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david hieatt
cardigan bay
Curator for The Do lectures
Interests: business, food, running, art, learning, design, farming, reading, writing, environment, geeky stuff, utility, luddite stuff, and of course family stuff
Recent Activity
I get asked this a lot. But I’ll be honest with you, I am no expert. I have had to learn a lot of this stuff the hard way. Mistakes are good teachers, if you don’t repeat them. I share this in the hope of it being of some use. 1, The shares you sell at the beginning will cost you the most. The shares you sell at the beginning are the ones you get the least amount of money for, and yet cost you the most in terms of the percentage of equity you have to give away. You... Continue reading
Posted Feb 12, 2014 at david hieatt
The other day I had some wood delivered. I asked the guy how he’d got into the wood business. He told me he burnt a lot of wood for his own use, and so was forever ordering wood. He would insist on kiln-dried wood, but that wasn’t always what was delivered. In the end he got fed up with being letdown. He figured there must be a gap in the market for a wood company that didn’t lie. Oh boy, his niche would be honesty. That got me thinking about how important trust is. And also, how rare it is.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 9, 2013 at david hieatt
Do Purpose - Why brands with a purpose do better and matter more. By me. I have never had a strong desire to write a book. But that said I have spent the last decade writing about brands, business and things that have inspired me. The thing that all these businesses seemed to have in common was their desire to change something. They had a reason to make it happen. Something in their belly was driving them forward. I have always been curious about why some people are so driven. I still don't know the answer. But what I am... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2013 at david hieatt
Right now, you are looking for the project that will define you. You want to do your life’s work. But you haven’t found a place that will let you. And the clock is ticking.And you hear every tick. You want to put all that experience learnt from over 10 years working in front of house and being restaurant manager in the best places in the world to good use. You probably have a young family by now and returning home to Wales sure feels like the right thing to do. But you want a legacy project. In fact, the way... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2013 at david hieatt
People who know me, know I don’t have much time for Email.I don’t reply to all of my Emails. And the ones I do reply to are as pithy as I can make them.In my book, one word replies are not rude, but are saving both the reader and the writer time. I view Email as distraction from making things happen. I view getting things done as more important than having an empty in-box. I have bought all the apps to help me cope with Email. But they don’t work for me. It’s not them. It’s me. “You can do... Continue reading
Posted Jun 15, 2013 at david hieatt
Time is limited. And therefore, expensive. So companies seek to take time out of each process to save money. That’s why we when we phone companies up we can’t speak to humans anymore. Instead we have to Press 1 for a suckier service than before. So we all get it. We understand why they have to do it, but none of us really like it. No one thinks it is better. It’s just more efficient. When we try to find ‘Love’, we don’t seek efficiency. When we play some music, we don’t sing to get to the end of the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2013 at david hieatt
When you run a small company, next week is always the biggest week. And next year will always be your most important year. That tends to breed a culture of not ‘digging where you stand’. Of not focusing on today’s problems, because tomorrow will fix them. It doesn’t. The reason next year’s product will not be ‘the one’ will be for the same reasons as this year’s isn’t ‘the one’ either. For a product to truly change, you have to first change the culture or the thinking that will produce it. Part of this is accepting that your current project,... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2013 at david hieatt
A start-up has the odds very much stacked against it. But at the same time it has such incredible advantages that allow it to overcome them. Yes, it’s under-funded. It’s almost a rights of passage. Apart from a computer, it has no infrastructure to speak of. No one knows they exist. They have no experience in what they are doing. They have never started something before. But the things in its favour are enough for it to win. First, they have a great idea. Sure, big companies have great ideas too, but a Start-Up amplifies the power of a great... Continue reading
Posted Jun 8, 2013 at david hieatt
When I worked the markets in the South Wales Valley, I had this amazing old Fiat 128. I loved it. But it had one or two quirks. The key one was the petrol gauge didn’t work. I didn’t know if it was nearly empty or completely full. So when I did a market, I was super keen to sell so I would have money to fill the car up full with petrol so I could relax. On days when I didn’t sell, and there was too many of those, I wasn’t sure if I would make it home. I did... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2013 at david hieatt
The single biggest reason most businesses fail is because they never start. People sit around telling their friends their great idea and don’t ever make it happen. Ideas need someone to make it happen. Ideas need doers not talkers. Another reason businesses fail is because when they do eventually start, the founders don’t quite believe in the idea. Or one of the partners doesn’t. A lack of belief can be much more damaging than a lack of funding. In terms of Rugby or Football, this is the equivalent of not fully committing in the tackle. And when you are half-hearted... Continue reading
Posted Jun 4, 2013 at david hieatt
One night last week, there was a knock at the door. It was a guy delivering Yellow Pages. He delivered one for us. And one for the next farm, who were out. I will never use it. I doubt the farm over the road will ever use it either. Its time has been and gone. It saw the Internet as a threat and didn’t move fast enough. Instead of cannibalising itself, it let Google do it for them. They kept doing the thing it had always done. Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too... Continue reading
Posted Jun 3, 2013 at david hieatt
Last week we tried something new. The Do Lectures turned into something else for 72 hours. It became a place to start ideas.It became a place of doing. It was an experiment. And the experiment was to see if you could take ‘time’ out of the process of the starting new companies. Can we accelerate them? Like anything when you try something new, there is resistance. But you have to let the experiment take its journey: Judge it at then end, and not before it starts. And not even halfway through. Over the 72 Hours I saw people pitching their... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2013 at david hieatt
1, Don’t follow. 2, Don’t seek consensus. 3, Trust your instinct. 4, Look for what isn’t there. But should be. 5, Ideas make you stand out. Great ideas make you standalone. 6, Ask dumb questions. They are not that dumb. 7, Most great ideas have difficult births. 7, Inform your ideas from what you see, what you hear, what you feel. 8, Don’t chase a fashion. Go where others haven’t. 9, Remember, ideas are plentiful. People who make them happen are not. 10, Don’t let your idea down: Execute well. 11, Good execution is hard. 11, Find the very best... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2013 at david hieatt
Some books are more important than others. That’s because they contain an irrefutable truth. And once you know that truth and what it means to you, and how you need to use it in order to change things, then it is indeed life changing. Many, many books claim that. But few really are. ‘The 80/20 Principle’ by Richard Koch is one of those rare books that you can indeed call life-changing. And business-changing too. It has a simple premise: 80% of the results come from 20% of the causes. This thinking originally came from an Italian economist called Vilfredo Pareto.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2013 at david hieatt
You are now at the point of your life when you are developing your professional reputation. You are doing so at the top tier of restaurants in New York City — make it count. Only your work ethic will speak for you, not past chef’s or friends. You must love the do this for a living — no question. You must love to stay late or come early if it is necessary to get the job done. You must love to practice only the best. Most perfect techniques in order to produce a product you are proud of. Your end... Continue reading
Posted Jan 12, 2013 at david hieatt
I just had a delivery from my FedEx man. It’s pouring with rain. And it’s pitch black. But this guy is still smiling. He helps me with the boxes. And points out that some the boxes aren’t very strong. I sign the gadget thing with my signature and I ask how it was all going? He said apart from one, all of it was under control. He said it was from the Welsh gold centre, and so he knew it was someone’s Christmas present. But he had tried for 3 days to find the address. He had tried directory enquiries.... Continue reading
Posted Dec 22, 2012 at david hieatt
The Do Lectures this coming Spring is giving the event a theme.The theme is 'Start-Up'. The plan is to provide a modern day tool kit to someone who is starting up.It will be an intense, accelerated 72 hours of learning.There will be 20 speakers who will speak on all the stepping stones of getting to the start line of a new business, social business or NG0.But that is just the start.From the 100 attendees 4 breakaway groups will form. Each group will be led by one of the founding partners. Together they will start a business within the 72 hours.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2012 at david hieatt
Here’s the deal. I thought I was pretty good at Social Media. Then Sam Bell came over for a month to help The Do Lectures, and I quickly learnt that I knew next to nothing. I was doing it. But what I wasn’t thinking. I had no clear strategy. And, when I had great results, it was mostly down to luck. But what Sam has taught me has been invaluable, important and will help us for years to come. I urge anyone who is involved anyone in the Social Media world to sign up to her Do Workshop in London.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 8, 2012 at david hieatt
This is the first poster in a series of 10 that aims to pass on some pearls of wisdom learnt from sitting and listening to half a decades worth of inspiring talks at The Do Lectures. Each day you’re given 86,400 seconds from the ‘Time Bank’. Everyone is given the same. There are no exceptions. Once you make your withdrawal, you’re free to spend it as you want. The ‘Time Bank’ won’t tell you how to spend it. But there are some simple truths: Your time is limited. And one day you will go to the bank and it won’t... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2012 at david hieatt
Every business has to make a decision of how good it wants to be. People forget that the people who run the business decide this. Just like picking which product or service to make was a decision. Or which people to hire. Or what colour to paint the walls was. It’s not luck. It’s a show of hands. It’s a board meeting. It’s written on the back of a beer mat. But, someone,somewhere makes that decision. And once your intent for the business has been declared, you follow that path. You hire accordingly. You choose your products or services accordingly.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2012 at david hieatt
1, You have to love it first. You have to love it the most. You have to sweat each detail. And that love should never stop. Each detail considered. Each detail re-considered. It has to matter to you. Then, and only then, will your customers notice that you give a shit about them. And then you will have a relationship with your customer. 2, Create value. Then Profit. Make your product faster, cheaper, healthier, smarter, easier etc. Anything with an ‘ER’ at the end of it is a good indication of you doing something right. Profit will only come once... Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2012 at david hieatt
Imagine on your deathbed you were able to see two films of your life: One showed highlights of what you actually achieved. And then the other showed highlights of what you could have achieved with your ability, your talent, the opportunities that came your way etc. It would probably bring you to tears to know what else you could have done. The heights you could have climbed. The people you could have met. The races you could have run. The ideas you could have made happen. The change you could have made. If only when you had come to the... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2012 at david hieatt
Nope, didn’t think so. There aren’t any. Zumba didn’t need advertising. The aerobic class he came up with was unique. So each class he took, people would go and tell their friends. From simple old fashioned word of mouth, it just grew. Now, there are 12 million people weekly taking Zumba classes in over 110,000 locations across more than 126 countries. And it all started from Alberto ‘Beto’ Perez forgetting his music for a class he was teaching. So he had to improvise. He took the tapes he had in his backpack—consisting of traditional salsa and merengue music – and... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2012 at david hieatt
It’s easy to become comfortable. It’s easy to stop pushing. It’s easy to do what you did last year. It worked, for goodness sake. It is harder to question everything. To walk in dumb each day. To start again with a blank piece of paper. There is a difference between companies who are always thinking about new ways forward. And those who seek to repeat themselves. Those who repeat themselves have an easy life, then one day they wake up and their business is no longer there. The easy life is replaced with a hard life. Those who keep pushing,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2012 at david hieatt