The first thing my mother asked when I told her I was setting up my own company DSRPTN was “but who will do your filing for you?” I had to tell her that I could not remember the last time that I actually filed anything physically. She was also concerned about where my office would be located because it’s difficult to grasp that setting up your own business can be a very easy process and all you really need is a few bits of good kit.
My tech has mostly been provided by my employers over the past number of years latterly MacBookAir and iPhone in GDS (and prior to that in City Hall, MacBookPro and Blackberry) so have not had to choose kit for myself for quite some time.
Over the past number of months I’d been jealously eyeing up @Paul_Clarke’s array of Samsung phones and thinking the unthinkable (like could I actually break free of iPhone?). So of course I turned to twitter to get some thoughts and thanks to @psd for his endorsement of Nexus 4 I am now a very proud owner. I'm loving it all the more because it’s half the price of the Samsung Galaxy 4 which aligned with the fact that I’ve chosen not to get into a contract situation that ties me in for two years is all the better.
I’ve chosen Ovivo Mobile for my provider. I met Ovivo founder @dariushzand when I was working on The London Datastore and I remember a great conversation we had over coffee with David Fowler (then CTO of Huawei Europe and now COO for Cable and Wireless, Guernsey). It was great to hear Dariush talk with such enthusiasm and zeal about his ambition to disrupt the Mobile Network Operator Model. I’m kind of keen on disrupters so I’m happy to give him my business. For a once off payment of £15.00 you get SIM card and monthly package of 150 mins 150 texts and 400MB of data - all for free (hurrah! just have to look at some advertising in return). I'm waiting to port over my number after Easter so won’t start using properly until then but I’m already impressed with their level of customer service (take a look at their twitter stream @ovivomobile to see customer feedback).
And finally then what about laptop? Well its official I have left the Apple family and chosen the Samsung Chrome Book. So far so good. It’s zippy, light and fast. The only thing I am struggling with at the moment is finding some good, user-friendly, online presentation software (I’m a bit of a keynote addict and can’t see anything that matches on quality and ease of use) but I remain an optimist about these things. I also anticipate some teething problems with compatibility between google docs (I know from my time in government that some folks can’t always access) but I’m taking a let’s cross that bridge when we come to it attitude.
So phone, provider and laptop all for just a little over £500 means start up costs are incredibly low and not eating a huge chunck from cashflow. I’m reckoning staying in the Apple family would have cost me at least four times that amount - and frankly - not worth it - not when their competitors are rapidly catching up with Apple on the design side. And honestly I was getting a bit tired of all that lock in. So here’s to freedom!