Bar camp NFP 14 – Failure Swapshop notes

Another year, another bar camp… another glorious session of sharing failure.

Thanks so much to everyone who attended the Bar camp NFP Failure Swapshop <– if you don’t know what one is, take a look here.

Lessons learned this year:

  • Be prepared
  • look before you leap
  • trust yourself
  • double check the important stuff
  • say no
  • ask “Why?” more
  • think about consequences
  • don’t assume
  • who owns it?
  • what is the real problem
  • collaboration is key
  • look at the big picture
  • don’t proof read your own stuff
  • Think how a picture looks out of context
  • Share your plans

FAIL — I didn’t take a photo, if you took one and you’re happy for me to use it, please tweet it at me!

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Instagram – #100HappyDays – Day 30

Instagram – #100HappyDays – Day 30

At the start of the year I saw a few people tweeting and posting about #100HappyDays, I was dismissive at first thinking it was a social one-upsmanship thing. After seeing a few more people, I took a look at the 100HappyDays site:

We live in times when super-busy schedules have become something to boast about. While the speed of life increases, there is less and less time to enjoy the moment that you are in. The ability to appreciate the moment, the environment and yourself in it, is the base for the bridge towards long term happiness of any human being.

I’ll be really honest, last year had some tough and sucky moments. Some great stuff too but on balance was more of a year to relegate to history… or at least that’s what I found myself saying. Was it? Or was that how I’d framed it… hmmm?

So I decided I’d take part in #100HappyDays using instagram. I chose instagram as I don’t have a large network on there so it would be public but not somewhere I’d be spamming many people daily.

30 days in, what have I taken photos of? 


3 of Lego (1 was about the Lego movie, which is AWESOME)

3 of Custard (my cat) and a friends dog – awww animals!

2 of gadgets – no surprises there

7 of food – fitting the stereotype instagrammer but I hadn’t expected that

5 of scenery

2 of friends

and a few other assorted things


What have I learnt from it?

It’s been good. Sometimes at the end of a tough day, I found myself making time to think about what had been good that day, what had made me happy. That has to be a good thing.

There were less people/events/activities in it than I might have thought. Partly I suppose this is due to the time of year, although since retiring from DJing I think I have been missing something. I’m going to make more of a conscious effort to do stuff, not watch TV or read tech news in my spare time. Get out, see people, learn a language, hack stuff…

That has to be a good outcome. Roll on day 100 – who knows, I may carry on longer…

If you’re also doing #100HappyDays I’d love to know how you’re finding it – link me to your stream of pictures/posts please!

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MORE blogging

Poor blog, it’s been a bit neglected over the summer.

That’s partly because behind the scenes I’ve been merging in some old socialtech posts… I’ve made these live now but some images are a bit funky (ie not linking properly).

If you see anything wonky, please do leave a comment and I’ll sort it out.

It’s nice to have all my ramblings back in one place – like the history of failure swapshop. 🙂

That aside, I’ve updated the mobile version plus some other maintenance stuff “under the hood”.

I’ve also drafted a couple of new posts – one on cycling, one on cake! When I get a bit more time later this week I’ll be editing them and making them live…

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Failure Swapshop at TEDxBristol

Failure Swapshop at TEDxBristol


After  giving a short talk at TEDxBristol about the failure swapshop it was great to run one in the break, lessons learned:

Take a friend shopping
Relish the things you’re good at
Don’t be afraid to fail
Share your failure
If someone needs your help, give it to them
Listen to your inner voice
Ask for help
Remember – you’re just a guy
Doubt kills dreams
Follow your instincts
Always learn
Stand up on your own
Tests aren’t reality
Keep on shooting
Do things that scare you
Don’t worry what others think
Check it yourself
Don’t think too much
Turn your tank on
Just do it!
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel
If you fail, be creative
Learn to delegate
Ask for help
How success looks can change
Perseverence is good
Take ownership
Track everything – get a system
Don’t give yourself a hard time
Focus on the good stuff

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Random acts of yumness

Random acts of yumness

Yesterday I was sat eating my lunch at lifeboat quay, pondering life’s mysteries (thinking about going camping actually but anyway…) when a guy approached and offered me an ice cream.

It was Mars one, he’d bought a pack for him & his girlfriend (at a guess) and had a spare.

Awesome! Free ice cream!!


So my question is this… how do I pay it forward?

I can’t wander the streets giving out ice cream…

Suggestions below, or via twitter:

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