Investing in good ideas

Do you ever have an idea that you can’t quite shake?  Or an idea and you’re not sure if it has legs or not?  Or an idea that you’d like to just bounce off a few other people and get some feedback?

What if there was a community that you could share these ideas with?  A place where your ideas could be tested, refined and critiqued.


Crowdcube, and others like them have sought to make investing more accessible – and they’ve done a great job.  But there might be another way to inject some life into an idea at super seed stage with a small investment (of less than £10,000 total) from a group of people.  I’d like to get together with a group of like-minded people over the course of a year to share ideas, encourage one another and at the end of it all put our money where our mouth is.

Some initial guiding principles:

The Money

  • Everyone kicks in £569.  £500 goes into the investment fund (money-pot) and £69 goes into administration/central funds.
  • The money-pot is the collective responsibility of the group.  We choose what to do with it together.  One person does not have more influence than another.
  • At the end of the year the group will choose to invest in an idea. Sure, it’s not going to be a lot of money but it could be enough to seed something and give life to something.

The Idea

  • This is like a mastermind group with a greater purpose, a group of people with skin in the game
  • Create a community of likeminded people to bounce ideas off another
  • The idea that the group choose to invest in can either be an idea that came from the group collectively, an individual within the group, or an external idea but it must be ‘sponsored’ by one member of the group and they have the responsibility to ‘pitch’ the idea to the rest of the group
  • Create a short application process and have a group of 7-13 people

The Group Commitment

  • Meet once per month online via Google Hangouts
  • Meet 3 times in person for between half a day and a day.  Once at the beginning (the agreement), once in the middle (the check up), once at the end (the decision).

The agreement

This is about rallying around a common set of values or principles for how to engage with one another over the course of our year together.

The check up

Mid-point full day check in.  The group will need to decide exactly how to structure this time but it should include some form of idea sharing.

The decision

This is the end point, the culmination and celebration. We decide how to invest the money-pot as a group.

Each meeting (online and in person) is focussed on sharing ideas and learning.  Everyone has to share something at each meeting.  At the very least people will learn how to share ideas, pitch ideas, share learning and grow in community.

What do you think?  Is this something you’d be interested in?  If so, hit me up on twitter @jonnymccormick

Has it been 10 years?

Welcome to a fresh start!  That’s what I’ve just told myself.

I blogged for the first time in December 2005 and I just reread that first post.  Cringe.  It’s hard to believe that was almost 10 years ago.*

So, I’ve decided it’s time for a bit of reboot.  I’ve archived the blog that used to live here, and this domain is back to being a blank page.  I’ll post reasonably sporadically throughout 2015.  If you’re interested in following along there’s some themes that you can expect:

Travel: 2015 is going to be a year of increased travel.  2 trips are already booked for this year.  I’m off to Copenhagen and Geneva!

Leadership: This has been a subject I’ve always been interested in.  I tweet about it a lot (@jonnymcormick) and I’m lucky enough to have a job working with a consulting company that allows me to work broadly in the field of ‘leadership’.

Technology/Start-ups: I’m an unashamed tech enthusiast (I’ve heard some people call us geeks, but I prefer enthusiast).  However, I think one of things I love most about it is that there are passionate people out there working on amazing things!  For example, I was shocked (but not surprised) to learn that AirBnB has more rooms available globally that the Hilton hotel!  The world is changing faster than ever before.  I also love Kickstarter, and regularly support campaigns on there.  It’s great to be a small part of helping others launch their dreams!

Northern Ireland: I love being from Northern Ireland.  Sure we have our problems, but I still maintain it’s one of the greatest places in the world.  I know I haven’t lived in Northern Ireland consistently since I left for University in 2007, but I think I’ll always consider it ‘home’ (in a nostalgic, romantic way).  I’m currently living in Bristol.

Politics: I am a bit of a current affairs and politics junkie.  I have an opinion on most things and share it with varying levels of enthusiasm.

The one things that I think unites all of the above is PEOPLE – that’s the common thread running through the things I’ll be posting about.  I love people.  I’m interested in what makes them tick.  I’m interested in understanding why people do what they do.  That’s probably why I started table15.  People simply interest me.  Always have, always will.  That’s why I like travelling.  It’s why I like the start-up world.  It’s for sure why I love Northern Ireland.  And, it’s why I’m interested in Politics.


*P.S. If you dig around the scary underworld of the internet hard enough you could probably find my old blog posts out there.  But, be warned, they’re terrible!