We help you turn your startup idea into a happy, thriving business

That was the year that was (a thank you)


Do Lectures, Wales

Well, what a year 2013 has been.

Not financially I may add (more of that another time), but in terms of the experiences we’ve had and people we’ve met in getting The Happy Startup School off the ground (as well as keeping things ticking along at our main company). I also turned 40 (yup, it sucks…).

So before we all go our merry way into the Christmas break I thought we should say a big thank you to all that have inspired us this year. So, in no particular order…


Meaning Conference badge

7 awesome events

  • Do Lectures — for making 3 days and nights in a freezing cold field in Wales feel like the best thing ever
  • Meaning — for delivering a mind-blowing event 2 years running
  • Mind the Product — for showing us that people are at the heart of all great products
  • Purposemakers — and the Danes for leading the way in purpose-driven business
  • Rebuild21 — for a great event and the ants
  • The League of Pragmatic Optimists — for having the best name ever and providing some amazing feedback for us
  • The Happy Startup Summercamp — ok, this was our baby but we had a blast


Andy Gibson from Mind Apples speaking at our summercamp

18 great organisations

  • Action for Happiness — for all their brilliant work for a happier society
  • Zappos — for this, amongst others, and for giving me a tour of their Las Vegas HQ
  • Makeshift — for leading the way in product development for startups and some great content
  • Buffer — for being honest in a world full of charlatans
  • Medium — for making writing fun again
  • Intercom — for a great product and customer focus
  • Delighted — for some insanely good blog posts
  • Patagonia — for being true to their mission
  • WorldBlu — for their mission to make trust and freedom in the workplace the norm
  • Conscious Business — for supporting us early on in our journey
  • Do Something Different — for getting us out of our comfort zone
  • Nixon McInnes — for Meaning Conference and their unique culture (as well as Tom and Will for being a great soundboard for ideas)
  • Propellernet — for placing people first in business
  • The School of Life — for making personal development, well, ok
  • The Hub — for pushing social innovation and supporting us
  • Good for Nothing — for making great things happen
  • Wired Sussex — for their hard work in supporting the Brighton creative and digital communities and getting the Fusebox off the ground
  • BrewDog — for challenging the status quo and being punks in a world full of suits


Ole Kassow taking some of the elders of Copenhagen out for a cycle ride

..and some inspiring people

  • Umair Haque — for being a little nuts, but writing so powerfully about the issues we face and introducing the concept of eudaimonia
  • Tony Hsieh — for his inspirational keynote at the Downtown project
  • Nic Marks — for telling us why happiness is a serious business
  • Andy Middleton — for highlighting the pursuit of purpose as a duty
  • Simon Sinek — for starting with why
  • David Hieatt — for his brilliance and 2 Films post
  • Javier Munoz — for inspiring us to create the happy startup canvas
  • Ole Kassow — for being a true gentleman and spreading the power of kindness
  • Alex Kjerulf, for spreading happiness and introducing us to this (sorry)
  • Michael Norton & Elizabeth Dunn — for reinforcing what makes us happy in their excellent book
  • Seth Godin — for his ongoing wise words
  • Gary Vaynerchuk — for saying it how it is, with bells on
  • Zack Klein — for talking about the company you wouldn’t sell
  • Jean-Paul Flintoff — for highlighting how changing the world should start on your doorstep
  • Scott Davis — for his passion for food that knows no bounds
  • Carol Dweck — for opening my eyes to a new way of seeing the world
  • Aziz Musa — for a mesmerizing talk at Mind The Product
  • Jo and Andy from Strumm— for being brilliant people to work with and our happy startup lab rats!
  • Mark Sears — for talking about legacy (not exit) strategies
  • Claire Holgate — for brightening up our studio
  • Susanna Halonen – for letting the passion in
  • Our advisor Steve Penfold — for asking all those difficult questions (yes, the money ones…)
  • All the brilliant and talented people that have been part of our growing UX Café community, helping us to introduce good design to the startup world
  • And finally, anyone that has helped out or attended any of our events, said nice things, given us advice, supported us or even provided constructive feedback over the past year. You know who you are and you’ve spurred us on and given us fuel for our mission.

Here’s to an even better 2014.

On our bucket list for next year is a Happy Startup…

  • Bootcamp
  • Book
  • Online platform
  • (A bigger and better) Summercamp
  • A physical hub in Brighton where we can make our ideas happen
  • Bus tour!

And a healthier balance sheet to keep this thing going :)

Have a great Christmas and see you on the other side.

How was 2013 for you? What exciting things have you got planned in 2014? Let us know in the comments below. 

3 Responses to “That was the year that was (a thank you)”

  1. paul martin (@paulmartin42)

    Yes 40 sucks as its no longer the big one. I am unsure the average age of your listed stars but wonder how many would want to be 20 again (cf if you remember the 60’s you weren’t doing it properly)

  2. Wouter Gheysen

    Thanks for this great post! And even more thanks fir the inspiring moments I had by attending the Summercamp. It’s always nice to see that 1 google search can lead to a whole new world.
    Have a merry christmas and a great start of 2014!


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