If you’re feeling a little cocky today and in need of a stimulus to quickly revive your natural sensations of chronic inferiority, you could do worse than study Business Insider’s “100 Coolest People in UK tech”.
“Coolest” is perhaps not the most precise descriptor – “most pleased with themselves” would have served just as well for several of them, thanks to the unfortunate interface of beaming corporate headshot and immense sums of money.
“Most depressingly clever” also works.
In among the bewildering chatter about zippily-named start-ups, the soul-destroying fortunes and the utter conviction the world will shortly be bending to their ambitions, however, are the following intriguing details:
- A former Made in Chelsea “star”, Amber Atherton (number 66), has made an app called Rubric which automatically suggests captions for your Instagram photos.
- Deliveroo is sufficiently concerned about its grotty employment record to have made a “senior political hire”, a former senior adviser to the Treasury called Thea Rogers (number 48), to tell MPs how much their riders love their jobs. (And hold on to your hat: Deliveroo is now valued at £1.5 BILLION)
- Dale Vince (number 49), owner of Forest Green Rovers, the world’s first vegan football club, wants to build them a wooden stadium.
- Ad industry cash hoover Sir Martin Sorrell (number 56, age 71) had a child last year. He, like Saint Peacock, loses sleep over Amazon.
- The first prize for drone racing’s first “World drone prix” in Dubai last year was $250,000. It was won by a 15-year old (Luke Bannister, number 85).
- Although printing photos is one of the industries turned to ashes by the digital economy, Christian Woolfenden (number 47) has raised £103 million for a…photo printing business!
- Sir Jonny Ive of Apple (number 40) once decorated a Christmas tree for Claridges. It had no decorations.
- The UK’s chief data regulator is called Elizabeth Denham (number 41), although if you want to get in touch with her, Twitter (@ElizabethDenham) is probably not the way to go. According to her Twitter address, she has been a member of Twitter since 2011. And tweeted once – a retweet.
- Andy Murray (number 15 here, and number 2 at tennis) is a big start up investor. He likes “smart home firm Den, fold-up cycling helmet company Morpher, and rental finance firm Landbay.”
- A company has a “chief emoji officer,” although that company also has only one employee (Jeremy Burge, number 18)
The Saint Peacock award for That’s What You Get For Standing Up For Yourself goes to former Uber drivers Yaseen Aslam and James Farrar (number 26) who took Uber to court over workers’ rights and won.
The victory added to the volume of anti-Uber publicity leading up to the firm losing its license to operate in London, and put Mr Aslam and Mr Farrar, presumably, out of a job.
And the prize for best seemingly meaningless techno-gibberish goes to Herman Narula, CEO of Improbable: “Our goal is literally the way we live and work. It’s about sending a signal.”
Consider your signal sent, gentlemen!