Latest stories

Things I learned in 2017 | 1. Networking is actually amazing

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When I first started out in the working world, I avoided networking opportunities like the plague. I hated the whole premise of attending events, exchanging business cards and muscling into conversations with the most influential people in the room. It always felt so insincere and artificial. I told myself that I could grow a company without being one of the scensters, pressing the flesh at every...

The Business Case For Generosity

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The thing I’ve been most struck by since arriving in the Bay Area is the incredible generosity of the tech community – both individually and collectively. It feels like everyone I meet introduces me to another three relevant people and invites me to a bunch of interesting events and meetups. As a result, my network feels larger and more valuable after three months in San Francisco than...

One Month In: Six Initial Impressions Of San Francisco

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A month ago, I uprooted my family and moved to San Francisco. I suspect some people in my personal and professional circles thought this was recklessly impulsive and spontaneous. The truth is I’ve been planning on making this move from day one of starting Clarity. We work with technology companies — typically young, VC-backed technology companies. There are more companies that fit our...

Why I’ve joined the Board of Restless Development USA

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18 months ago, I was introduced to Restless Development by my great friend and long-term business advisor Andrew Wood. Andrew was recently retired, and had discovered a new outlet for his considerable energy and boundless enthusiasm: a UK-based charity called Restless Development that exists to empower young people to effect positive change in developing countries. Andrew told the story of how...

My framework for firing

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  Over the course of the past 10 years I’ve probably hired close to 100 people. Of those 100 employees, I’ve had to fire six. I know it’s six because I remember every single firing as is if it were yesterday. I remember precisely how I felt, where I was, what the weather was like that day, the script I followed and the reaction of the individual on the receiving end of the bad news. I fully...

My six biggest mistakes of 2016

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Like most of us, I fuck-up pretty regularly. Also like most of us, I don’t like admitting when I get something wrong. I’m learning to a) admit mistakes and errors of judgement to myself and those affected and b) do my utmost to learn from those mistakes to minimise the chances of me making them again. Reflecting on the past year, I made a lot of cock-ups. Some were borne of lack of experience...

Doing the simple things properly: our new benefits package

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With the benefit of hindsight, we tried to run before we could walk. I had grand plans to rapidly instigate a massive step-change in our company culture. But we tried to do this without having laid the necessary foundations. I’ve learnt that when it comes to culture-building, before you start experimenting with the fun stuff, it’s critical that you have a great benefits packages in place first...

Measuring the unmeasurable: the value of Château Clarity

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In November, every team member (bar one, unfortunately), from all three Clarity offices, downed tools for three working days and convened in a Château in rural France. The costs associated with transatlantic flights, taking-over a Château, food and drinks, a motivational speaker and many other incidental things besides were very considerable. When combined with the opportunity cost of 30 members...

“You can’t crack an egg with a pickaxe”. Four things I’ve learnt about building a great company culture.

This time last year, I launched Project Heartbeat – an initiative designed to effect a fundamental positive change to my company’s culture. At the time, our staff turnover was horrendous, morale was universally low and I felt deflated and disinterested in my own company.  Today, we have a significantly more engaged and motivated team. Staff churn has slowed to almost zero. I feel excited...

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I'm Sami: founder & CEO of Clarity PR and occasional angel investor. I blog here about entrepreneurship, leadership, building great company cultures, angel investing, fatherhood and personal development.

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