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Blogs from Lawrence Jones

Thoughts for Today

A Pie in the Face!


A tradition has begun at UKFast Campus. Once a year, we all turn up at the office in our pyjamas and at the end of the day, one or more of the team gets a pie in the face! And the best part is, it’s all for a good cause. Today is that day. I certainly had a laugh watching the team roll in this morning. Seeing various onesie tails sticking out from under winter...

A Whirlwind


What a whirlwind couple of days! Gail and I have been in London to celebrate with the Megabuyte team, having scooped the Megabuyte50 Data Centre and Hosting Award. And we managed to squeeze in another visit to Number 10 Downing Street. Growth has certainly been the theme for the trip. We joined Theresa May and a group of representatives from the tech world at Number 10. I’ve no doubt you’ll hear more about the visit...

Reconfigured


With Reconfigure.io’s Rob Today’s an exciting day for UKFast. We can finally announce that we’re investing into Manchester startup Reconfigure.io. Rob and the global Reconfigure.io team are an incredible group and are working on tech that unlocks increased processing potential within servers. It’s clear that we all need to work together to speed up the internet and it is innovative startups like this who are leading the way. There are only so many times you can...

How Cyber-Safe Are You?


How cyber-safe are you? These days, online safety is as important as locking your front door – both at home and in business. It’s fantastic, therefore, to see ITV running a week-long campaign to raise awareness around cybersecurity, hacking and the data that we rely on so heavily. The ITN team came along to UKFast Campus a few weeks ago to film our security arm Secarma. The team of hackers ran live demonstrations of just...

Work Experience


Have you ever had someone come to join your business for a week’s work experience? Did they sit and watch the rest of the team or do the tea round? Or did they join in with valuable tasks, getting real-life knowledge of what the working world is actually like? As business owners it’s ultimately our responsibility to provide opportunities for the next generation of workers and that means investing in them. That doesn’t have to...

How to Recruit the Perfect Candidate


Finding the perfect candidate for a job role is never an easy task – no matter what stage your business is at. In the early days, a new recruit to a small team can massively impact the culture. They can have an extraordinary sway on how the business progresses and grows. Every new recruit, at every stage is a risk. So how do you recruit the perfect candidate? At UKFast we receive around 1,500 job...

Striking a Chord


The new Ordsall Chord railway bridge We hear so often about the Northern Powerhouse and how we all need to connect better with one another in the North. But – when there are conversations that Manchester alone isn’t well connected – how can we create a stronger economy with better communication throughout the region? It’s something that we’ve talked and talked about. It’s a big frustration for business leaders and whilst I don’t necessarily agree...

Don’t Read Everything That You Believe


“Don’t read everything that you believe.” As a creative at heart, this line really caught my attention. It’s the Times’ and Sunday Times’ latest marketing strapline. Whilst we’ve all heard the phrase ‘don’t believe everything you read’, the Times’ twist on that really got me thinking; at a time when fake news has seemingly taken over the media, how do we find the actual news? Are we becoming closed off to new information, advice and...

How to Market Your Startup


There is nothing more exciting in business than deciding to start up. Taking a leap of faith and following your dreams. It’s life changing. But, it’s all well and good being excited about your own business, how do you ensure that that excitement spreads from you to the wider world? Do people even know that you exist? It’s a harsh question but one that we all need to ask. I remember Gail and I realising...

Whatsappened?


Did you notice that Whatsapp was down earlier today? The messaging app was wiped out across Europe for around an hour, with disruption reported across Vietnam, India, Singapore, Mozambique and Iraq. Whilst the outage was relatively short, it is interesting to see how the digital world responded. The Express ran a live update on the progress of the messaging app; the other news sites had stories posted within minutes. Is one app being down really...

LJ Blog

Key Moments


In the blowing winds on the way to the top of Mount Snowdon. Every now and then you make a big mistake, this weekend was one such occasion.  Heading to Wales with Gail quite late into Saturday evening, we pulled into the petrol station a few miles from our house in Wales where the team were already waiting for us. Whilst Gail went in to get some provisions, I topped the car up with petrol....

Calling it a Day


When I first came to Manchester I stayed with a family for the first few months. They were family friends of ours and they had a son. He was a good friend.  The earliest memories I have of growing up are of playing with him, from as young as five years old. We had great fun! But, as we grew up and began to carve our own careers, inevitably we drifted apart and didn’t see...

To The End


I read a nice description that summed up the honour and responsibility of leadership and success in one of Simon Sinek’s books lately. It was about how someone in US politics had stood up on a stage a year after he had lost his appointment and described how different his journey had been that day compared to the previous year. The year earlier, as a newly elected official, he flew first class. He was met...

Always Do More


Reaching the summit – an extraordinary achievement and a moment to take in the journey to get there. I remember Tony Robbins telling me it’s not the destination that counts but what it makes of you on the journey there that matters. I experienced this in person last week. My wife Gail and I hit the most rewarding goal – we completed the 2017 STRIVE challenge, cycling the rough desert terrain across Morocco and then climbing...

BIG CHANGE


You might have seen from recent posts that I have been out in Morocco with my wife Gail on a challenge to help raise money and awareness for a charity called Big Change which does extraordinary work in education in the UK. Lawrence and Gail Jones cycling through Morocco on the STRIVE challenge for BIG CHANGE Big Change is the brainchild of Holly and Sam Branson and it is already making a significant difference, with...

Lost in the Desert


Has anyone seen Lawrence?! A few days ago our boss headed off into the desert to raise as much money as possible for charity Big Change and we’ve not heard from him! It is rare that Lawrence switches off, I can’t remember a time when we’ve had radio silence! But it’s for a great reason. Taking part in the Strive challenge, Lawrence and Gail are currently in the middle of Morocco having mountain-biked through the desert...

Journal: Day Two


We’ve taken over! Lawrence and Gail are on radio silence while the embark on an extraordinary journey over the next few days, to raise money to boost education and help create BIG CHANGE. So, it is up to team UKFast to take over and keep you updated. We’ve had a few photographs and updates from the boss along the way. Last night they camped out beneath the stars in the Moroccan desert having started the...

Family Matters


Pressing apples with my girls. There’s nothing more important than family. This week has been a real reminder of that. On Friday we said goodbye to the amazing Arlene, our director of people development. Arlene is one of our full time teachers and she’s been a big part of the UKFast Family for more than 4 years. She’s not gone forever, but for a year or so while she takes on a new role: Mum....

The Single Most Important Ingredient of Success


Climbing one of our smaller goals, Mount Snowdon, with Gail and UKFast Enterprise MD, Jonathan. In life we need to know where we are going and a goal give us a good, old-fashioned map. A goal is a point on the horizon to aim for. It’s the single most important thing in creating success in every area of your life. Former Marine Earl Nightingale inspired a lot of the teachings shared by famous life coach...

Five Leadership Mistakes You’re Making without Realising


Climbing Mount Snowdon with UKFast’s incredible leadership team: Gail and UKFast Enterprise MD, Jonathan. Simon Sinek says: “Leaders are in a position of power, but those who lead inspire us.” What does it take to be what ‘Good to Great’ author, Jim Collins called ‘level five leaders’ like Sir Alex Ferguson, Ray Crock or Walt Disney? I have been learning for many years what it takes to be an extraordinary leader and help others to...