Posted by Darren Halket
07/11/16 12:29

As we continue to grow here at Cake, so does the need to continue to provide a pleasant working environment. From new ideas including standing desks, new meeting rooms, more daylight, to a never ending supply of freshly ground coffee. Our overarching aim is to have a happy and productive team.

Both here in Manchester and over in New York we have new office space to accommodate our ever growing teams and w
e thought we would share a few recent pictures.

Posted by James Furness
03/07/15 15:02

Inceptions are the foundations to every project, no matter how big or small. Without one, how do you know what to build? How do you know how long it’s going to take? How much do you tell your client it’s going to cost? Before a properly planned agile project kicks off, you will know the answers to all of these questions. By removing features, you can cut the time down, this in turn will reduce the costs. On the other hand, you may increase the timeline meaning you can get more features in, it really is that flexible.

Posted by James Brookes
20/05/15 14:00

As soon as WWII ended, a new more sinister conflict of ego and bluff broke out between the USSR and USA. Whether it was who could build a bigger, dirtier bomb, or who had the bigger budgets to spend, both protagonists sought to outdo the other.

Amidst the bravado of military might standoff, a technological battle was raging, one that would put the victor into space and ahead in the race to put a man on the moon. The amount and number of unknowns that had to be considered and the size of the risks that had to be mitigated in order to achieve this goal were incredible. Kennedy set the goal in 1961, and it took the best part of a decade to achieve it.

It is dealing with the unknowns and mitigating risks in the space race, parallels to the agile approach to software development methodology can be seen. Whether the risk is using a particular technological stack, or whether a human can survive in sub-zero temperatures and zero gravity, the processes for mitigating this risk is an agile, iterative learning approach.

One of the first questions needing to be answered was literally, ‘how to get to the moon?’ The advances made in the realm of rocket technology in the arms race did not immediately translate into successfully sending a man into space, after all, the rockets had been developed with destructive intent. Was it conceivable to convert this power into something that could reach the moon? Could a human survive the G-force of being strapped inside a rocket? What happens when you actually reach the earth’s atmosphere - a rocket uses oxygen for combustion and with no oxygen in space, does that mean no combustion?

Posted by Guy Remond
09/01/15 15:32

Cake Solutions , an enterprise software services company, began it's journey thirteen years ago. During the first eight years of the company’s existence we grew each year,  albeit very slowly. When I look back, I believe there were two main reasons for the slow growth; my commercial naivety and a lack of confidence and belief that we were ready for more rapid expansion. On more than one occasion during those 8 years, there were times where personal financial commitment and tough decisions had to be made to ensure its continued existence and keep the whole team at work. However, I have thoroughly enjoyed all of those 13 years. I still, genuinely enjoy going in to work in the morning and  I continue to get a real buzz out of our successes.  It is also fair to say that I have learned something new every single day.

Posted by Ian Brookes
12/11/14 09:46

Innovate14 was a mash up of Innovate’s (the new name for the Technology Strategy Board) annual tech event and the UKTI's annual TechWorld event. The live event and web streams provided the UK's largest networking and community activity focused on the priority areas of Innovate and UKTI, sharing new thinking, ideas and policy, and enabling businesses of all sizes to showcase their ideas - there were over 100 companies, universities and entrepreneurs demonstrating their products and innovations.

Two full-days of multiple seminar sessions and inspirational speakers - Richard Reed, a founder of Innocent Drinks, Pilgrim Beart inventor of ‘The Hive’ device, data scientist Irene Ng, Natalie Horne of Prime Decision and economist Professor Mariana Mazzucato gave access to a wealth of ideas, intelligence and insight, but also provided invaluable practical advice to take back and put to good use in my own thinking in Cake. The ‘art of possible’ was there in abundance.

On the back of the Gartner 2015 tech trend report released last week, it’s been a smorgasbord of tech innovation and thinking for me, here are some of the key learnings and takeaways.

Posted by Ian Brookes
19/08/14 08:51

Uber (https://www.uber.com) is a venture-funded startup and transportation network company based in San Francisco, that makes mobile apps that connect passengers with drivers of vehicles for hire and ridesharing services.Founded by Garrett Camp and Travis Kalanick in 2009, the company currently arranges pickups in 70 cities around the world. Cars are reserved by sending a text message or by using a mobile app, which can also be used by customers to track their reserved car's location.

The company received angel funding in 2010, Round A funding of $11.5m in late 2011 and raised a further $32m from Goldman Sachs, Menlo Ventures and Bezos Expeditions in 2012, bringing total funding to $49.5m. In June, Uber completed a $1.2Bn round valuing the company at $17Bn pre-money.

Posted by Ian Brookes
28/07/14 08:42

David’s victory over Goliath, in 1 Samuel Chapter 17 of the Old Testament is the battle between the Israelites and the Philistines. Twice a day for 40 days, Goliath, the champion of the Philistines, challenged the Israelites to send out a champion of their own to decide the outcome in single combat. But Saul and all the Israelites were afraid.

David, bringing food for his elder brothers, hears that Saul has promised to reward any man who defeats Goliath, and accepts the challenge. Saul reluctantly agrees and offers his armour; David declines, taking only his sling and five stones.

David and Goliath confront each other, Goliath with his armour and shield, David with his staff and sling. David hurls a stone from his sling with all his might, and hits Goliath in the centre of his forehead. Goliath falls on his face to the ground, and David cuts off his head.

Posted by James Brookes
17/07/14 11:02

Cake Invest is obsessed with helping tech start-up entrepreneurs realise the potential of their ideas, helping them to turn their innovative thinking and disruptive technologies into great products, and high-growth businesses.

But it’s not just about ideas, it’s about making it happen.

Being a start-up founder can be a rugged experience, facing many challenges as you seek to build, grow and gain customer traction with a new product.

Cake Invest shares the load and make success come a little easier, perhaps a little faster and with fewer mistakes. You dream it, we build it, and help to scale it to epic proportions, using our agile start-up project management approach – the Catalyst model - to turn your blue sky thinking into a reality. 

Posted by Ian Brookes
07/07/14 10:11

In previous blogs I’ve highlighted Cake’s approach, understanding and contribution to crafting disruptive software solutions to ambitious start-ups, focused on business models, innovative software tools, and our adoption of the lean start-up approach. Actually, what makes Cake special, if not unique, is the people in our business, so let me share some of our culture, thinking and philosophy that underpins all the outputs and creativity that goes on here.

At the heart of Cake is an inspired team of individuals who have come together to make something remarkable happen – a high performing team that is energised, producing outstanding results, harnessing individual talents to achieve the team goals. The team is transformed from a collection of individuals into a single entity with a shared identity – team members become a plurality with a single-minded focus and purpose.

Posted by Ian Brookes
30/06/14 16:13

Payday lender Wonga is facing the prospect of a criminal investigation after City watchdogs handed police a file detailing how the company lied to hard-up borrowers. Wonga, famed for its 5,853 per cent APR and criticisms from the Church of England, was found by the Financial Conduct Authority to have sent threatening letters from two fictional law firms to customers in arrears. It even made some clients pay for sending them the fake letters.

The customers received letters claiming to be from “Chainey, D’Amato & Shannon” and “Barker & Lowe Legal Recoveries”, with the intention of making them believe their debts had been passed on to law firms, which could sue for the money. Impersonating a solicitor is a criminal offence. Consumer groups and charities called for further punishment for Wonga.