Tech Debt can grind your development to a halt. Brand Debt can grind your business to a halt. Brand management software can help.

Bad brand management leads to brand debt

In agile tech projects, when

  1. shortcuts are taken,

then the project incurs “tech debt”.

Tech Debt

Sometimes startups take on tech debt knowingly, in the “move fast break things” methodology.

Bigger companies do so too when a particular project needs to be implemented quickly.

But the bigger the team, and the bigger the project, the more the tech debt can build. And the one sure thing about debt… the bailiff comes knocking sooner or later.

Brand Debt

Recently, I came across an article that talks…

Quantum ledgers, Blockchains and The Times

Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

In early January 2009, the first block of the Bitcoin Blockchain was mined. Hard-coded into the block was the following newspaper headline.

“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.

This headline provided a timestamp for the first block of Bitcoin, just like when hostages hold up the day’s newspaper in hostage videos to show they were still alive after a certain date.

The Bitcoin blockchain began by using the power of a newspaper to say with certainty, “this event happened after this moment in time”.

But this newspaper-inspired technique isn’t enough to completely timestamp an event…

Confessions of a “Startup-aholic”

Where do I start?

From the beginning I guess.

I never thought it would get as bad as it has.

I guess that’s the case with all addictions…

The Up

It all started out with the gateway drugs, you know, the usual stuff. Medium blogs, Slack communities, Meetups, Product Hunt upvotes. Nothing out of the ordinary.

At least, that’s what I thought.

I thought it was controllable, I thought, hey, it’s OK to do a bit of this stuff. Everyone does.

But after a few weeks, I was no longer satisfied. …

The Millionaire’s Problem asks whether two millionaires can learn who is richer, without revealing to one another how much money they each have.

Poirot vs. Holmes

The Socialist Millionaires Problem asks whether two millionaires can learn whether they have the same amount of money, without revealing how much money they each have.

These are both examples of secure multiparty computation (SMC). SMC is an area of cryptography receiving lots of attention in blockchain and internet-privacy companies, in attempts to protect personal data online.

This short story gives a non-technical variant of the Socialist Millionaire’s Problem disguised as a crime thriller!

The Setting

It was the…

Photo by Tom Crew on Unsplash

Brand consistency is something that is very difficult to measure. There is no simple way to give your company a mark out of 10 for it. But this doesn’t mean it should be ignored. Brand consistency is vitally important to the success of your business.

What is Brand Consistency?

Before we can define what brand consistency means, we need to talk about what a company’s brand identity and brand guidelines are.

Brand Identity

A company’s brand identity is its mission, vision, practices, logos, colours, fonts, tone, voice.

It is all the constituent parts that form the character of the company, whether they are visible or invisible…

Exciting news: Pilcro is launching on Product Hunt today!

At Pilcro, we have spent the last few months working out exactly what our users love about their Pilcro Artboards (and also what they don’t love so much!).

We have worked with General Assembly to create a better on-boarding experience.

We have sought advice off many design and brand studios to hear how they would improve our product.

We have listened to all the advice from the Ustwo Adventure floor in Shoreditch, London, where we have been living for the last year.

And now, we feel ready to launch!


In the 20th Century, the most influential companies were measured by revenue figures and growth curves. It was the oil companies, the banks and, most recently, the tech giants. Most consumers bought products and services based on price tags and quality.

What about in the 21st Century?

There has been evidence recently that product and pricing based differentiation are dying out — competition in every sector is so fierce that consumers have the luxury of making purchasing decisions based on factors other than simply product and price.

One such factor is customer service. In the last few years, thousands of…

Coca-Cola Red, Tiffany’s Blue, British Racing Green, Macdonald’s Yellow.

We are all used to seeing these famous colours and identifying them by their names. But how are these colours actually encoded so that others can use exactly the same colour on the other side of the world?

How does a Coca-Cola label in the Philippines have exactly the same colour as one in Canada?

This may seem like a relatively trivial question in today’s world, but 200 years ago we didn’t even understand what colours really were.

The same can be said about sounds — 200 years ago we had…

An amazing story from World War 2 provides a lesson in user acquisition for startups.

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

During World War 2, the allied military wanted to add some more protective armour to their planes.

However, they could only add a limited amount of armour to each plane before they became too heavy to fly.

This meant that they had to choose specific parts of the plane to attach armour (and leave un-armoured) to optimise the number of planes returning home.

Collecting data

They began by gathering data and analysing the locations of the bullet holes on all the planes in their fleet. …

A lot has happened at Pilcro since the last update blog. But we thought a list of updates might be a bit long considering how many cool new things we have made! So I thought I would relate them all in a short story, describing what a user can do in Pilcro right now.

A day in the life of a Pilcro user…

Hi, I recently signed up for Pilcro and I’m loving it.

Today, I started a new creative brief for a client called Kiwi. They wanted me to come up with a marketing campaign for their new product.

My first meeting with them was at 11am, so…

Patrick Woodhead

Design, Mathematics, Cryptography. Contributing writer for Hackernoon, The Startup. Architecture @ Everledger. Views my own.

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