back to article This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup

I'm not a brilliant businessman nor a star academic nor a rocking developer, but I'm reasonable at a couple of those things and currently have a well-paid contract in the City (i.e. banking) where I have spent most of the last 20 years in a variety of BigCos. So why would I give it all up to save the planet and have fun, and …

  1. The Axe

    Trying to save the UK, whilst the world carries on regardless

    Good luck with trying to save the world. Read this presentation and think again about the point of your project.

    1. Joe 35

      Re: Trying to save the UK, whilst the world carries on regardless

      File not found, try again?

      1. Simon Buttress

        Re: Trying to save the UK, whilst the world carries on regardless

        works for me.

        1. Joe 35

          Re: Trying to save the UK, whilst the world carries on regardless

          Interesting. It works if I cut and paste the link, but not if I select it and right click "open in a new tab"

          Page Not Found

          The page /storage/ECMA.Aberdeen.actual.pdf could not be located on this website.

          We recommend using the navigation bar to get back on track within our site. If you feel you have reached this page in error, please contact a site operator. Thank you!

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          1. The Axe

            Re: Trying to save the UK, whilst the world carries on regardless

            Try this link instead -

        2. BillG Silver badge

          Re: Trying to save the UK, whilst the world carries on regardless

          Are you actually interested in and engrossed in your idea? It'll feel less like hard work if you are!

          That should actually be bullet point #1.

  2. Joe 35

    Its somewhat disingenuous to state that you "saved £1,000 a year on you home electricity bill" when it turns out that what you actually mean is that you saved £1,000 a year on the bill of a small ISP with a shed load of computing equipment. Hardly what the average or even keen hobbyist might have, how many have Air Conditioning fitted in their homes to cool their PCs down?

    1. stucs201

      Indeed. For me to save that much on my electricity bill the electricity company would be paying me.

  3. Daedalus Silver badge

    Nothing Duff about this guy

    Don't underestimate the effect of the name "Hart-Davis" in getting yourself heard....

  4. Clive Summerfield

    What's in a name

    So being the son of Adam Hart-Davis, grandson of Sir Rupert Hart-Davis, nephew of Duff and indirectly related to both Elizabeth II and David Cameron didn't help to open any doors to receptive listeners then?

    1. DougS Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name

      Thank you for pointing this out for us Americans who wouldn't recognize a member of the British upper class unless they were competing in Monty Python's Twit of the Year competition.

    2. Daedalus Silver badge

      Re: What's in a name

      If Damon is really Adam's son, then Lordy be I may have met him many years ago back when A H-D was working for YTV and complaining about not being able to mention the word "molecule" on air. Got invited to sup, don't you know. Wasn't invited back!

  5. mark 63 Silver badge

    not a problem , i dont have a well paid job

  6. Bruno Girin

    Side projects

    On a related note, those who want to start a side project and make it into a real business could do worse than reading this book:

  7. Peter Johnston 1

    Good for you, Damon. If you live in (or can get to) the Thames Valley I'd love you to come and tell us the story at Thames Valley Startups in Reading. Our Internet of Things Group would be interested too.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't understand why so many people have such a 'down' on CO2, the natural plant food without which we would all be starving.

    It is not even the primary greenhouse gas - unless it is actually used in greenhouses to increase cropping - water vapour beats it hands down.

    The only reason that I can see why they make such a fuss about it is because bankers are trying to make big money from carbon trading. If they do make money on it it will be the 'small' people that will be paying it in raised prices.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge
      Paris Hilton

      Personally speaking I refuse to get overexcited about CO2 levels, appreciate there is a difference between climate and weather and that the science of both is complex.

      But it also seems to me burning stuff that comes out of the ground and will run out in a few hundred years time (best case) is probably not the wisest long-term plan. It also makes sense to me to reduce ones energy bill provided it doesn't require a hair-shirt.

  9. Gordan

    Oh, the embarrasment

    Error establishing a database connection

  10. a well wisher

    Does this get over the basic issue of normal TRV usage which requires the boiler to be 'on' 24 hours a day ?

    i.e can it switch the boiler on when ANY TRV is calling for heat and leave it off the rest of the time ?

    EDIT : RTFM !: Yes it does

    "That implies thermostats per heating zone, possibly even per room, controlling local TRVs to regulate temperature and able to bring on the boiler ("call for heat" or "boiler interlock" are common terms) if any zone needs heat "

  11. Benjol

    If you've got the option of building a new house, you could do worse than this:

    1. future research

      I did that built my own house. Underfloor heating throughout. Only heated by solar thermal, of logs in a boiler stove.

      I put in lots of temperature sensors everywhere so I could do my own heating control. It turns out the difference in temperature between the rooms ends up being minimal, so I may not bother. Manually turning it on when needed seems to work fine, the fire has to be maintained away. Generally only downstairs is heated unless it is really cold.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      If you've got the option of building a new house...

      Could also google Mike Hillard Tranquility Houses...

  12. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

    Ah, sanity

    This sounded interesting but I remained sceptical until I could establish whether it was another damn Nest. Thankfully it didn't take many clicks to find this:

    - OpenTRV should not require the Internet or smartphones to operate; it should be possible to do basic operations with a simple UI physically at the radiator or its associated control unit.

    Excellent. Good luck Damon

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