Captive Media started with the joyful union of two ideas. Mark was advising the UK’s largest media firms on strategy, and his clients had a problem: consumers were increasingly ignoring advertising through traditional media. Agencies trumpeted the virtues of “Engagement”. But how to engage a generation who fast forwarded TV ads and distrusted glossy broadcast messages? Meanwhile Gordon had an altogether earthier idea: “imagine if there was a video game you could control with your pee”. Imagine… if such a thing could be built, it would possibly be the funniest machine in the world. It would also command around a minute of a man’s undivided attention, at a time when he was out and about – socialising, shopping. And, as initial research quickly showed, it would surprise and delight him. In short, it would be an “Engagement” machine. Mark and Gordon resolved to build such a machine … to find out what happened next, see the Captive Media Blog.
Gordon likes good execution. In particular bridging the gap between cool ideas and good businesses. A talented golfer, competing on the course has taught him … not to take anything too seriously for too long. A graduate of both Cambridge and INSEAD, he has 20 years of experience in production, sales, product development and general management at British FTSE firms Metalbox, Caradon and e2v, where he was a director.
Gordon is passionate about quality – in building robust, well engineered products, and in building efficient, networked businesses. He also thinks global. Gordon conceived Captive Media in the US, market tested the concept in New Zealand, and pitched the business idea to Mark in France (on a golf course, naturally).
Mark likes good design. In particular, products that surprise and delight people because they are imaginative, beautiful, and intuitive to use. He sold his first product at the age of 14 – a game for the BBC Microcomputer. He collected an engineering degree from Cambridge before taking their prestigious, if wordy, ‘Advanced Course in Design, Manufacture and Management’.
But he also likes innovation in business. As a Principal of top consultancy Booz Allen, he worked with hundreds of clients over ten years on re-inventing their businesses. In 2007 he founded media advisory firm Captive Strategic Leadership, working with the BBC, Guardian News and Media, Channel 4, The Economist Group, and others. He found a media industry bound by long established norms; of printing, broadcasting, ad-selling, increasingly at odds with a “born digital” generation of consumers for whom interactivity, individuality, and fun – were everything. It was time to do something different..
Borry is the enigmatic third director of Captive Media. A brilliant programmer, he is so technically gifted that some say it was he who stole the SONY playstation data. [Note to lawyers: it wasn’t]. Borry’s true identity is a closely guarded secret, and even in meetings with Gordon and Mark, his voice is played by an actor. The Borry could make a 1984 ZX Spectrum sync data with an iPhone if you asked him to. More surprising, he is even rumoured to understand what all the programmes in the Windows Task Manager are. Borry lives at 8 Rose Crescent, Sawbridgeworth. [only kidding – he doesn’t – its secret]