If you use Gmail, you should be using Streak

I’ve talked to a surprising number of people who have never used or even heard of Streak, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on why it’s awesome. Having Streak is sort of like having Gmail on steroids. It’s actually taken me about a year to start using it properly, but I’m saving so much time now that I am. So, without further ado, and in no particular order: 1. Read receipts That little r is Rapportive, which shows you people's

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How to prepare for a startup at university

University is a wonderful, intense and chaotic period of your life. For that reason, it’s also a fantastic time to prepare for life at a startup, which is often wonderful, intense and chaotic all at once. I built my first startup halfway through university, and now I’m the CEO of Encore, so although most of this post will be about starting your own company from a founder’s perspective, a lot of it also applies to being one of the first employees at a

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Startups, Burnout and Running

Almost exactly a year ago, I joined Entrepreneur First with three intentions: Create a startup Avoid a boring job at all costs Change the music world, somehow The last year has been exhilarating, euphoric, and anything but boring, and I'm so proud of everything we've achieved with Encore so far. That said, startups are fairly fashionable and often glamourised these days, and something people can be reluctant to talk about is how quickly they can become overwhelming, gruelling, and at times, depressing. I've always turned to

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Demo Day

Entrepreneur First demo day has been and gone! Just like that, six months of blood, sweat and tears were bundled up into a four-minute presentation, and luckily, everything came together on the day. The EF team are presentation Gods, and really helped me raise my game during the final few days. Here are some lessons I learned about public speaking: Pauses feel twice as long to yourself as they do to the audience, and they are extremely effective. "Make yourself big. You're a small guy, James"

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My first foray into the Open Source world

Encore's in an exciting place right now, and we're gearing up to launch at Oxford next week. Part of our preparations today involved adjusting our signup flow for Oxford students, and seeing as each student's email address contains an indication of their College, I set about writing some code to fill in the College field as soon as an Oxford student hits the second part of our registration process. The code is simple, but the process of gathering all of the email suffixes was laborious, and

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2015

2014 was a fantastic year. I met some great people, graduated from Cambridge with a decent degree, visited Ireland, San Francisco and Holland, moved to London, and, along with my co-founder James, dedicated the last four months of my life to building Encore from a mere idea into a thriving network of over 700 musicians. Hearing from musicians who had been invited to play in concerts through our service was immensely gratifying, and "I've never been this visible as a musician" was definitely my favourite testimonial

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A Letter to my Fresher Self

So, you’ve left school, achieved straight As for your Advanced Highers, and just gained a place at Cambridge, arguably the best University in the world. You probably think you’re quite a big deal, right? You could not be more wrong. You’re about to immerse yourself in a place where everyone seems to be smarter than you, and most are. You will meet people who had published books before they arrived at university, people who had already competed in Olympic-level sport, and people who

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