Grant is a big fan of Innovation and Magento, involving himself a lot in the community, recently presenting at Magento Startup Demo Day. We heard he had a story to share so we thought we would interview him…
Hi there Grant, so, tell us a little about yourself. What do you do? What makes you tick?
A. Sure! I am an innovation and data geek who enjoys innovating and creating completely new experiences when it comes to digital and eCommerce. I started my career doing PHP and have gone on to develop using IOS, Android as well.
I have done the full gamut from Virtual Reality for Peugeot to Augmented Reality for Coca Cola and McDonalds. Occasionally I have even managed to crack top spot on the Apple Appstore which has been a buzz. I also run the UK’s largest hackathon meetup – UK Hackathons and Jams, which I find is one of the best ways to meet other innovators, learn new technologies and exercise my innovation skills in competition.
During my day job I work For Session Digital where I get to work with some amazing companies on rolling out their Magento sites. I am always on the look out for technologies which are genuinely thinking outside the box and are trying to solve problems in a really creative and innovative way.
We have visited your website “Connected Window” (Showcasing the best examples of digital technology), we can see your passion for technology here. Do you have a personal favourite recent, or rising piece of technological innovation?
A. My personal favourite has to be McDonald’s digital kiosks. They have turned what is a simple touch screen into an entire new shopping experience. In Australia they are even using the same technology to roll out table service – just from rethinking what a touch screen’s role is in a restaurant has the possibility to do, McDonalds are riding the wave to a fundamental change in their business driven by technology. And the best part is they are encouraging others to do the same.
You have some exciting ideas around innovation, how do you stay in the know? And more importantly, how does Magento perform in the world of innovation?
A. I blog a lot about retail innovation, and every morning I scan the news to see what is happening in the world of digital retail. The one thing that always surprises me is that amazing work that I have seen coming out of Magento sites seems to struggle for attention up against the larger retailers. The same goes for awards, it seems to be just the large sites that win the awards despite Magento sites doing things way before and in many cases better.
The power of Magento means that there are literally thousands of people innovating on it, but we lack a real showcase for them to display and shout about this amazing work.
Yes, we know a few innovators ourselves! So you heard about Mage Titans and our mutual love for Magento? What do you think about us?
A. Mage Titans has built up a fantastic reputation. I have had the fortune of attending quite a few major Magento events and conversations always seems to turn to what is the next event that people are going to. Mage Titans was repeatedly on the lips from so many influential Magento-ites, you have to sit up and take notice.
We Have An Announcement
So, this brings us to the exciting bit – we have an announcement for Mage Titans, can you tell our readers what you have in store?
A. At Mage Titans we are going to be debuting the first Innovation Award for Magento that has been voted for by a selection of fellow Magento practitioners. And it’s not just by developers, we have representatives from all parts of the Magento world from designers and agency owners to testers, plugin owners and Digital Marketeers.
That sounds interesting! And how are you hoping that this benefits our attendees?
A. Magento is fortunate that we are all working towards a common goal. Being an open source community means being part of the team that is working towards making Magento the best platform to open the world to commerce. We aren’t competing against each other but rather against the wealth of other e-commerce platforms that are out there.
We all want to do things that push the boundary of what is possible and improve on things. Only by shining a light on those that have succeeded in pushing those boundaries back, can we be inspired to push things forward and create the next big innovation on Magento.
Thanks for your time Grant! To see more technical innovations and learn more about Grant’s interests, you can visit his website Connected Window:
So that’s it Mage Titans.
You can submit your work as an individual, a team, or a company. Show off your creations which are at the forefront of technology and don’t let them be overshadowed by the big-big retailers. Something interesting, innovative and new, or a beautifully executed application of existing technology. We will be showcasing the best ideas and these will be reviewed and judged by a panel.
We will be accepting all levels of technological innovation, from something seemingly very minute that just so happens to make a lot of lives easier, to something much more in your face like the in-store-digital-presence of Rebecca Minkoff. Little or large, we are looking for something that really raises our eyebrows.
For details on how to enter, the benefits and the small print, please visit the Innovation Award page.
Take it easy Mage Titans.