Where I am now
I’m Dil Geen, and I’m in transition. I have been an architect for 20+ years – and it was my vocation. But architecture is slow, and digital is fast.
in 2014 I decided to jump sideways and start again in the world of tech. It was time. Architecture attracts a certain sort of utopian – the sort that actually wants to build the future, right now. But right now, the future is being built with digital tools, in digital spaces.
I started by just going to tech events and listening to everything, engaging as and when I could, documenting my thoughts and experiences here.
Now, though, although there is nothing I could point to as anything that looks exactly like a new career, there are a three main projects and some emerging focus points.
I’m co-founder of a modest but promising start up to provide better tools for physiotherapists and their clients – due to beta launch summer 2017:
I’m a trustee and main tech person (as in their only choice) for a digital-first charity which is inventing peer-to-peer methods for disintermediating International Development work – bypassing the big agencies and NGOs, making it possible for small donors to trust and directly support grass-roots changemakers, currently in Africa, but in the future across the globe:
And I’m currently running an insanely ambitious project to develop a platform that supports a public, practically useful ethical framework – to foster shared ethical positions beyond modernist atomisation:
Project for a Progressive Ethics
I’m a member of the fascinating Newspeak House, and a frequent attendee at London Futurist meetups.
I take a keen interest in developments with AI, concerning myself with themes, directions and broad views. I’m enthused by the possibilities of a post-capitalist economy that grows through capitalism in an evolutionary way, as proposed by Paul Mason.
I’ve developed my awareness and skills in the areas of business model / strategy development, app design and prototyping, information structure design, UX, aspects of marketing, taught myself bash scripting, taken a java course.
Look here for an overview of the skills and experience I can bring.
Where I was in 2014
I’m Dil Green, and I’m an architect.
In this context, I feel the need to say that I’m a real-world architect – buildings; wood, steel, concrete, glass – real stuff; messy, scales badly, ridiculously hard to upgrade. My own belief is that architecture needs these physical characteristics if it is to be any good – that for architecture to develop along lines suggested by ‘digital envy’ is a Very Bad Thing.
This blog documents my experiences as I seek to develop a second career in London’s tech community.
At the moment, I am concentrating on putting myself about – attending events, talking to people, listening to people, learning; thinking (and writing) about the implications of what I hear.
What I hope to achieve in the first place is to develop connections with enough good people so that, as ideas for particular projects coalesce, building a team can proceed swiftly and with confidence – a process I’ve already gathered generates lots of stress in this community.
In the medium term, I hope to be part of a start-up project, contributing most directly in the areas of business model / strategy development, design, UX, aspects of marketing.
Look here for an overview of the skills and experience I can bring.
There are other instances of my writing dotted around the web – none of them busy places, but if you’re interested in;
- my campaign against the qwerty keyboard paradigm, look here
- my thoughts on architecture, look here,
- wide-ranging longish pieces on wider issues, look here
- proposals for a new model for the construction industry (yes really!), look here
- (that’s enough other places – ed.)
Lastly, if you’re interested in my architectural work, look here.
2 thoughts on “About…”
It’s been a while but now that I have book marked your blog I intend to be a regular follower. I found your latest musings about the challenge of developing cost effective budgets in the face of uncertainty to be quite engaging and thought provoking. My understanding of the tech world is that there is an unspoken understanding that many innovative ideas are gestating and developing off the radar on the side and on the cheap while people hold down normal jobs. Then when a project reaches a critical stage and the inventors are ready to make the jump to converting their work into a new business, they leave their employer behind, while concocting and promoting a false but engaging narrative that claims that their breakthrough idea was a recent brilliant idea that they dashed off after leaving their employer. This is necessary in order to preserve intellectual property rights.
The issues you presented make me wonder if perhaps there might be some value in the establishment of a new type of quasi public organization that combines some of the benefits of a business incubator and some of the benefits of a university?
Another thought your blog post triggered was the value of defining a time budget for a project at the outset and then tracking time and comparing this at the end?
A third consideration is the difficulty in establishing realistic cost projections as a factor in whether to move forward at all. Cost projection is one side of the equation while anticipated revenue is another. If it is going to cost more than it is going to bring in then an alternative model needs to be considered or the project needs to be abandoned? Perhaps it is the inherent opacity in both of these issues at the outset of a major project that favors starting out on the cheap and off the radar?
Thanks for ‘following’ – I think I can promise not to overwhelm you with postings!
I imagine that the rather awkward gestation process you describe does occur – particularly when people with tech day-jobs are involved. Our project is luckily clear of any such issues.
Your idea of something that is less rapacious than an incubator (often venture-capitalists in an alternate guise), that nevertheless offers some supportive framework is a good one, and there exist various attempts to provide some such. I tried to set out my own ideas in this direction in this post: https://digital-anthropology.me/2013/11/24/project-proposal-co-founder-jamming/
The idea of setting a timescale for a project and comparing once complete would make sense if one were contemplating doing several similar projects end-to-end. For myself, I doubt I will do more than a handful, and they are likely to be radically dissimilar, so I won’t put myself through this…
As regards your third point, I would suggest that back-of-the-envelope calculations at the very early stages ought to have convinced the would be entrepreneurs that the possible scale of a believable success will bring in returns well beyond that which would be applied to a more conventional undertaking. In other words, if it doesn’t look as if a believable success will pay off big-time, then look for another idea….