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Bowie – Music, Art, Technologist

Being a lifelong fan of David Bowie, his death was sudden, shocking and very upsetting. Like Lennon, Elvis, Jackson and many more, Bowie will be a name that will be talked about and remembered for generations, and his music listened to for many many years.

What people don’t reason about Bowie is the fact that he was also a forward thinking technologist.  So, with weheartdigital being a forward thinking technical company, I thought I would highlight some of his more amazing milestones in technology.

CD Rom (1994)

For the single Jump a PC CD Rom was created, so users could create their own video for the song. At the time the music industry and PC industry were worlds apart, this bought them closer together.

Cybercast of Earthling Concert (1997)

This was early days for doing a live broadcast over the internet, most people wouldn’t have had a connection fast enough!  And the term ‘Cybercast’ I wish it had stuck but was replaced with Streaming which is a bit dull really.

BowieNet (1998)

He started his own ISP in 1998 which gave his fans a unique experience of instant chat, virtual worlds, download images.  At the time was a much more immersive web experience than ever attempted at the time and gave subscribers the email address [email protected]

Video Game (1999)

He created the soundtrack to the video game Omikron.

Music Download (1996)

Bowie was one of the first artists to release a song  (Telling Lies) for download only on the web.  You had to go through a payment gateway to do this.  When you think abut it, 20 years ago purchasing music over the internet.  7 years before Apple launched iTunes.

BowieWorld (1998)

5 years before Second Life, a 3D chat world where users could create avatars and interact.

Bowie achieved many things in Art, Fashion, Music and Digitally, its simply stunning how his mind looked forward (releasing Blackstar 3 days before his death an amazing example).  To quote the man himself in 1998 –  “If I was 19 again, I’d bypass music and go right to the internet…

Just search the web and there are 100s of articles out there detailing this stuff but a few of the best:-




R.I.P Bowie, you’ll be missed x

WHD’s year in numbers, 2015

So, another year of WHD life has ended.  2015 was an interesting year for us.

Here is our year in numbers:

grade II listed building purchased by whd to be the new Totnes HQ

new staffers at whd: welcome Rich and Lisa

number of times Ryan smiled this year
(it’s an improvement on last year!)

months since the launch of Stiler

companies adopting our social product Yak for their social media engine

months since Tina moved to Belgium and weheartdigital eu was born

flights on the new route connecting Exeter with London City Airport

hours spent perfecting our Innovate UK grant application

bicycle commutes through central London – on your bike Andy!


events ran by De Salve

train journeys from Devon to London made by Andy

tablets configured for The Jockey Club’s new menu system

cups of coffee consumed by whd staff this year

So what does all this mean to us? It means we have stayed inventive, enthusiastic and ahead of the game.

We delivered and have a ton of happy clients who recommend us to others.

Personally I’d like to say thanks to the team in house, thanks to the suppliers, thanks to customers and thanks to the technology that enabled it all.

So, um, thanks

Lisa and the weheartdigital team

Millennials – Ready or Not?

Who are they?
We hear a lot about ‘millennials’. People talk about them like they are a new breed of human – the latest, more advanced version of mankind; a new set of revolutionaries. But they are hardly Che Guevara, Leon Trotsky or Spok are they? Not yet it seems, but Che or Leon didn’t cause a revolution in their youth (and Spok is made up)…

So what is a millennial? Someone born towards the end of the last century I would say. Wikipedia thinks someone born from the early 80s onwards, but being a man who argues, I will push for someone born in the early to mid 90s. So, by my reckoning, they are just starting to graduate and get proper jobs and flood the workforce.

“So what?” most will say,
“Give ‘em a clip round the ear” others will shout.
“Send them out to buy sky hooks, striped paint and a long weight” managers in Disney ties will giggle. Sorry, its not the 80s is it?

The reality is they will want to make a difference and they are vocal, and switched on, always switched on. They say email is old (some of us older than the first email sent in 1971), so they Snap, Tweet and Instagram. A few still use Facebook messenger of all things.

The point I am making is they communicate with friends, with friends of friends, with people close by who are not friends and with people they don’t even know. They are natural researchers. If you said “research something” they would frown quizically, but tell them to buy something and like a duck to water they go off and research, they watch videos, they read reviews, they ask their networks.

So why do we care?
Well, we need to care because Millennials are the largest generation right now (according to some US report). They are all technologists and they won’t just accept a 9-5 job just because it pays well. They aspire more then previous generations because they know more about ‘stuff’. They have never not had access to information. They may not read a book very often, but they read a lot.

They will expect their job to give back to them much more than we ‘oldies’ ever did. It will be their social circle (as it always was but not fenced by department, or traditional labels such as ‘the smokers’), and they will want to be able to see what is going on in every aspect of the business. They certainly will want to have a voice.

They will also be your suppliers and your clients. They will want to supply to people they know, and buy off people they know better. It isn’t the cheapest product or the quickest delivery they will want (obviously this will help though); it’s the people who communicate better, the people who show genuine interest and the people who they feel attached to.

This is social business folks, its coming whether we like it or not, and companies who embrace it will have better retention, better quality staff, more loyal clients and proactive suppliers. They will make more money, easier money even, and become trusted brands.

Becoming a social business is a gradual process, its embracing change to daily routines and understanding and trusting all those that make a business a business.

Here at weheartdigital, we love the concept of social business, and we aren’t a huge US operation; we are friendly, happy to discuss, happy to be, erm, social…