I’m the founder of Silktide and possibly the most unashamedly ambitious person you know.
On this website I write about understanding and getting the most from life. I have written for Forbes, Huffington Post, Lifehacker and more, with my articles read over 9 million times in the last year. I’m also busy working on my first novel.
I’ve thought long and hard about how I can achieve the maximum possible significance with my life:
- Build a public software company from the ground up, that accomplishes truly amazing things on a global scale (think FORTUNE 500). This will take most of my life: about 40 years.
- To focus the later years of my life (aged roughly 65-80) on charitable causes, and to be free to focus on this and invest considerable resources into it.
- To leave the world a better place for my short stay here.
I’m aware these aren’t exactly modest aspirations, and I’m unapologetic for that. I’d rather aim for the stars and reach the moon, then wonder what might have been.
- Born July 2nd 1979, dual national UK/US citizen.
- Started programming computers when I was 8, moved onto assembler programming when I was 9. Not good for your popularity at school, as it happens.
- Decided I wanted to run my own videogame business aged 13. I used to write a lot of games, and around this time started selling some to fellow students (they played them on the school’s PCs, so the money went to charity).
- Wrote my own million-line Windows-like GUI aged 16 for my A-Level coursework. Among other things, this included my own video codec, web-like browser and graphical editing tools (I hadn’t seen the Internet yet – it was 1995).
- Completed a one year work placement for Datamex during my degree as a web developer and got told I should stop aspiring to success. A lot. Realised that the web might be a better business than videogames.
- Founded Silktide Ltd as soon as I graduated in 2001, on £3,000 of startup capital. It was about enough for a PC, some furniture, and a couple month’s rent in an office the size of an Oxo cube.
- Spent the first year barely surviving, with a total salary of less than £6k and a profit of under £200.
- Bought up 98% shareholding in 2002 from former business partner.
- Wrote own web application framework (Taos) and from it a Content Management System (Site Manager), which would later power websites with millions of hits / month.
- Grew Silktide at a compounded rate averaging 100% each year since. We’ve been profitable and self funded since our inception.
- In 2005 gained our first FORTUNE 100 clients.
- July 2008, split the web agency part of Silktide into Silktide Studios, allowing Silktide to position itself exclusively as a web software company.
- July 2011 - Silktide officially abandoned web design to focus on software.
- December 2011 – I founded 30 Day Challenger, and started a continual cycle of 30 day challenges to develop myself and help others.
- July 2012 – the ‘new’ Silktide had grown 300% in 12 months.
- September 2012 – a random post I make on the Internet goes viral, and inspires me to write my first novel.
- January 2013 – wrote the most upvoted post on Quora ever. My latest writing attracts an average 500,000 views per month and is republished in Forbes, Huffington Post, Lifehacker and more.
- February 2014 – wrote my most successful ever post, which received over 4 million views and 100k Facebook Likes in just 2 weeks.
- I’m an agnostic atheist and humanist.
- We only get one shot at life – and it’s our responsibility alone. We should do the most with what we have.
- The only thing that stands in the way of great success is ourselves. In particular, the part of ourselves that blames something else.
- The best thing about my life is I know what I want to do with it. That’s so empowering you can’t believe.
- I read as much as I can; normally 1-2 books a week.
- I’m a salsa fanatic.
- Can’t play the piano enough. Secretly desire to learn drums.
- Love to run, completed my first marathon in 2008.
- Keen graphic designer. Aspiring digital painter and photographer.
- Yes, I’ve completely shaved my head since I was 18.
I find this so interesting it has a whole page (that fact alone probably tells you all you need to know).
Frequently Asked Questions
Stalk me on the Internet
Here are my social networks of choice:
- Quora – I live here.
- Facebook – I use this all the time.
- Twitter – I use this a bit.
- YouTube – I should use this more.
- Pinterest – I barely use this.
- LinkedIn – I dislike being here.
- Google+ – I’ve barely even heard of this.