Over the past few months I have spoken to a number friends and colleagues about Twilio. I am often greeted with a blank look, or may be a “yeah I have heard of them”.

To help these discussions, I thought I would pull together a non-technical summary of what Twilio is all about, feel free to correct or jump in if I have not got it right.

Twilio is to telecoms what Uber is to car manufacturers.

Twilio was founded in 2008 by John Wolthuis, Jeff Lawson & Evan Cooke. It raised raised $233.7m (in 8 rounds). Albert Wenger from…


If you graduated before last year, you are more likely to have a lower class degree. Today’s graduates get 3 times as many first class degrees as those who garduated in the 1990s and they probably aren’t 3x better — why?

Personally I was pleased with my 2.1 back in 1996 when I graduated. I thought it was a fair reflection of my ability and my effort and at that time, only 7% of my colleagues received a first. Those who got a first were either more naturally gifted and/or worked harder.

Back then, there were no tuition fees and…


A little over a year ago, I went back to my secondary school for a careers evening. Informally talking to sixth form pupils about life after school. We have all had experience of schools’ career advice and any parents with school leaving kids will know that not much has changed!

There remains a complete lack of sensible, realistic and credible support for young people leaving school. There are plenty of reasons why this is the case, but in todays connected digital world it seems odd that it has not been more fully addressed.

So I have created workMYwork to look…


A very brief explanation

Having searched a lot around how to set up Bubble.io using Cloudflare I finally got to the bottom of things.

Bubble is a hosted platform and works best when you ALIAS your DNS to point at app.bubble.io. Due to the vagaries of DNS this can be a bit confusing and since this is a relaively new feature, the documentation doesn’t seem to have caught up.

In Bubble set up your domain via [Settings → Domain/email] and enter your domain name.

With your domain host — redirect your nameservers to Cloudflare.

In Cloudflare remove any A NAME records and create 2…


Most people have a standard set of password variations or PINs that they use for pretty much everything. It certainly makes our online (and financial) life easier.

You don’t need me to tell you that this isn’t a great idea. But what should you do instead?

There are two types of accounts; one type (Facebook, LinkedIn & Instagram) are relatively low risk. Digital robbers could pose as you online. The other type of account stores your financial information and poses a bigger risk.

The lines blur a bit if you use your facebook account to login to… say a shop…


the opposite

I have over the last few years become aware that talk is cheap, nowhere is it cheaper than in the recruitment industry. While I know some excellent executive search professionals, I can’t help but smile at the catastrophic breadth and depth of amateurs.

If you are a recruitment consultant, fear not, the good news is that the robots in your industry still have a very long way to go. Given my background in technology and telecoms, I was surprised to be matched with a permanent role as a lift technician!

As an interim product specialist I keep my eye on…


This is a how to guide to set traccar up on a VM on Google Cloud, providing an overview on the commands needed to get traccar working fast. Since I managed to figure it out, it is a relatively simple job, however other VM guides needed some tweaking.

Set up a Google VM Instance. Choose at least g1-small to avoid issues with installation. I used Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Boot disk.

Once the instance has been created, access your server using the cloud based SSH. And update the libraries:

sudo apt-get update -y

Next install Java and MYSQL:

sudo apt-get…


Cheap foreign exchange: who wins?

UPDATED: 6/11/2018: while I haven’t used their international transfer service for a while, I have been experimenting further with TransferWise’s borderless account. I have hit a couple of snags, which I wanted to share. The first is the debit card doesn’t actually give you direct access to your funds. There is a daily limit beyond which you cannot spend (even if you have plenty of funds in your account).

The second is a bit more tricky. It seems that you can’t actually pay “any” payee in country. Having attempted to pay a company (nothing dodgy) I got a message “We…


Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

Welcome to my latest project. I am experimenting with public WiFi and how to make it more useful. Most public WiFi requires you to register, which is a GDPR headache for the business that operates the WiFi and as a user I don’t want to receive an email from the venue (ever).

So we need to find a better way to make free WiFi a no brainer. It should either generate revenue (fat chance) or reduce costs. In old money, you might:

* provide WiFi at your venue (from your existing broadband connection)
* have a password (somewhere — maybe on…


Work or Play?

£69bn of UK productivity is wasted on the railways every year.

I recently did some research on delivering data connectivity to trains. While much of our work was raking over the same old story of why Internet connectivity on trains is so poor, we were asked to consider “innovative” business models that could break the deadlock and make a difference.

The point of this post is to share some insight on productivity that I uncovered and encourage some peer review, as it is likely to be somewhat controversial.

The logic goes like this:

A lot of people, take a lot of trains every day. On these trains you will observe that…

Toby Treacher

Working in publishing, telling stories and generally interested in technology.

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