For ideas people

The YesAndClub is back for a special event to celebrate the launch of Ideas Man Shed Simove’s new book. On the night Shed will share thoughts from his book ‘Success… or your money back‘ which is about entrepreneurship and making ideas happen. Shed is an entrepreneur, author, performer, scandal monger and highly entertaining and inspiring speaker. He first spoke at the YesAndClub in 2009 to great acclaim. You can view his full bio below.

Event Details:
- Tuesday 30th October
- 6.30pm and the talk will start at 7.30pm
- By invitation only


Shed Simove is a comedian, author and modern-day entrepreneurial genius. Harnessing a constant stream of ideas from his astonishingly active mind, Shed has learned to transform his unconventional concepts into lucrative new business ventures which form the basis of his completely unique stand-up routine.

Following a degree in Experimental Psychology at Balliol College, Oxford, and two years working in DisneyWorld, Florida (as a Sixteenth Century Gentleman), Shed worked in TV Production, heading up programmes including ‘The Big Breakfast’, ‘Space Cadets’, and ‘Big Brother’. Shed soon became known industry-wide for making innovative, ground-breaking television shows. In 2003, Shed was appointed Commissioning Editor of Channel 4’s ‘Big Brother’ and throughout his TV career was also involved in discovering and launching many stars including Kelly Brook, Tess Daly, and Russell Brand.

As well as a successful career in television production, Shed has forged a highly innovative merchandising empire – creating novelty gifts, executive toys, best-selling adult sweets, books, greetings cards, and even his own currency! He’s even won ‘Gift Of The Year’ for one of his creations – a range of birthday candles that spelt “You’re Old”. See the PRODUCTS section on his site for a showcase of Shed’s creations and the LATEST NEWS section for some of his adventures.

Shed’s latest book “IDEAS MAN” is the true story of this visionary maverick’s amazing adventures. At breakneck speed, Shed describes how dozens of his ideas came to be, how they succeed or sometimes disastrously fail. Some of Shed’s ideas include: a range of award winning candles, a groundbreaking documentary that involved him going undercover as a 16-year-old schoolboy (when he was 30) and the launch of his own currency – the ‘EGO’.
IDEAS MAN is a unique book written by a completely extraordinary character. A hilarious and inspirational real-life tale of eccentricity and enthusiasm, it’s perfect for anyone who’s ever had a dream and wondered how to make it come true. Shed is living proof that you really can make it happen…

The following is a just a few of the impressive successes that make up Shed’s CV.
· Degree In ‘Experimental Psychology’ At Balliol College, Oxford
· Beat Thousands Of Candidates To Gain A Place On Planet 24’s Graduate Trainee Scheme
· Boss Of ‘The Big Breakfast’
· Boss Of ‘Space Cadets’
· Boss Of ‘Big Brother’
· Books Published: ‘Presents Money Can’t Buy’ & ‘Ideas Man’
· Products Created & Sold:
· 5,000 Limited Edition ‘Clitoris Allsorts’ Packets Sold
· 262, 793 Units of Control-A-Man and Control-A-Woman Remote Controls sold
· Over 55,778 ‘Cock-A-Doodle’ Pads Sold
· Over 67,861 Units of The ‘Designer Beaver’ Sold
· 150,722 Units of ‘Who’s Counting’ Candle Packs Sold
· Over 3,000 Greeting Cards Sold
· Over 10,000 – ‘Hen Night Sticker Packs’ Sold
· Creator of the SOUND MACHINE
· Creator of the ‘MARTIN LOOFAH KING’
· Creator of the ‘CREDIT CRUNCH’ CEREAL
· Over a hundred gigs perfromed since 2006
· Finalist in “The Comedy Factor” Comedy Competition (placed Third)
· Semi Finalist in the “So You Think You’re Funny” and “Laughing Horse” Competitions
When he saw Shed perform, Paul Kaye (ex- Dennis Pennis) told him, “You’ll be on Jonathan Ross within a year…”

I’m busy helping 2 startups which are both at very exciting but critical points, so my focus needs to be on them. The YesAndClub will return to normal service soon.

We’re hosting a YesAndClub Summer Drinks in the park on Wednesday 21st July from 6pm.

Attending are:

Adam Martin, Digital director, Naked
Calypso Rose, Founder, Clippykit
Nic Brisbourne, Partner, DFJ Esprit
Annie Mullins, Global Head of Content Standards, Vodafone
Colin Wilkinson, Founder, Incubation Ltd
Amanda Rose, Founder, Twestival
Tom Boardman, Co-founder, Firebox
Pip Williams, Associate producer, Peapie Films
Tom de Grunwald, Format developer, Iris Productions
Reverend Joanna Jepson, Chaplain, London School of Fashion
Steve Dukes, COO, Empora
Jamie Klingler, Photography director, Shortlist Magazine
Alx Klive, Founder, Affinity Media Group
Claire Margetts, Project Co-ordinator, Catlin Arctic Survey
James Bromley, Managing director,
Michelle Acton-Bond, Managing Partner, We Should Try
Oliver Mardling, Founder, What Talent
Anna Bance, Co-founder, Girl Meets Dress
Steve Trister, Comedy actor and writer, Freelance
Flick McLean, Head of Charities, Leap Anywhere
Simon Prockter, Founder,
Hannah Keys, Communications Manager, Skimlinks
James Aylett, Co-founder, Talk to Rex
Anna Delaney, PR, Leap Anywhere
Sam Barnett, Founder, Struq
Alenda Dundas, Founder, Gymboo
Paul Clarke, Strategy consultant, Freelance
Poppy Dinsey, Founder, WIWT
Simon Campbell, Non-Exec Director, ViaPost
Scarlett Russell, Features and Entertainment Writer, GLAMOUR
Milo Yiannopoulos, Technology journalist, Freelance
Justin Champney, Co-founder,
Sally Caldwell, PR and marketing, Love Is All We Need
Simon Swords, Founder, Atlas Computer Systems
Brett Putter, Senior Partner Emerging Technologies, Forsyth Group
Xavier de Lecaros-Aquise, Co-founder, Girl Meets Dress
Daniel Priestly, Founder, Triumphant Events

We are very excited to announce that the YesAndClub is hosting a talk and Q&A with Stevyn Colgan on Wednesday 30th June. Stevyn is widely regarded as an expert on creative problem solving.

Stevyn will be sharing the knowledge and techniques he gained through his work with the Problem Solving Unit at New Scotland Yard. Stevyn and his team were given the problems to tackle that traditional policing couldn’t fix; everything from littering to domestic violence. The systems he helped to create were eventually adopted by the Home Office and are now in use across the country.

Stevyn is currently writing a book on creative problem solving which examine interesting and effective ideas from around the world.

The talk will include:

- Techniques and systems for problem solving

- Ideas used in the Problem Solving Unit at New Scotland Yard

- Examples of innovative problem solving from around the world

The format:

- 7pm start

- 7.30pm Talk and questions from the chair and audience

- 10.30pm finish

Stevyn will get your mind buzzing – he is a fascinating speaker, who can draw on over 30 years of experience in the MET. Beyond problem solving, he has illustrated several books and has written for a truly eclectic range of magazines. He is the author of ‘Joined-Up Thinking’ (Pan Macmillan 2008) and a regular contributor – as an artist and writer – to the QI TV series and spin-off books.

The event is free to YesAndClub members and £20 to non-members. There are 50 places available.


Bindi Karia, VC/Emerging Business Lead, Microsoft UK
Steve Trister, Comedy actor, Freelance
Claire Margetts, Project Co-ordinator, Catlin Arctic Survey
Paul Cockerton, Founder, 63336
Sophie Neary, CIO, Silk Route
Chris Wild, Founder, The Retroscope
Matt Hagger, Founder, E-Man
Marie Camara-Ferguson, Founder, Ice Cube Design
Tom Boardman, Co-founder, Firebox
Kathryn Parson, Co-founder, The Scarlett Mark
Tom de Grunwald, Format developer, Iris Productions
Julie Allen, Head of Creative and Digital, MTV Networks
John Williams, Author, Screw Work – Let’s Play
Milo Yiannopoulos, MPhil student. Cambridge University
Rebecca Burn-Callander, Online Editor at Think Publishing
Nick Donnelly, Founder,
Ian Johnson, Development Manager, Silk Route
Sam Barnett, Founder, Struq
Alex Tew, Founder, Popjam/MillionDollarHomepage
Gary Baker, Founder, Swag And Swoon
Steve Parks, Entrepreneur and author
Dimitar Stanimirov, Managing Partner, Inovaz
Simon Prockter, Founder, Housebites
Alenda Dundas, Founder, Gymboo
Nick Tsinonis, Founder, Recommendation Systems
Jonathan Fletcher, Operations Manager, Silk Route
Philip Wilkinson, Co-founder, Keynoir
Michelle Acton-Bond, Managing Partner, We Should Try
Justin Champney, Co-founder,
Joe Stepniewski, Co-founder, Skimlinks
Poppy Dinsey, Founder, WIWT
Brett Putter, Senior partner, Forsyth Group
Daniel Bowyer, Founder, The Engine Room
Alx Clive, Founder, Affinity Media Group
Gareth Slinn, Web developer, Silk Route
Tom Ball, Founder, Cognac
Jack Symons, Founder, SnailStrap
Kate Moffat, PR consultant, prandsocial
Anna Delaney, PR, Leap Anywhere
James Aylett, Co-founder, Talk to Rex
Robert Fenton, Founder, Robert Fenton Enterprises
David Prever, Founder, Brandspanking
James Simmonds, Systems Architect, Silk Route

The YesAndClub is hosting a fireside chat on 24th May with one of the UK’s most successful web entrepreneurs, Michael Acton Smith. Michael is the founder of Mind Candy (Moshi Monsters and Perplex City) co-founder of and co-creator of Shot Glass Chess (his greatest achievement in our opinion).

Michael will be sharing his experience of over 10 years in the trenches, raising funding at angel and VC level, building great services and attracting millions of users and customers. He will also give us his thoughts on how to generate and develop great ideas.

Michael is CEO and founder of online game developers Mind Candy. In 2008 the company launched Moshi Monsters, a new virtual world and social game aimed at children (6-12 year-olds). The site is now one of the fastest growing kids sites in the world with 18m registered users and 6m monthly unique visitors.

Mind Candy’s first project was Perplex City, a deviously complex global treasure hunt played by thousands of people around the world across many different types of media including mobile phones, emails, actors at live events, skywriting and helipcopters.

Prior to Mind Candy, Michael co-founded, which is a hugely successful online retailer of gadgets, games and gifts.

Michael also co-foundered Second Chance Tuesday (events to connect entrepreneurs to investors), and Berwickstock (a very quirky music festival).

The event is free to YesAndClub members and press. It is £20 to invited guests. Places are limited to 50 so RSVP soon to avoid disappointment.


Tom Boardman, Co-founder, Firebox
Julie Allen, Head of Creative and Digital, MTV Networks
Henrik Werdelin, Entrepreneur in Residence, Index Ventures
Ann Jamieson, Founder, Price Jamieson
Jamie Murray-Wells, Founder, Glasses Direct
Julia Macmillian, Founder, Toyboy Warehouse
John Mitchinson, Co-founder, QI
Jamie Klingler, Director of photography, Shortlist Magazine
Ben Way, Director, Making Rain
Giles Palmer, Founder, Brand Watch
Kathryn Parsons, Co-founder, Scarlett Mark
Oliver Mardling, Founder, What Talent
Joan Lockwood, Marketing and PR Europe, Stardoll
Stewart Baird, Investment director, Bridges Ventures
Calypso Rose, Founder, Clippy
Simon Prockter, Founder,
Christine Hartland, Founder, Patchwork Productions
Hermann Djoumessi, Film maker, Freelance
Kathleen Hall, Journalist, Vitesse Media
Kevin Caruth, Founder, Urban Gentry
Sophie Neary, COI, Silk Route Global
Paul Cockerton, Founder, 63336
Anna Delaney, PR, Leap Anywhere
Steve Dukes, COO, Empora
Justin Champney, Co-founder,
Christina Lundberg, Founder, Bed of Nails
Justin Pollard, Director, Visual Artefact
Reverend Joanna Jepson, Chaplain, London School of Fashion
Amil Tolia, Founder, Reference Tree
Gareth Elwell, Founder, Greenhouse Ventures
Dan Kieran, Deputy editor, Idler
Jez Kay, Founder, NowHouse
David Ramm, Partner, Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge UK
Malcolm Scovill, Founder, Leap Anywhere
Sam Barnett, Founder, Struq
Robert Fenton, Founder, Robert Fenton Enterprises
Bernie Ritchie, Founder, Management Sushi
Derek Bishop, Founder, Abeo Consulting
Andre Brown, Founder and CEO, Locayta
Tom Ball, Founder, Cognac
Paul Birch, Investor and Co-founder, BirthdayAlarm / Bebo
John Williams, Author, Screw Work – Let’s Play
Ben Geliher, Game Designer, Mind Candy
Poppy Dinsley, Marketing Manager, School for Startups
Simon Campbell, Director, Viapost
Dave McQueen, Founder, Milestone Unlimited
Vikki Chowney, Editor, Reputation Online
Alx Clive, Founder, Affinity Media Group
Paul Blanchard, MD, Right Angles
Mike Fairbrass, Head of Modeling, Richard Rogers Partnership
Flick McLean, Head of Charities, Leap Anywhere
Nick Shreck, Co-founder, Gloop Me
Tom de Grunwald, Format developer, Iris Productions
Andrew Gerrard, Consultant, d-marketing
Xander Cansell, Researcher, QI
Dave Stone, Business designer, Freelance
Mark Machray, Consultant Solicitor, Keystone Law
Rupert Baker, Founder, Team Up
Jonathan Grubin, Director, SendSocial
Tom Impallomeni, Director of Finance, Webswappers
Axel Gutschenreiter, Senior Art Designer, Mind Candy
Luke Petre, Founder, Bitminion
Brett Putter, Senior Partner Emerging Technologies, Forsyth Group
Marcus Mac Innes, Founder,
Henry Mori, Chairman, Imperial Entrepreneurs
James Willis, Director, Watson Little

It’s scientifically proven that the best relationships are formed and the best opportunities emerge, when you are messing around. There are also signs that summer is on its way.

For these reasons the YesAndClub is excited to announce that we are hosting a Big Afternoon Off on Friday 23rd of April from 2pm-6pm.

It will be an afternoon for exploring ideas, sharing things that you need help with, and forging new and wonderful relationships.

The exact venue for this fantastic experience has yet to be confirmed, as it will be weather dependent. If it is sunny, it will be on a boat or in a park. If it is raining it will be inside a boat, or in a pub.

This event is open to members, who can bring special guests.

The YesAndClub is excited to announce that on Monday 29th March we are hosting a talk by John Mitchinson, co-founder of QI (Quite Interesting), on ‘How to be interesting and memorable.’

John is the chief writer and head of research for the BBC1 panel show QI. With QI’s creator, John Lloyd, he is co-author of the bestselling series of QI books, The Book of General Ignorance, The Book of Animal Ignorance, and Advanced Banter.

Their most recent book, which will form the basis of much of John’s talk, is The QI Book of the Dead which compares and contrasts the different ways individual human beings cope (or fail to cope) with the curves that the universe throws at us. Over 600 interesting and memorable people were researched for the book and 68 was chosen to be included.

Before QI John worked in publishing, where he was managing director of the Harvill Press, Cassell & Co, and Deputy Publisher of the Orion Group. Prior to that he was the first marketing director for Waterstone’s. John is a Vice-President of the Hay Festival, a Fellow of the RSA, and Chair of the London Centre for International Storytelling.

John is also a pig keeper.

The event is free to YesAndClub members and £10 for guests. There are only 50 places available and we expect demand to be very high, so RSVP soon to avoid disappointment.

The QI Philosophy

They say the primal drives are food, sex and shelter.

QI says there is a fourth: Curiosity.

We are hard-wired for curiosity: it is innate – a fierce need – and, unlike the other three drives, it is what makes us uniquely human. But pure curiosity, completely standard in children under seven and found in great artists, scientists and explorers, is, for some reason, quickly suppressed, sublimated or shrunken in most people. We make do with crossword puzzles, gossip, football results, pub quizzes and Jerry Springer.’

Read on here.

This may be the most important event that you ever attend.

If you can persuade, everything else is detail.

However great an idea is, it is nothing if you can’t persuade people to believe in it.

Together we will shine a light on this art that so few have mastered. We will leave with a clearer understanding of its power.

The event will open with a short talk by YesAndClub founder, Robert Loch, who will share his thoughts on the subject. Robert has substantial experience of trying and often succeeding to persuade, ranging from raising £millions in funding to persuading a country (be it a small country) to let him do their international promotion. He puts the later down to him being totally deluded at the time and thus being entirely convincing. Whilst still a student in the art, he will share some of his tried and tested techniques, including what he calls the ‘Four pillars of persuasion.’

That will be followed by an open forum, where all members will be invited to share their views and give examples of how they’ve used the art.

For ideas people there is no art that warrants greater attention. We know that moments change lives.

“Few are open to conviction, but the majority of men are open to persuasion” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This event is strictly for YesAndClub members only. There are 20 places available so RSVP soon to avoid disappointment.

When: 7pm (Talk at 7.30pm) Monday 22nd March


- Tiffany St James, Head of Participation, COI
- Max Niederhofer, Entrepreneur in residence, Atlas Ventures
- Kathryn Parson, Co-founder, The Scarlett Mark
- Justin Champney, Co-founder, Buildabrand
- Alx Clive, Founder, World TV
- Christine Hartland, Film producer, Freelance
- James Aylett, Co-founder, Talk to Rex
- Claire Margetts, Project Co-ordinator, Catlin Arctic Survey
- John Pollock, Communications consultant, Freelance
- Oliver Mardling, Founder, What Talent
- Farhan Rehman, Founder, Conscious Comms
- Poppy Dinsey, Marketing Manager at School for Startups
- Richard O’Connor, MD, Chocolate and Love
- Jeremy Kay, Founder, now house
- Simon Campbell, CEO, Viapost
- Katie Moffat, PR consultant, prandsocial
- Steve Dukes, COO, Empora
- Jim Powell, Founder, Teeming
- Charlotte Hogg, Founding director, First Engage
- Brett Putter, Senior partner, Forsyth Group
- Annette Kramer, Marketing consultant, Annette Kramer Consulting
- Milo Yiannopoulos, MPhil student. Cambridge University

The YesAndClub are hosting a wine tasting with Barefoot Wine on Wednesday 24th February. For fun we will also have a brainstorm around ideas to promote Barefoot. It will be a fun evening and at chance to develop promotional ideas.

The event is open to YesAndClub members. Attending are:

Justin Champney, Co-founder,
Tom Boardman, Co-founder, Firebox
Claire Margetts, Project Co-ordinator, Catlin Arctic Survey
David Mcqueen, Speaker and coach, Freelance
Andrew Ellis, Co-founder, Eyetoeye Digital / Like Minds
Katarina Skoberne, Co-founder, OpenAd
Paul Cockerton Co-founder, AQA 63336
Julia Macmillan, Founder, Toyboy Warehouse
Jamie Klingler, Photography director, Shortlist Magazine
Simon Prockter, Founder, Adventura
Kathryn Parsons, Co-founder, The Scarlett Mark
Andrew Gerrard, Marketing director, Freelance
John Pollock, Communications consultant, Freelance
Sam Barnett, Founder, Struq
Malcolm Scovill, Founnder, Leap Anywhere
Sophie Neary, Gun for Hire, Freelance
Jez Kay, Founder, Now House
John Williams, Founder, Free Style Success
Sally Caldwell, Love is all we need
John Newby, IT Director,
McNulty, Founder, Puppy Fishing

I am very unimpressed with business club One Alfred Place. On Friday they axed a number of members, including a very good friend of mine. They did so by sending the following email:

I am contacting you alongside other members who have shown a rather
high frequency of club visits during their time with us.

One Alfred Place is a business ‘club’ but we feel that some members
are treating it more like a serviced office and unfortunately our
business model simply cannot support this level of usage.

It is with regret that we are unable to renew your membership at this
time but as the renewal date has passed, we are more than happy to
offer a further month in order to allow you time to find somewhere
more suitable for your needs.

We thank you for your support during the last two years and wish you
great success in the future.

With Regards

Emma Beaugeard
One Alfred Place

The new CEO, Sharon Brittan then explained this action to The Independent in what is clearly an attempt to spin it and get positive PR for the club:

She’s wasting no time in making changes to the business, including axing club members she doesn’t rate.

“I think the club is a fantastic concept but the delivery needed some amendments,” explains the bouncy Brittan when I call. “But you’ve got to be brave and bold, luv. And you’ve got to make sure that if they are not the right people then they aren’t there.” Quite so.

As you might imagine, my friend wasn’t overly impressed by this.

She is a very talented and successful young female entrepreneur whose company has a bold and innovative approach to business. She is highly intelligent, incredibly driven and a fascinating individual. She is also fabulous company and very inspiring. Her company works as a partner with huge international brands. Clearly they rate her. Any private members club would be very fortunate to have her as a member. Moreover, she was a loyal ambassador of the club, recommending it to friends and clients. She doesn’t expect such unprofessional treatment from a ‘business club.’

She joined One Alfred Place as a founding member. Using the Wayback Machine, we can see what she bought into:

‘Welcome to One Alfred Place – a new kind of club that combines the best of a private members’ club with your own London office. It offers all the business services, work space, meeting places and communications that you need. Unlimited use: as many days as you wish. Drop in to catch up on emails, or stay all day.’

When it first launched I had lunch with the then CEO and was pitched the club as an alternative to having an office. Clearly they have now changed their policy.

So having done so the question is how should a business club communicate that fact, in a fittingly “business-like” manner, with its club members? Especially those, like my friend, who had been long-term members, networked with many of the existing members and more importantly spent generously, frequently and often? Perhaps start by announcing the change in policy? Maybe offer their high usage members a new and more expensive level of membership?

At a very minimum you’d expect a business club to show respect for their members who have invested time and money in supporting the club. What you wouldn’t expect is for the CEO to publicly insult them in a bid to get PR. Unfortunately that is what Sharon Brittan went on to do in this article which appeared in the Independent this weekend. This will be very worrying for members as it shows that she’s prepared to publicly name, in a negative manner, club members to the papers. If she is capable of that shocking behaviour how can any remaining member trust her? Steve Tappin is a very well-regarded professional and author of The Secrets of CEO’S.

So, might the eviction list include my old friend and OAP member Steve Tappin, the headhunter-turned-executive-coach that Boots boss Andy Hornby is considering hiring?

“Absolutely,” confirms Brittan. “He’s on the list.” Ta-ta to Tappin, then.

This type of behaving is very concerning and potentially damaging to any member who she deems unworthy.

I’m appalled at how my friend was treated but I’m also appalled as someone who runs a networking club. I know many people who also run networking clubs in London, and I’d imagine that they would find this appalling too. I also know many business reporters and I’m certain that they won’t be impressed by a business club treating entrepreneurs and business people in this way.

With regard to One Alfred Place I know people on their committee who will be very embarrassed to have their reputations associated with such unprofessional behaviour. I know people who host regular events there who wouldn’t want to be seen to promote a club that treats members like this. I also know many of their members. This will be of concern to all. How on earth can Sharron Britten think that this is a good idea?

I hope that by highlighting this that the club committee and their investors will consider the implications of their CEO’s behaviour. I also hope that this acts as a warning to other members of Old Alfred Place of what the current regime is capable of.

I look forward to Sharron Britten making a public statement on her behaviour. Failing that, her next ‘brave and bold’ move.