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Talking through my hat


Released every Tuesday, Talking Through My Hat explores bookish businesses and the fantastic people who create them, looking at why business are started, how they keep going and where we can take them in the future. I'm John Pettigrew - a hat wearer, a recovering editor and the creator of Futureproofs. To avoid missing anything, why not subscribe at Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts, and follow me on Twitter?

Oct 23, 2018

Arthur Attwell is a self-described serial adventurer in publishing innovation, and has co-founded several publishing businesses, perhaps most famously Paperight, which enabled people in Africa to print out legal copies of books from local photocopy shops. Currently, he runs Electric Bookworks, using unique tech skills and open-source tools to build complex books in multiple formats simultaneously.

In this episode, we talk about how Arthur's love of building machines (people, processes and teams as well as tech) helped him to solve problems - lots of them! Sometimes, he found that he was solving a problem that the customer didn't think they had, and had to change direction as a result.

The job of a technologist, as Arthur sees it, is often to protect people from technology by building a solution that's appropriate to the context in which it'll be used. And the role of a leader is often to explain the context to a team and set out a vision, and then (if you have the right people), they'll get things done.