On the Buses

On the Buses


 “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” Jim Collins.

On June 1st, 2011, I dropped a note to my StartUp Britain co-founders.

Its edited highlights read as follows;

Hi All,

Quick one;

I have a friend with a bus…which has a boardroom in it.

Yes, you know what I’m thinking.

A StartUp Britain Roadshow.

• 6 towns or cities (for example)

• In each destination, the bus would host conversations, perhaps recorded, with interesting local business owners and     promoters of enterprise.

• We could join the bus for a leg or more of the journey.

 What do you think?

One of the many good things about working with a team led by Emma Jones, is that whilst some people would reply to such an email with questions like “why?”, “how?” and “how much?”, Emma does not.

Instead she gets straight on the phone and wonders whether we could manage TWELVE stops instead of six.  And within two months, she and the sponsors are announcing the first StartUp Britain Bus Tour, in August 2011, with fourteen locations.

The serious point is that, in some ways, “ideas are easy”, and without brilliant teams, they would stay as ideas, pub conversations and hazy memories.

That’s why the team (Emma, Remy, Liz, Jamie, Becky, Lorna, Skye, Katie and Ash) bring StartUp Britain to life, and why the experts and entrepreneurs who give their time to join the tour, make the whole thing work.

Today, the third StartUp Britain Tour leaves London, bound for thirty locations.  The team will travel to places including Canterbury, Winchester, Bristol, Wrexham, Liverpool, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

The tour is privately sponsored by PayPal, BT Business, Iris and Intuit.


Yes, it’s a simple idea, which involves using the bus as a magnet, on the one hand for people thinking of starting up, and on the other for people who want to give something back.

Interestingly, when you ask my fellow co-founders (including Rajeeb Dey, Michael Hayman, Duncan Cheatle and Jamie Murray Wells) to name a personal highlight since launching the campaign, almost all will name a moment, meeting or conversation which took place on a bus tour. A personal story or connection, often hundreds of miles from home, which left a lasting impression.

George Bernard Shaw once said;

“Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine and at last you create what you will.”

I hope that the coming month will contain thousands of useful conversations which lead to people creating what they will.

And in terms of imagination being the beginning of creation, my favourite conspirators may wish to run for cover.

I have a couple more emails to write.



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