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Analysis / Business

Personal Innovation: Me, Hoodies, And My Taxi Driver

A couple of weeks back I had to get to a meeting 40 minutes away. I was running late and tried to hail a cab. I stood for less than five minutes in pouring rain and got soaked literally to the skin. But I got a cab (not easy in the rain).

The driver said ‘you’re soaked here’s a towel’ which was very kind. He always carries a couple of sports kits in the front, it seems. So I got drier but was very cold and asked if he could turn up the heat. So he now offered me three of his ‘branded’ hoodies. I put one on instead of my wet jacket and wrapped the other two round me.

These turn out to be from a big bag of clothes sat next to a big bag of tools. The ‘brand’ is because he also runs an electrical business and his team wear branded clothes with the company name on them. He often does a job himself on the way to or from driving, or if its ‘quiet’. So he’s a taxi driver, a business owner, AND an electrician.

The sports gear is because he is also a sports coach at evenings and weekends, to a high standard, and even gets involved with people who have been or will be international athletes. And he is an athlete to a regional standard himself. Of course. So we discussed my attitudes to exercise, and the challenges I have with it, and it was quite motivational.

But what about his family? Surely there is no time. Well, he likes to go for a five hour bike ride with his wife at weekends.

I have had worse taxi rides, what a bit of luck to get him. As I sat in my new hoodie, I thought not for the first time what amazing stories people have to tell behind what you actually see, and how innovative to fit together such a varied and rewarding lifestyle. Another time, I’ll tell you about my last haircut and the hairdresser…

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John Conoley joined Psion in 2008 and has 25 years experience in the technology industry. John has significant experience of working with both direct channels to market and also channel partners such as Value Added Resellers (VARs), Distributors, Systems Integrators and Developers. Before joining Psion, John was head of energy company EON’s Corporate Business Division, responsible for improving the performance and profitability of a division with sales of £1.5bn. Prior to this, John spent many years growing or turning round technology businesses as CEO.