Posts Tagged ‘kindle’

Technical Anxiety is out today

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016 | Books, News


My new book, Technical Anxiety, is available from today. You can get the eBook on iBooks and Kindle, and the paperback will be available shortly too.

EDIT: The book is now available in paperback too.

New book, Technical Anxiety

Saturday, October 29th, 2016 | Books, Health & Wellbeing, News

I have a new book coming out. It’s called Technical Anxiety: the complete guide to what is anxiety and what to do about it. If you have read books about anxiety, you might have noticed that a lot of them seem to be written by people who do not really seem to know what it is like to have anxiety or how it makes you feel.

Technical Anxiety cuts through all of that. It covers things like talking to your friends and family (and work), being less self-critical, coping strategies, health anxiety, social anxiety, building a lifestyle that improves anxiety and loads more. To be honest, there is too much in it.

It is available for pre-order on iBooks and Kindle.


The Everything Store

Thursday, January 28th, 2016 | Books

The Everything Store is a biography of Amazon and Jeff Bezos. It is written by Brad Stone.

It discusses Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography and it is easy to make comparisons between the two. Both seem demanding people to work out. IN fact, Bezos more so. Life at Amazon is painted as relentless. Bezos speaks out against work-life balance and seems to work every employee into the ground. I think I have come away being put off by the idea of working for Amazon.

This is an interesting contrast to Netflix. They claim they don’t care how long employees are in he office for as long as they do good work. How true that is in practice I am not sure though it is true that they do not track the amount of holiday staff take (you can take as much as you want), which suggests they do have a relaxed policy. Netflix have of course been hugely successful as well.

It also makes me wonder whether you have to be a bad guy to succeed in business. Though successes such as Richard Branson would suggest there are alternatives.

Bezos is a man driven to build The Everything Store. He wants every product to be available immediately for customers. This is why Amazon sometimes drifts away from selling directly (Amazon auctions, Amazon marketplace) but often comes back to fulfilled by Amazon. They want to be able to control the whole customer experience, just like Apple.

Amazon itself appears in a mixed light. It is an innovative company. It did a great job of bringing together online retail. Look inside the book, search inside the book, super-saver delivery, prime, affiliates and recommendations were all developed or popularised by Amazon. It was the first to get e-books correct with the Kindle, and its purchase of Audible has helped audiobooks as well. KDP and CreateSpace allow you to publish directly onto Amazon. Not to mention Amazon Fire, Amazon Web Services (AWS), A9 and the many technology fronts Amazon has. In terms of market share, AWS is huge and probably under-appreciated on that list.

Amazon’s core retail business has always been about books. Bezos has a passion for books, which probably partly explains why they have been so successful. Compare this to music where Apple dominated. Stone correctly points out that Steve Jobs loved music, whereas Bezos had no interest in it. Even when you have a giant corporation behind you, it would seem you still need to do things with passion to succeed.

Bezos does embrace the same view as Jobs in disrupting your own company. I love the Jobs quote, if you don’t cannibalise your own company, somebody else will. This is exactly what Bezos wanted with the Kindle: he told his team to destroy Amazon’s core market of paper book sales. This had worked out as one of Amazon’s biggest successes.

They are also a relentless competitor. Like Walmart they are willing to stomach major loses to drive competitors out of business. They don’t treat their suppliers well either. Something I experienced first hand when publishing the Leeds Restaurant Guide. Amazon give me only around 30% of the sales price, whereas Apple give me 70%.

Getting an insight into Amazon’s logistics was fascinating. For example, super-saver delivery. I had lazily assumed it was that they used some kind of cheaper, slower delivery. Not necessarily so. The idea behind it is that they don’t even get it out of the warehouse until they have spare capacity. You might get lucky and they will have capacity straight away. Or you might not.

There is also the complexity of delivery. How often have you bought a USB stick and it turned up in box the size of a microwave? It’s amusing for the customer (ignoring the environmental effect, which we should not). However, for the business, putting the right products into the smallest possible packaging is actually an important part of cost-saving efficiency.

In some ways, Amazon could be seen as a bit of a mess. In the conclusion, Stone talks about how Amazon often has poor communication between departments and effort is also often duplicated. However, the company uses these things to their advantage. Different projects compete with each other on their own internal market, like their search routines did, with the best one surviving. Often companies are desperate to avoid duplication, but maybe it is not always that bad.


Leeds Restaurant Guide, 5th Edition

Monday, December 14th, 2015 | Books, News

Still looking for that perfect gift for someone? I’ve come to your rescue, as yesterday saw the launch of the 5th edition of the Leeds Restaurant Guide! It should now be available on Kindle Store. This edition has 20 new restaurants and 4 updated reviews.


  • 2 Oxford Place
  • Archie’s
  • Bilbao
  • Bill’s
  • Brotherhood of Pursuits & Pastimes
  • Five Guys
  • Gusto
  • La Rambla
  • Manahatta
  • My Thai
  • Pie Minister
  • Pintura
  • Revolucion de Cuba
  • Smoke Barbecue
  • Soba
  • Stockdales
  • The Headrow
  • The Liquorist
  • The Phoenix
  • Zaap Thai


  • Akbar’s
  • Elysium
  • Stonegate Pubs
  • Thai A Roy Dee

Leeds Restaurant Guide, 4th Edition

Friday, April 17th, 2015 | Books, News

It’s been ten months since the last edition of the guide was published, but the drought is over. This edition features 14 brand new reviews and is available now in the Amazon Kindle store.


  • Almost Famous
  • Bem Brasil
  • Bird & Beast
  • Buca di Pizza
  • Bulgogi Grill
  • Bundobust
  • Byron
  • Cabana
  • Griffin Hotel
  • Kerala
  • Meat Liquor
  • Teppan 260
  • Tharavadu
  • The Man Behind The Curtain

Leeds Restaurant Guide, 3rd Edition

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014 | Books, News

I am pleased to announce the publication of the 3rd edition of the guide. The new edition features 11 brand new reviews and updates to an additional 6. We have also cleared out the 22 that have closed down so far this year (compared to just 2 removed when we published the second edition).


  • Around the World in 80 Beers
  • Chickando’s
  • Colazione
  • Lemongrass
  • Peachy Keens
  • Roxy Ballroom
  • Sabor Latino
  • Souvlaki
  • Tapped
  • The Angel
  • Wasabi


  • Ciao Bella
  • Piccolino
  • Primo Ristorante
  • Prezzo
  • Red Hot World Buffet
  • YO! Sushi

Leeds Restaurant Guide, 2nd Edition

Monday, April 7th, 2014 | Books, News

lrg-kindle Today I’m pleased to announce the launch the 2nd edition of the Leeds Restaurant Guide. The new edition contains 14 brand new restaurant reviews and updates to another 18 entries. This takes the total reviews to 200! It is available from tomorrow from the Kindle Store.


  • Aria
  • Belgrave Music Hall
  • Cosmo
  • Crowd of Favours
  • Harry’s Bar & Brasserie
  • Prezzo
  • Rare
  • Roast + Conch
  • Shears Yard
  • The Atlas Pub
  • The Pit
  • The Pour House
  • The Tetley
  • Trinity Kitchen


  • Ambiente
  • Angelica
  • Baby Jupiter
  • Bar Fibre
  • Bewley’s
  • Brasserie Blanc
  • Brasserie Forty-Four
  • Dish
  • Ho’s
  • La Tranquillite
  • Las Iguanas
  • Little Tokyo
  • Malmaison
  • Nation of Shopkeepers
  • Primo Restaurante
  • Red’s True Barbecue
  • Sam’s Chop House
  • Sukhothai

Nineteen Eighty-Four

Thursday, May 5th, 2011 | Books

Since getting my iPad last month, and installing Kindle on it, I’ve gone back to reading some fiction. Not actually on the iPad, but it never the less seems to have inspired me.

Given the number of references I seemed to keep missing, George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four seemed a good choice to start with and I found myself soon engrossed in the book. The plot, for those not familiar with it, looks at a dystopian totalitarian future in which The Party maintains total controls, not only over their subject’s actions, but also their thoughts.

It’s often used as the yardstick against which real-world regimes are measured, especially in today’s surveillance society which seems ever more encroaching and yet it definitely still a long distance away from the telescreens installed in every party member’s home, allowing the Thought Police to listen in to your home at any time, as presented in Orwell’s novel.

The book has quickly risen to one of my favourite novels of all time. For some reason, it seems to invoke a sense that despite malevolent efforts, true love can survive, even though in the novel itself, it actually doesn’t. Still, life would be boring if everything had a happy ending ;).