Sunday, 29 November 2009

Twitter tales

I’m an early adopter. Gadgets, technology, new enterprise markets. You got ‘em, I’m in ‘em. I had a car fax in 1988, back when my first mobile phone was bigger than a housebrick and premium rate phone numbers were a licence to steal money. Oh happy days. We used to send out these black faxes to anyone we could find. To cancel them they had to phone or fax our premium rate number. We were raking it in. This was before all this red tape that stopped entrepreneurs like me from raising money from the pathologically stupid.

I’m now on Twitter (@rogercashman). It took me a while to work out the point of it, but it has huge spamming potential. Everyone who follows you can see everyone else who follows you. And you can send people messages letting them know what you think.

I told Stephen Fry he was boring – which he is – that got me a load more followers, but it nearly sent him back to the nuthouse.

Its use was rammed home at this techie conference in Manchester. Basically you can sit there and text in your opinion. Some guy called Alain de Bottom was beamed in by video link (memo to self, must get one for the games room at Cashman Towers). He prattled on about the future of work – sorry pal, writingbooks and talking is not work, so I told him: jog on, baldy. He then sends me a message asking what I’d done to offend him.

Now, at this point I’d already bailed out and taken a little posse up to Panacea for a Friday livener. Lord Tom Bloxham, who I used to think of as a friend, tells de Bottom he shouldn’t take any notice of me, because I’m a “made up character”. Outrageous. At least I don’t wear a hat.

Mrs C, a follower, not a leader, then gets on the Twitter bandwagon and notices that most of the people I follow are beautiful women – can’t win can I? I get called a “lecherous sexist pig” for taking an interest in professional women, and all this in the week when I’m up before an industrial tribunal for running a “macho culture” on the sales floor at RC Faxback Solutions. She then clocked that I was following someone by the name of Cheshire Escorts (whatever that is).

I swear I thought it was a Ford Dealer in Nantwich. Now she thinks I’ve been “at it” again and it’s going to cost me a fortune. Being accused of using high-class brass, I can deal with. But you know what they say, the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist. Think about it.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Blood brothers

My business partner Rick Chalmers is the opposite of me. He’s so shy and retiring I bet you didn’t even know he exists. He says he likes to keep a lower profile than me. Think of us as the Morecambe and Wise of business. Or the George Michael and Andrew Ridgely, not that I’m “good with colours”, but then neither is he. Rick lets me do all the deals, all the work and I let him take his salary and dividends and he kind of chairs the odd meeting and deals with the back office day to day detail. My job is to look after the blue sky vision and business development. Don’t get me wrong, he’s had a part to play over the years, and he sort of started RC Solutions while I was on gardening leave from The Accident Group.

Sometimes you’ve got to act quick in business. Over the summer, there I was holding the whole thing together, opening his mail for him and he’s had this Internet junk mail outfit in Oldham asking for help after they’ve been shut down by trading standards again. They were about to go into administration so I picked it up, polished it off and parked it in this unit in one of Bashar Issa’s buildings near Piccadilly – not the one that had the fire, I’m not that squeaky. I’d bought it for cash, signed a PG on the debt and assigned it to Cashman Solutions (IOM) 2009, which is actually in the wife’s name.

Rick was off at his place in Tuscany – can’t see the point myself – no beach, no clubs, no golf, he just says he goes to read books and stuff. Some of them are even in Italian, which is frankly just borderline odd. You can understand that when he’s off with the fairies on crap like that I’ve got to grab deals when I can.

So there I was at Chester Races for the Summer do and he’s going right off on one, put me right off my punting. He’s even talking divorce, but we sat down, worked out how things were going to work in the future and it looks like we’re going to have to stick it out.

Just to show him I’m reasonable I’ve given him 2 per cent share and an option to buy the rest off me if we float it. Can’t say fairer than that can you?

I am a man of honour, despite what you may have heard to the contrary. What would it say about me and my reputation if I fell out with my best mate over something as trivial as taking a stealing a deal from under his nose?