skdlr in the near future?

Keeping progressing on what we are doing, redefining the business and creating our mark in the market.

 

5 Minutes With...

5 mins with Charles from Works Out of The Box

We caught up with Charles from Works Out of The Box to find out what he’s up to and what the future holds.

 

5 Mins with Charles from Works Out of the Box
5 Mins with Charles from Works Out of the Box

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself and Works Out of the Box

My name is Charles Rivett-Carnac, I’m currently at Sussex University studying Business and Marketing. I run an electronics retail company called Works Out of The Box which I started at 16 and…. I’m 6ft 6”.

How did Works Out of The Box start?

I started by selling my electronics under the business and brand name Laserware, but it came to a point this year where I had to register as a limited company – so I started Works Out of The Box Ltd, which retails Laserware-branded electronics. When I was 16 I started importing laser pointers, and from then on I just enjoyed importing various gadgets from Hong Kong and China. I always used to do my own website and coding but it has now got to the point where my time is best spent focusing on the importing side of the business – it made sense to outsource my website and branding needs to Adjust Media.

How is it juggling University and your businesses?

Not easy. With target shooting and musical commitments to also juggle, it’s usually University work that becomes the lower priority. Why study business when you can run a business? I was happy to gain a 2.1 this year, but I think it’ll be harder to keep up in my final year.

What tips would you give someone wanting to start their own retail business?

Pick products to sell that promise a good margin, taking into account taxes and VAT – don’t pick something just because you like the product. My two most disastrous and costly importing decisions were two products that I really loved, but I didn’t think about the figures properly. Also remember that, unlike services where completed jobs can be forgotten about, you’re under moral and legal obligations to give at least a year warranty. Finally, risk only as much as you can afford to lose. Ebay is a great place to start small and grow quickly.

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve come up against starting and running your businesses?

Umm… My first big order to China, where I had to trust someone 5000 miles away with the majority of my savings in the hope that he will send back products. And preferably the products would work.

What does the future hold for Works Out of The Box and yourself?

The aim is to get Laserware products into as many shops as possible and distribute them effectively through Works Out of The Box. My future, however, depends somewhat on the success of the business in the next eight months. I’m hoping that the business will prove to be scalable and I will carry it on as a full time job after university. Adjust Media will hopefully help me find new markets and customers through social media along the way, and this could prove vital to my survival.

What’s your favourite app?

I’m currently an HTC man so my choice is limited, but it’s got to be Auto Trader, makes sense as a petrol head…

Best invention of the 21st century?

I’ll take a gamble and say the Raspberry Pi, in the hope that turns out to be incredibly popular and hugely significant.

What is your favourite product you have ever sold?

Xenon torches. Huge flashlights that are nearly quadruple the power of a car headlight. Spy Camera Alarm Clocks were also a highlight.

What’s your favourite chocolate?

I’m not a massive chocolate person, but it has to be Cadbury’s.

Any last words?

If you’re an entrepreneurial student or graduate and you’ve got an idea, go for it. You’re at a time where you can afford to go bankrupt – low living costs, no family to support, no mortgage. Once you’re roped into a big organisation, you may never get the chance to do so again.

 

5 Minutes With...

Warren from Adjust Media

We caught up with the Head Coder at Adjust Media on a cheeky break in the office to find out about his love of coding and his how he got involved with the company.

Adjust Media | 5 mins with Warren

How did you get involved in Adjust Media?

Chris heard about me on the grapevine… He asked me to do a bit of work and I guess he was hooked – after that I was invited onto the Adjust Media team.

What do you do at Adjust Media?

In a nutshell, I make the websites work – I take the designs and bring them to life.

Describe what a working day looks like for you

Long. I like to work in blocks so I don’t lose focus, which often means that I’m working into the early hours of the morning finishing a website or app. I’ll normally just sit down with my Mac with the projects open and spend all day tweaking something in one whilst coding part of another. I don’t usually make a plan because my priorities with Adjust Media will often change so I just see what happens each day.

What are you studying at uni?

Maths. Most people cringe when I tell them this but I’m not ashamed. Much.

Is your line of work frustrating? 

All the work with Adjust Media is so varied and whilst this stops me getting bored, it makes it quite challenging as well. There’s so many different things that a client can ask for meaning that one project doesn’t always give me experience that will help with the next.

Do people judge you for being a tech geek?

Hey I’m not a geek! I just enjoy what I do. I don’t judge football fans…. Much. People don’t really know my capabilities. They’re always surprised when they hear about my work. I just enjoy what I do.

What’s the most complex thing you’ve built with Adjust Media?

I’m afraid if I told you that I’d have to kill you…

What was the first website you ever made?

Everyone starts out with the “Hello World” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hello_world_program) website.

What websites do you particularly like?

Your World of Text (http://www.yourworldoftext.com/home/). It’s just the simplest website you could think of and I get far too much enjoyment out of it.

What’s the best invention of the 21st century?

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, the iPhone. 2 years: it’s my longest relationship and I couldn’t live without it.

What one website do you use on a daily basis?

Wikipedia – the fountain of all modern knowledge. I remember when I was at school when I had to labouriously go through books to find information, now I can just type in a world and ive got so much information at my fingertips.

How would you describe your relationship with the rest of the Adjust Media team?

This question’s too gay to answer

What hobbies do you have when not coding?

Origami and adding to my impressive collection of blazers.

If you could have one last meal what would it consist of?

Steak. Medium rare. Side order of chips and onion rings. Now please.

What tips would you give an aspiring website coder? 

Just jump in. You can make some great websites just in notepad – every website we make I write from scratch and you can do just the same. Try Notepad++ for Windows (http://notepad-plus-plus.org/) or TextWrangler for Mac (http://www.barebones.com/products/TextWrangler/).

Computers: Macbook pro or macbook air? 

Since I’ve just splashed out on my brand new MacBook Pro, I guess that answers that question!

5 Minutes With...

Christian from Mytees

Adjust Media caught up with professional rugby player and director of trendy t-shirt brand Mytees to find out all about juggling two careers, and the direction of the young brand…

 

Christian from Mytees

Christian from Mytees

Tell us a little bit about yourself

My name is Christian Lewis-Pratt. After I schooled I jumped straight into a career in professional rugby. I currently play my rugby for England 7s and with my brother I have launched Mytees this year!

How did Mytees start?

The idea of Mytees surfaced over a year ago whilst on holiday in Portugal with my brother. We are both naturally very interested in fashion and were simply talking about pipeline dreams. We came to a couple of conclusions surrounding our fashion and what we both like to wear. 1. We both have 2/3 ‘go to’ tees in our wardrobe. These are the tees that if we wanted to look good and feel confident, we would naturally put on. 2. We choose these tees because of they way they fit; tight where you want them, loose where you don’t. 3. These tees were limited in design. Mainly plain with a few simple touches that made the tee pop.

What’s the idea behind Mytees? 

We both wanted to start wearing something a little more expressive, but whilst maintaining the core values of a ‘go to’ tee. The concept we developed is designed to allow any wearer to put on a tee and make a personal metaphorical statement, whilst wearing a simple piece of clothing. The personal possessive value of the word ‘my’ does that.

How is it juggling a sporting career and Mytees?

Thus far it hasn’t been too much of a problem. Running the company with my brother, who works different hours to me, means we can juggle the load easily. However with the growth of the company we are having to be more and more organized. I guess if mytees was my primary focus, the companies growth may be faster, but I am learning to effectively work at the two.

Describe your daily routine

I am in training camp Monday-Wednesday, where I stay in a hotel in Teddington and train from 2/3 times a day, alongside team meetings and various other activites. Friday and Saturday I train mainly in my own time, using the facilities available to me at Twickenham Stadium. It is outside of camp that I can put more focus on the development of Mytees.

What tips would you give someone wanting to start their own business?

Develop a solid idea. Build a well structured plan before going through with anything. Think about how you want to be seen as a company. Where you see your business going. And most importantly, have faith that you will be successful…….im still holding huge faith in my business, start small but aim big!

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve come up against starting a business?

Neither me or my brother have ever studied business, or worked in the area. We have had a couple of naïve moments that have cost us at times. Money! We are a self-funded company, and the only funds we have to work with is the money made on sales. That’s difficult to do with all the start up costs of a new company!

What’s the biggest sacrifice you’ve made for the company?

Mmmmmm, haven’t really had to make huge sacrifices yet. Hopefully have that to come. The amount of money I’ve spent probably!

How would you describe mytees style in 3 words?

Clean Street Wear

What’s your finest rugby moment? Your finest business moment?

Rugby; At the Wellington, New Zealand 7s, hearing 40,000 people sing Wonderwall after scoring a try v Samoa. Crazy cool moment. Gave me chills.

Business; first time someone that I don’t know bought a tee shirt that I designed.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years

L.A.??

What’s your favourite app?

Im a Blackberry man.

Best invention of the 21st century?

Social media – fbook, twitter etc

What your most prized clothing item? Or antem you couldn’t live without?

So hard! My entire shoe collection.

What’s the future of the brand – where would you like to see it next?

Expand the brand. Get our new line in, and start selling in shops.

Any last words?

The dream is to have a ‘mystore’, selling all branches of clothing and other ideas that I don’t want to reveal!

5 Minutes With...

Ritz from Adjust Media

We caught up with the Head Graphic Designer at Adjust Media on a cheeky break in the office to find out about his love of design and his penchant for chocolately cereal… 

How did you get involved in Adjust Media? 

I never intended to get involved with a company like Adjust Media; it was more chance than anything. In Chris’ last life he was probably a pig set to look for truffles in the forest – he found me before I really knew I had any design talent and teased it out of me. He knew my capabilities far before I did. I discovered a lot of love for the work I was doing, particularly branding exercises and was eventually rewarded with a full-time position.

First thing you designed? 

As much as it reveals about my childhood, I would, as an 8 year old, draw football shirts for my beloved Newcastle United.

How many hours go into what you do? 

The time spent grows daily, without fail. The longer I work for Adjust Media, the greater the application for my kind of work. It’s turning into a bit of a problem.

I now find that there is rarely a moment in the day where I won’t be at least thinking about individual projects and how best to achieve them. You’d think sleep might form some sort of escape but thanks to uni and Adjust Media, whatever sleep pattern I had has now disappeared.

What cereal do you normally have for breakfast? 

I suppose that I should remain impartial, but on a matter so personal I’m going to have to reveal my passion for Krave. Should the opportunity come along to work for Kellogg’s, in exchange for a lifetime supply. I’d gladly work free of charge.

What tips would you give for aspiring graphic designers? 

Focus on the creative side of what you do and don’t get bogged down with the rest. I was very lucky in finding others who excel in the business-side of things. I always thought that using GIMP (an excellent freeware programme, similar in many ways to Photoshop), as opposed to Photoshop, would be a hindrance. In fact it was a great place to start and it paved the way to my work at Adjust Media and I still get a lot of satisfaction from using the programme.

Aside from graphic design, what are you passionate about? 

I have a passion for obscure marketing campaigns, the story of Obermutten perhaps my favourite to date. I get a lot of pleasure from discovering music, sharing artists amongst friends and seeing these DJs play at dingy warehouse nights.

Favourite app? 

Vooza. What it does – I couldn’t tell you, the company themselves seem very unwilling. Yet, it is certainly a project of some interest.

Best invention of the 21st century? 

The student cheeseburger deal.

What’s on the cards for Ritz in the next 12 months? 

A holiday, no matter how unlikely that seems. In all seriousness, I will be moving to Mannheim, in Germany, where I will be continuing uni work as well as design. I’ve travelled all over Germany and have a sufficient grasp of the language to now move out there. It’s all very exciting. Hopefully we’ll find some great international clients and I can introduce the team to the world of Currywurst when they come visit.

5 Minutes With...

Chris from Adjust Media

We caught up with the director of Adjust Media over his morning coffee to find out a bit more about Adjust and how it all began..

Chris From Adjust Media

So. Tell me a bit more about Adjust Media and how it started. 

After many, many takeaways from my favourite spot GBT in Leamington, I offered to make them a website and handle social media to entice students. Sales boomed and I realised that there was a demand for web design in the local area so we formed the company, operating solely through Twitter for a month. It grew organically, I found Ritz, our graphic designer, at a party – he saw the amateur Adjust Media logo I was building on Publisher and he said ‘I can do better than that’. And lo and behold, he came back 20 minutes later with the logo we have today. I didn’t let him go after that.

Have you always wanted to own your own business? 

Yes.

Why? 

I love the start-up culture. Being involved in Real Uni Guide, a start-up that provides personalised university search function, gave me a real taste for business. All the excitement and passion of seeing your own ideas materialise… I love the flexibility of it; that I can choose to take 2 days off, but I also work 9 to 9 when I want to. It means my girlfriend doesn’t moan because I can work remotely and take time off.

Are you a calculated or snap-decision-making kind of guy? 

It may appear like a snap decision, but it’s actually usually calculated.

What’s the hardest business decision you’ve ever made? 

The decision I thought would be hardest was letting go of some of the company. But when it came to it, giving equity to Ritz and Warren was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made.

Hmmm sounds jammy. Do you guys ever fight? 

No, never. We get moody when we’re hungry but that’s about it.

What are you most proud of about Adjust Media?

It was one of my founding business beliefs that business should be kept personal. I never wanted to outsource work to other companies and that’s something we’ve stuck by; everything by Adjust Media is in-house and we’re very proud of that fact.

Where would you like to be in 10 years time?

Doing what we’re doing but on a grander scale. I’d love to be in position where we’re consulting with some of the industry greats like Nike and Red Bull too.

What technology could you not live without? 

My iPhone – it just makes life so easy. Social media, email, phone, it means everything is always accessible and I’m easily contactable.. Adjust Media would not have been possible without it.. That has it’s own problems though. No phone at dinner or my girlfriend gets pouty.

Favourite app? 

Netflix - I use it wherever I’m bored and it helps me switch off.

What’s the best invention of the 21st Century? 

Invisible cars. Google self-driving cars. Google self-driving invisible cars.

What 3 tips would you give to anyone wanting to start their own business? 

  1. Work hard
  2. Find the right people.
  3. Keep an eye on costs.

Any last words? 

Go for it. I turned down lots of internships and jobs these last few years to really forge the way with Adjust Media; it was a risk but it paid off. I’m never happier than when seeing our ideas come to life or satisfying a client with a design brief; so whatever your idea is, if you’re willing to put in the time and energy, go out and do it.