Five minutes with…..Tristan Celder, founder of Silicon Roundabout based, Zolmo

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Turn on your television, open a magazine, go shopping and he is never far away…..Jamie  Oliver.

A brand and incredible success story but scratch beneath the surface and you will find  amongst others software house, Zolmo co-founded by Tristan Celder, and the  subject of our ‘Five minutes with…..’ this week. From Mr Oliver to Social  media to ‘The Only Way Is Essex’ its an interesting chat!

So lets begin;

The Financial Times on Tuesday 25th October ran a  review of a book on Jeff Bezos and the rise of called, One Click.

Richard Brandt in the review says ‘First impressions last. So some people still think of Amazon as an online bookseller, the form in which it arrived on consumers horizons in the late 1990’s…..’.

Most reviews of Zolmo focus on Jamie Olivers 20 minute meals. Critical acclaim…..Apple  design award in 2010…..the cover of Wired Magazine…..does the App now define Zolmo? How have you evolved since your launch in  2009?

“I love the comparison with Amazon! The truth is, the first business we saw Jeff disrupt with his vision was the book business, but now Amazon have moved into music, films, and  pretty much anything else you could ever possibly consider purchasing. His vision is pretty simple ‘premium service, warehouse prices’. Now, think of tablets, the Kindle Fire offers a first class experience at a knock-down price – true to his formula. In my opinion, it’s the only credible competitor to the iPad. One simple formula, many applications.

Ipad App imageAt Zolmo, our belief is that the Post PC era will see the complete transformation of  entertainment as we know it. Now we have these devices that people are finally happy to consume content on, but the available content is barely scratching the surface of what can now be done. Much like at the birth of television, there’s an ocean of entertainment genres and media formats ripe to be re-inventedZolmo want to be at the forefront of that revolution. ’20 Minute  Meals’ was really one step on a very long road for us, think of of it as our  ‘Hi!’ in the exciting new world of non-linear  entertainment.

Laurence Green in the Sunday Telegraph 23rd October wrote  a piece on advertising ‘Underdogs land one in the eye of Industry Goliaths’

He says ‘the small guy, of  course, has to think smarter and execute more boldly to change the market and  consumer dynamics otherwise set by, and suited to, the big  guy…

With the digital market moving so very fast does a nimble team like Zolmo have an advantage over larger competitors?

“Absolutely. Agility is a massive strength and means critical decision making is tighter and can be deployed faster. Time and time again we see examples of incumbents who have  been out-smarted and out-moved by faster-moving, disruptive start-ups;  look at Amazon and Barnes and Noble or Blockbuster and Netflix or even MySpace and Facebook!

As we close in on 900 twitter followers (@siliconrounduk) we read  that 72% of firms surveyed by the Incorporated Society Of British Advertisers and agency Havas are now monitoring converstaions about their brand.

How important is it, as Gideon Spanier says in the Evening  Standard 24th October that ‘Brand managers recognise social media has become not only too big to ignore but also integral to the marketing  mix‘?

“If i’m honest i’m not a heavy twitter user, I see it more as my very own personalised newsfeed. Having  said that, as a business we are constantly following market opinion,  particularly around the response to our apps. For us, Twitter is a way of  tapping into the collective consciousness, this data enables us to modify our approach and keep our offering relevant.”

Based in Phipp Street, close to the heart of  Silicon Roundabout, are you now getting a sense of an area in transformation… digital startups….retailers like Vivien Westwood and Ralph Lauren looking for shops?

“Without doubt it’s an  area in transformation. This area was already a hot-bed of artists, designers,  photographers and other creatives long before the tech scene begun to develop, and I think that this richness of culture really sets this area apart from  somewhere like Silicon Valley. Now, with the tech scene emerging, we have this really interesting melting-pot of talent that, in between the odd warehouse rave, will surely go on to create some incredible  things. Sure, designer names are  looking for retail space and cast members from ‘The Only Way is Essex’ are  showing up at the bars – it was inevitable, but if you know where to look there’s always something fresh on the fringes.

Besides, as you know Michael, TOWIE is a guilty pleasure of mine!

Thank you Tristan.

To find out more about Zolmo visit their website at

Alternatively, to find out more about available office property in the Silicon Roundabout area contact Kushner at

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