My Second Home: Hayden Wood

Co-founder, Bulb

Hi, Hayden. How is Bulb disrupting your industry?

We’re disrupting the energy industry by offering low-cost renewable energy while at the same time delivering market leading service. For example, we’re rated the number 1 energy supplier on the independent review website Trustpilot.

“We’re disrupting the energy industry by offering low-cost renewable energy while at the same time delivering market leading service.”

We’re also committed to having a positive social and environmental impact. We’re the only energy company that’s a certified B Corp which means we hold rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency. Sadly, in the energy industry, that’s very disruptive! Finally, we’re using automation to solve a lot of the issues normally done by teams of employees at larger energy companies. This means we’re able to offer better service, have lower costs and pass on these cost savings to customers in the form of lower prices.

What is the best bit about working for Bulb?

The best bit about working for Bulb is shaking up a stale, uncompetitive industry. We’ve got some big competitors but because we’re fast and agile we’re able to make use of new technology and keep our costs low. We’re giving people a choice they’ve never had before and seeing our members spread the word is extremely rewarding.

What recent project are you the proudest of and why?

When people switch to Bulb, they are sometimes charged ‘exit fees’ to leave their previous supplier. We think this is unfair, we’ve never charged an exit fee. One of our members suggested we start paying exit fees new Bulb members were charged by their old supplier. We thought this was a great idea so now we’re the first energy supplier to do it. It was great to be able to get a suggestion from a member and implement it right away. We also have a new join process which cuts down the time it takes to switch to under two minutes which we’re proud of too!

“When people switch to Bulb, they are sometimes charged ‘exit fees’ to leave their previous supplier. We think this is unfair, we’ve never charged an exit fee. One of our members suggested we start paying exit fees new Bulb members were charged by their old supplier. We thought this was a great idea so now we’re the first energy supplier to do it.”

What do you want your company to achieve within the next year?

A big part of next year is about rolling out smart meters to our members. We’re excited about the fantastic opportunities that smart meters offer. They’ll provide a truly accurate measurement of how much energy people are using at home and mean, as a supplier, we won’t have to rely on manual meter reads from our customers. We’ll have far richer usage data. This data will enable us to put in place ‘time of use tariffs’ that are more tailored to the real energy use in the home and enable homes to participate in demand response, where customers are incentivised to reduce their usage at times of peak demand for the grid. We can’t wait to start those two-way conversations with our members!

Bulb founders Amit Gudka and Hayden Wood

What advice would you give somebody thinking about starting their own company?

Make sure you do your due diligence and talk to as many experts as possible before you make the leap. Both Amit and I were lucky to have an amazingly generous network of friends, supporters and advisers which made a real difference.

What person / company has inspired you the most?

I’ve read lots of books written by great minds and people involved with fantastic companies I admire hugely, but to be honest my wife Flora is the most consistently inspiring person in my life. I can’t imagine doing this without her.

“We started at Second Home with just two of us and now have a 14 person studio that we’re about to grow out of. The ‘creative collisions’ we’ve had with other companies have had a massively positive impact on our growth.”

How has being at Second Home helped your work?

How long have you got? We started at Second Home with just two of us and now have a 14 person studio that we’re about to grow out of. The ‘creative collisions’ we’ve had with other companies have had a massively positive impact on our growth. Whether it was advice from Blue State Digital on our communications, support from Congregation Partners on our brand and on sourcing talent, or just chatting with other members at members drinks on a Friday we’ve benefitted a huge amount from shared knowledge, advice and connections.

What is your favourite design feature about Second Home?

Personally, I love sitting underneath the big leafed plants on the 3rd floor. They make me feel like David Attenborough in the amazon rainforest! Having so much greenery in the building makes the Bulb team breathe better, cleaner air.

“Having so much greenery in the building makes the Bulb team breathe better, cleaner air.”

What company at Second Home fascinates you the most?

Institute of Imagination will pull together the most incredible combination of things: a community center, laboratory and a science museum all to give young minds the space to imagine. This kind of thing is going to be increasingly vital as young people seem to get less and less time to express themselves creatively. It’s just the kind of really important innovative project that Second Home is so great at fostering and I can’t wait to see what it’s like in 2019!

Outside of work, what place in London stimulates your imagination the most and why?

The river. I walk along it from Lambeth to Westminster every day on my commute and the feeling of London brimming with ideas, activity and innovation is a real inspiration. It’s also gives me the peace and quiet to go through my to do list which, as a co-founder, is a very healthy length!

We ask everyone to select a book that will inspire others and become part of Libreria’s permanent collection. Which book would you choose and why?

I’d choose Edward Tufte’s ‘The Visual Display of Quantitative Information’. I think it’s a stunning book. We work in a complex and technical industry and understanding how best to interpret and present information is very important. Despite being first published in 1983, I believe it is just as relevant today as it was then. The book provides some excellent examples of good graphical design. Surprisingly, most of which come from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Learn more about Bulb here

From Edward Tufte’s ‘The Visual Display of Quantitative Information’.

Second Home is a creative workspace and cultural venue, bringing together diverse industries, disciplines and social businesses. Find out more about joining us: secondhome.io

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