The 5 Minute Tech Break : Feb 8


Here in the UK, our brief relationship with snow appears to be ending for now, at least in the south.

As someone keen on sailing, I'm rather happy to see strong winds replace the snow and will be on the water again this weekend.

Were you aware that us Brits are always happy to talk about the weather?  It helps us take our minds off Brexit. 

Hope you have a great weekend and enjoy our latest edition of  'The 5 Minute Tech Break'


A Day in the Life of a CTO

Difficult to describe a normal day in the life of a CTO, as the role, company and individual vary so enormously.

But we gave it a go with this article, what we hope is an entertaining overview about what a "typical" day might look like for a Start Up CTO.

No prisoners taken with the marketing and sales teams but then again, they deserve it.  

How to create your own competitor

Ever wondered how some companies came about?  It's always a fascinating story to see how major companies emerged.

HP, Lenovo and Dell are big time suppliers of PCs, particularly for business, but go to your local computer store or online retailer and there are a couple of brands who have managed to hold their own in a shrinking market, one in particular is Asus.

Asus only started selling PCs in 2005 but has >6% of the worldwide market. It's only during the last couple of years that the brand has entered mainstream consciousness and looking around our office and house, I realise we have quite a bit of their kit.

Before selling PCs, they were the main supplier to Dell who decided to cut costs by outsourcing more and more, to the point where they had all the knowledge to do it themselves, which they promptly did.

One needs to think about cost cutting and outsourcing exercises, as you might end up creating your own competitor.

We’ll ignore who HP did a fine job of shooting themselves in the foot with by pulling the business in 2011 and then deciding that was a mistake and reversing the decision.

Book of Week


Adults in the Room By Yanis Varoufakis

With Brexit coming up way too quickly for our liking, I've started reading this fascinating book by Yanis Varoufakis.

The Harley riding, leather jacket wearing former Greek Finance Minister cuts a charismatic and left field figure in European politics.  He was at the financial helm when Greece needed a bailout and had to renegotiate their relationship with the EU.

He tells quite a story.

Thanks to Jake for the recommendation.

A new year’s resolution that I’ve managed to keep, is reading at least one book a week. You really need to carve out time to read each week.  

Prioritising & Time Management

One item you're always short of as CTO (or in any C-suite role) is time.  

There are many ways to prioritise – Andrew uses “Eat that frog” (if the first thing you do in the day is eat a frog, rest of the day is a breeze) and I use colours (deal with the reds, look for the ambers and don’t worry about the greens).

Another simple method is MoSCoW

Must Have


Should Have

Could Have


Won’t Have

Very useful when you have a lot of requirements and need to categorise, before ordering within their categories.

You can easily be swamped by demands on your time.  Managing your time, creating "me" time, enjoying "reading" time are all crucial elements in maintaining high performance at the top level.

Quote of the week ...

“There is always light at the end of the tunnel, unless it is the oncoming train!” -

Robert Lowell, but more entertainingly used in a Half Man Half Biscuit's song

Mentoring Survey : Thank You

Thanks so much to everyone who completed our mentoring survey  in the couple of weeks.  
Super useful customer intelligence that is helping us shape the forthcoming release of our online mentoring service.

Watch this space and we hope that some/all of you might find helpful in the future.

Survey is still live so if you haven't yet, please Click here

Down tools, take a break and enjoy your weekend!

For you insatiable types who can't get enough of our '5 minute tech breaks', go visit our archives.

Watch this space .... CTO Academy is building the next phase of our platform.  

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