“Unless you are a genius like Mark Zuckerberg, my advice is to try and find a good place to work and learn from creative or technical people.” –Nick Aldridge
Who Is Nick Aldridge?
Nick Aldridge has worked in the media and telecommunication industries all his life. He worked at the BBC and O2 before co-founding his first company, Mobile Interactive Group which was sold to Velti in 2011 (NASDAQ:VELT). As well as running a number of new ventures Nick has worked as a consultant to mobile companies, advertising agencies and media corporations helping them understand the creative and commercial opportunities in mobile.
In April 2011 Nick founded Kogi Mobile a mobile software agency with clients in the US, Europe and Latin America. In under 3 years it has grown to be one of largest specialists in the Latin American region.
What first caught your attention to work in Mobile?
It was an accident really. I was working in the BBC in “New Media” in 2000 researching new technologies and presenting information for the senior management team. The head of the department at the time, Katherine Everett, asked me to run two projects. One was the first ever SMS mainstream texting event for television in the UK, a programme on BBC1 called The Joy of Text, the other was to work to re-launch of the mobile internet site that had been taken down for regulatory reasons. From there I established the first mini department for mobile services and left a year or so later to work on more commercial projects.
What was your route through education into your first role in the industry?
I studied English Literature with some IT modules. At school I did A-Levels in Maths, English and IT.
What was the pressure like working on a project for the BBC? How do you feel looking back on the project?
Very little pressure, more frustration. The BBC in 2000 was a very bureaucratic place so things happened very slowly. We could launch one or two things in a whole year, commercially you have to manage the same but per month. Currently my business launches around 8 products a month for different clients.
Which have been some of your favourite projects working in the past decade?
I liked working in The O2, that was an experiential project to bring mobile technology to people going to music events. Everything from very early m-tickets through to making a video with your favourite band and sending it to your phone. Live 8 was a big turning point when we just started MIG (Mobile Interactive Group) as that was almost impossible to pull off with the whole of the UK press on our backs waiting for it to go wrong. We managed in 6 weeks to build a system, promote the world’s largest ever text lottery, raise over £3 million to stage the event and distribute 170,000 tickets via SMS, web fulfilment and O2 stores. Today we work with big brands around the world such as HP and Samsung (and of course Live Nation) from our base here in Colombia, which is equally fulfilling as obviously Colombia is not a known destination for world class mobile app development – so to develop this from nothing with all the language, social and cultural issues is very rewarding.
What has 2014 brought for you and the company? What do you see in the remainder of 2014 and beyond?
We continue to work on new and varied projects. There are not any great technology changes on their way this year but there are always new ideas and new start-ups who we work with around the world. One to look out for is Hitch Radio and mix between Whats App and Tune In (a radio app), an app we have just launched for a client based in Silicon Valley.
What advice would you offer students looking to follow a similar career path to yourself today?
Unless you are a genius like Mark Zuckerberg, my advice is to try and find a good place to work and learn from creative or technical people. When they have enough experience, contacts and good idea then is the time to try and launch your own business.
Away from working what music is in your iPod? & What was the last movie you enjoyed? the most?
Pitbull – I met him at a conference in Miami this week and I like the mix of US and Latin (Cuban) Culture.
Film – Her – with Joaquin Phoenix – it’s about a guy who falls in love with his artificial reality computer. My wife liked it as she always tells me that my computer is the other woman.