Ibiza is a place that cuts you in half.

When you’re in half you tend to reflect on how things are. And how things should be.

On a beach. With a beer. In half.

What.

How.

Why.

EXPLORE

The team(s) are flat out preparing for the 16 September launch of www.explore-digital.net. We’re about to do something very unique in this space. A promise of employment.

We’re busy building out a combination of our ATHENA, Admissions and Placement Platforms as well as refreshing our range of Data Science Long and Short Courses. Add to that setting up a marketing campaign, a recruitment drive of 10,000+ applications, a new Student Experience function and it’s fair to say it’s been high octane.

We’re building a next generation Higher Learning institution for our country. That’s not easy. Only a bunch of crazy people would try that.

Somewhere in between all of this we’ve managed to finish the Course Work of our flagship Data Science Programme for the 200+ students we’ve walked with this year. We’ve also delivered a one-of-a-kind Data Analytics Programme to 150 students that’s tested the boundaries of what is possible. And a 10X Programme that has kept us on our toes.

There’s a universe of blood, sweat and tears required to get that done. Each of those 350+ is a person with a story, a dream and voice to be heard.

Add to that Bootcamps, Meet-Ups, Exams, Qualifications and Graduations.

The going has been brisk.

I know all of those 350+ students have been stretched intellectually, emotionally and socially. More than they ever expected. I’m sure they’re exhausted. I’m sure they never thought they’d make it to here.

I know every one of our students are fundamentally better people than what they were 8 months ago. I’m sure they’ll never forget this experience.

That’s how growth works: body on the line, soul in the game.

I would guess the same holds for all of our EXPLORERs.

Transformation: that’s what we do

2. EXPLORE-AI

2a. EXPLORE Utilities

The team is busy working at one of the largest Water Utilities in the world.

The 5th I think.

We’re about to do something very unique in this space too — building solutions that have never been built before. Actually — we’ve done that already.

That’s pretty cool.

We’re building end-to-end solutions now. Desktop. Mobile. We’ve outcompeted global brands to get there. Unbelievable really.

Small teams. Big dreams.

The team has been amazing. They’ve 10X-ed themselves every quarter. I tell the people I know that our team can do anything.

I believe that.

2b. EXPLORE Financial Services

The team is busy across a range of Financial Services businesses in the UK. They’ve built a Loan Application Matching algorithm that fundamentally changes the platform’s economics. They’ve figured out how to do things I didn’t think were possible. Anomaly Detection. Invoice extraction. Scraping at scale on the edge.

Today we stepped closer to a long term product engagement in Sweden after a successful Credit AI POC.

There’s only 2.5 EXPLORERs doing this work!

That’s less than 3.

It takes 3 people to confirm where I live when I phone Vodacom. Even I know where I live.

3. Just don’t Die

Lots of things have gone pear-shaped.

We’ve completely missed our Placement Targets — that’s our primary metric, that’s the only number we look at.

We’ve sold a lot less than we hoped for. Our culture has not been cohesive. We’ve learnt stuff and then forgotten it. We haven’t onboarded staff well — and that’s most of us. We’ve managed stakeholders poorly at times. We’ve been inconsistent with students.

At times we’ve done what only engineers can do — over-engineer things.

I’ve never said sorry as much as I’ve said it this year. At least once a day.

A little secret: if we’re not embarrassing ourselves every now and again we’re not doing it right. That’s how this thing works.

Proud people don’t fail. Brave people do.

Failure takes courage.

4. Getaway

Let’s go away.

23–25 October.

Let’s drink wine in a valley and dream of what we could do next. I can say thank you for all your hard work. I can say well done for the massive ground you have travelled, as a team and as EXPLORERs.

I can say sorry for all the things I’ve screwed up. You can throw shit at me. I won’t take it personally.

We can remember where we’ve come from, where we’re going and the mountains ahead we need to climb.

I can tell you that I love working at EXPLORE — with great people who do Amazing Things.

Truth. Beauty. Greatness: they cut me in half.

‘Let’s rise up above ourselves and grasp the world’

Chat to Nuri — she’ll know what to do.

See you then

SD

Father, husband, Founder CEO of EXPLORE