Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Daniel Lewington & Christian Miccio (updated)

Over the last few weeks, the hot topic of conversation in CreativeMornings circles has been the sometimes awkward relationship between the tech and design communities in London.

This month, we have the pleasure of presenting two chaps that have bridged the design/technology gap in a dizzying display of entrepreneurial endeavour.

Daniel Lewington worked for a who’s who of digital, design, branding, product and service agencies before chucking it all in to join London start-up Apsmart. Here, as Head of Strategy & User Experience, he joined members of the original development team behind music discovery app Shazam.

In June of this year, Thomson Reuters acquired Apsmart , with Daniel becoming their Director of Mobile User Interface. But before the sale, Daniel had a hand in developing a serendipitous internet radio app for iPad called Mpme, which is where Christian comes in.

As an early joiner at Shazam, Christian’s responsibilities included building the technical team, the content management system and what has become one of the largest music databases around.

He then spent almost 5 years at Google as a product developer, rolling out core features in Gmail and Maps while also looking after market research and recruiting activities.

He’s now CEO of MPme, where they’re continuing to refine their iPad app, widely considered the most beautiful radio app going.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to CreativeMornings/London October with Daniel and Christian on the 2nd of November at Forward Technology in Camden.

In the meantime, get yourself acquainted with Daniel via our usual interview and set your alarms for 11am, October 29th when we’ll release tickets to this event.

Daniel Lewington & Christian Miccio will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday November 2nd – sponsored by Forward Technology – at Floor 2, Centro 3, 19 Mandela Street, London, NW1 0DU. The nearest tubes are Camden Town or Mornington Crescent. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?
DL: Home.

CM: Into my own place in my head. Generally in a coffee shop so I have only anonymous chatter around me that I can ignore, while getting enough external input to come up with new ideas.

Is it about what you know or who you know?
DL: In an ideal world one would only need the former but the reality is that it’s mixture of the two that gets stuff done.

CM: Both. And additionally about what who you know knows.

What’s been the most pivotal point in your life thus far?
DL: Learning some Unix.

CM: Seeing and using a Thomson TO7 at school at age 9, they just came out and were the latest gadget schools have . Since then, I’ve been stuck with computers. It shaped my life so far.

Do you think there’s enough discourse between disciplines?
DL: I don’t mean to be a pedant but which disciplines?

CM: Discourse flows naturally if you meet the right people.

Can you teach innovation?
DL: You can teach people that they’re allowed to know about anything they want.
And then it’s up to them.

CM: Mostly people need to realize that when they think something’s not working, they should take action and design a better solution. Nothing’s stopping anyone form cooking up better stuff. That’s how a lot of the ideas come about.

Dollar or Yuan?
DL: Dollar.

CM: Dollar

Do you believe in an afterlife?
DL: No.

CM: No, but I’m curious to see if anything happens.

Negative or positive freedom?
DL: Positive.

CM: Positive

Ideal holiday?
DL: One that never ends in a world where there is no distinction between work and life.

CM: Skiing! And if I could have the company in a ski chalet for the winter season I would.

Can you draw?
DL: No.

CM: A bit

Can you draw us a wave?
DL: No. Sorry.

CM: Yes

Individual or state (or both)?
DL: Both. (although I think question is skewed due to the negative connotations one naturally derives from the word ‘state’)

CM: Both

Favourite LP?
DL: Rubber Soul.

CM: Now that goes *way* back. We had a recording of classical spanish guitar from Paco de Lucia that I loved as a kid, but can’t remember the name

Last book read?
DL: Cyclopedia: It’s All About the Bike – William Fotheringham

CM: Nerds do well, from Simon Pegg, ironically. Some really funny moments in there if you were playing with computers since age 10

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
DL: Only boring people become bored. I’m not sure it’s the best piece of advice ever ever but it springs to mind pretty often.

CM: Do something you enjoy. You’ll be good at it, it won’t feel like work.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are?
DL: Be yourself. (having asked them why they want to be where I am rather than where they are)

CM: I think everyone needs to find what tickles them. I do what I think is the good and fun thing for me to do at this point in time, given the circumstances. It’s different for everyone. Mostly, aim to feel content with what you do and enjoy the ride.

Category: CreativeMornings/London

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2 Responses

  1. Brian Driggs says:

    “Ideal holiday?
    One that never ends in a world where there is no distinction between work and life.”

    YES. Work-life-parallel is the end game. Imagine waking up excited to begin the day’s work because it – the work itself – made such a difference in the world. That’s what I’m after.

    Not really sure who either of these guys are, but it’s nice to see I’m not alone in this kind of thinking. Keep going fast with class and press on regardless.

  2. Drew says:

    Hey Brian,

    Great to hear from you! I’m inclined to agree with you (and Daniel) on the whole work/life mesh issue.

    Hope you’re well!


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