I finished at the BBC Datalab today. I was there five months-ish and it was the most I have enjoyed a role since the peak of my time at ONS. A combination of a great team, interesting mission, nice working environment, good leadership plus my continued improved health led to a genuinely reviving experience. I am not quite back to the top of my game professionally — I have changed quite a bit in the last few years and doubt I’ll ever be quite as single minded and driven as I once was — but I am feeling like I am properly back in the game.
So thanks BBC Datalab. Also thanks to Notbinary for making it happen and supporting me throughout it.
This week has been a pretty intense handover with my replacement + interviewing people+ some Notbinary strategic stuff + a couple of (wonderful) nights out and I am now home and a little broken so I don’t think this is going to be particularly coherent or serious 🙂 My intention is to start afresh with my notes in two weeks once I have started in earnest at UKHO.
Here are five things from the last five months →
- I spent 51 days in the North Acton Travelodge. As Travelodges go it is OK and it is very convenient for the Central Line. Still I wouldn’t recommend it for more than a night or two.
- The Castle in North Acton does a really good burger and decent onion rings. The rest of the menu is only OK. They do have some decent beers though and the staff are consistently friendly. The regulars less so.
- Westfield is MASSIVE. It is a seemingly never-ending parade of generic shops and teenagers. I did appreciate the Pho there though!
- Having lunch with your team every day really does bond a team better than anything I have experienced elsewhere. I have never regularly done this — anywhere. It took a bit of getting used to and occasionally I needed a solo lunch on meeting heavy days but I really recommend it.
- I am totally rubbish at London. I hardly did anything. Two meetups, dinner with friends twice, some street art spotting. No galleries, no shows, none of the restaurants I wanted to visit. I’m not angry — just disappointed.
I’m reading It Doesn’t Have to Be Crazy at Work by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. There is a LOT in this I agree with (and a few bits that cause some head shaking). I also love the blog like way it is written — it is very accessible. David Carboni and I are going to try and write a joint blogpost about I think as we are both reading it.
The big point is ‘your company is your main product’ — which is an amazing way for a product person who is being tasked with building a business to start thinking about things!
I binged Scorpion season four on Netflix. It is such a terrible show but I do love it. Also this season was even better as Tina Majorino was in it (she plays my favourite character — Mac — in my favourite show — Veronica Mars.)
I am listening to a lot of Logic at the moment — I like that his stuff has a bit of a 90s ‘boom-bap’ feel and clever, modern lyricism.
I’m going to NYC next week. I’m going to eat a LOT of Vietnamese and Italian food. Might have a bourbon or two as well when I am not photo-ing graffiti.
Brooklyn. My happy place.