Interview with the Beermat Entrepreneur

I was fortunate enough to interview Mike Southon, the Beermat Enterpreneur along with Dr Alan Rae on the 22nd March 2007. Mike runs a great site over at

Mike and his fellow partners, are an excellent example of a new breed of small business who exploit “The Web Pitch”. In other words, using rich Web 2.0 technologies to promote their business. In discourse with Mike, got me thinking.

Over the last eight years, I have spent a “serious” amount of time building and supporting corporate networks. Organised, resilient, scalable networks that are still being used and evolving for my former employers. Such networks, connect hundreds upon hundreds of people and costs several thousand pounds to maintain. Yes, I’m a proud father, looking back at his legacy with a sense of pride. However, the 21st Century ushered in Web 2.0. In today’s “disposable” society, you no longer need a fixed network, or a string of expensive licenced applications to run your business.

Small businesses or entrepreneurs, are agile enough to “pick and mix” and choose a wide variety of ‘free’ or cheap technologies available on the web. Readers, do you have any idea how much this messes with my brain!!?? This is COOL.

While we were sleeping, the Intenet changed. My ‘beloved’ technology doesn’t matter anymore. The barriers of understanding all this “tech stuff” are removed. Its now easier for the average Joe, to setup business, use web tools, network and reach an audience of millions, than it is to program his DVD recorder!

But… Like all technology, it does have a limited shelf life. Early pioneers like Beermat, are reaping the rewards of the time they invest in the Web 2.0 playground. Can your business afford not to?

Author: Jas

Jas Dhaliwal is a highly experienced International Social Media Strategist. Currently working as AVG Technologies, Director of Communities and Online Engagement, he specialises in building and engaging with social communities across the web. Born and bred in London, he is passionate about technology and social anthropology. Prior to AVG, Jas launched the social media program for Microsoft’s MVP Award program. Jas holds a BSc (Hons) in Information Systems and has an MBA from Brunel University in London, England. You can follow Jas as @Jas on Twitter or on Google+