Impact Hub Brum: A new home for comms2point0 in 2015

#EpicBrum Kickstarter Campaign - Impact Hub Birmingham - Google Chrome 03012015 163506

There is a real tangible mood of optimism sweeping Birmingham and the West Midlands as 2015 comes into view.

Lonely Planet named Brum as one of the 10 best cities in the world and there have been a raft of stories of the flow of 30-something entrepreneurs and tech people leaving London for Birmingham and finding life better there. It’s nice to get external recognition. But in our corner of the world the West Midlands has been a bit great for a while. There’s a community of digital people. Many first met at events like the long-running Birmingham Social Media Cafe or at coffee houses or unconferences where people collaborate and meet people.

We’re also backing the Impact Hub Birmingham Kickstarter to build co-working and events space in Digbeth. It’s a venue and an idea whose time has really come. You can read more about it here.

Why are comms2point0 backing Hub Brum?

A couple of reasons. We’re backing it so we can have some co-working space a few times a week to get things done, use the WiFi and enjoy a cup of coffee. In my first year concentrating on comms2point0 full-time I’ve recognised the need for a regular space. But not a full-time office. Sometimes, this is to stick headphones in and zone out. Other times, this is to bounce ideas around and contribute to other ideas. We also rather like the social change stuff too. The people behind it are keen to collaborate on projects to make Birmingham a better place to live. That rather appeals.  There is work to be done and there are people who want to see it happen.

We’ll be using Impact Hub Birmingham as a physical base. The comms2point0 website, of course, will continue and thrive.

Why am I excited about 2015?

Eighty per cent of new businesses fail in the first 12-months. We’ve celebrated 12-months being registered with Companies House. Geddin. I’ve been full time. The long nights staring at the ceiling wondering if this can work have gone. They’ve been replaced by a wish there was more hours in the day and more capacity. If I’m honest, time spent with my family has suffered. My wife Clare has been amazing. Time spent with them in Wales between Christmas and New Year has been valued.

Mary McKenna once wrote that running your own business means one day off a year. I can see what she means. When I explain the time, love and effort it requires people almost always look horrified. The man who wrote that you work 80 hours a week for yourself so you don’t work 40 hours for someone else is dead right and I’ve a long list of people to thank who have helped, given advice and have hired both me and Darren.

If 2014 was a start then 2015 is when comms2point0 really takes off. There are ideas in the pipeline we think you’ll love.

Why are we excited about 2015?

In all the fun and excitement often people think that comms2point0 is just me. That’s not true. It’s always been a collaboration between myself and Darren Caveney. The original idea for the platform was Darren’s and we fleshed out how it would work watching a game of cricket. Our plannning meetings are a thing of wonder and it is amazing what you can produce when you have enough cake and coffee. But the black and white images and the look and feel of the website? That’s all Darren, that is.

I’m pleased to say that 2015 will see an even greater input from Darren and ideas that will push things on.

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  1. Best of luck for this year Dan; I’ve enjoyed reading your thoughts and have no doubt that you’d be restless and pressed for time wherever you are working (I’ve found it’s one of the traits of someone who tries to do things differently).

  2. That’s exciting stuff on many fronts. Birmingham’s been buzzing for a while – I remember trekking* up to Brum with the Innovation minister to launch our first commentable consultation at the Think Tank museum back in 2008 😉

    On the hours thing: my first year was the same. There are many directions you can take things if it’s clear that you’re doing something people are willing to pay for (I’m not confident enough yet to recommend one!), but I don’t think the 80 hour weeks are inevitable. I got into a *lot* of trouble at home after a couple of years of crazy freelancing, and these days my weeks are probably 45-50ish hours, I take holidays and my eyelids have stopped twitching from sleep deprivation, and we’re still making a respectable profit.

    * when I say trekking, I mean skipping gladly whistling a merry aire

  3. Great stuff! Really interesting to hear about the kickstarter for a co-working space. Indycube are doing some really good stuff in Wales in creating co-working spaces. Chris Bolton has recently written a good blog on iit (and tapas) at, and there’s further information at

    Glad to hear it’s all onwards and upwards in 2015 – Blwyddyn Newydd Dda (Happy New Year)!


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