Life before Wired Sussex: Phil Jones toured the world with Bob Geldof
Catch up with what happened at our September Chamber Breakfast with this blog from Chamber member and Freelance Journalist Roz Scott.
Phil Jones is Managing Director of Wired Sussex. With a colourful life behind him, he continually embraces new challenges – as we found out at Brighton Chamber’s September Carluccio’s Breakfast where Phil was guest speaker. Aged 30 Phil met Bob Geldof, Michael Hutchence, along with his ex-wife Paula Yates and her children. He was drawn to Bob Geldof because of his music. They toured Eastern Europe together and were interested by the culture that had been suppressed by communism as the Berlin Wall came down.
Together, Phil and Bob launched a media company in Poland just as it “came out of the iron yoke of communism.” When setting up the company, Phil would say to Bob Geldof: “It’s just not possible.” Bob would reply: “That’s what they said about live aid. You have to understand the difference between, ‘that can’t be done’ and, ‘I don’t know how to do that.’” This line would surface regularly and become a challenge to any doubt cast on their plans.
In an old nuclear bunker in Warsaw, they successfully launched their TV channel which overtook MTV’s share of the audience in 18 months. The business partners later sold fifty percent of the business to MTV. Phil shared a few highlights from this time, including playing five-a-side football with Simply Red and riding on Sting’s motorbike. He also confessed to momentarily dancing on stage with Beyoncé.
At the core of their success was a real dedication and a deep understanding of the music culture. Eventually, Bob and Phil sold the other half of their business to MTV. This started Phil on a new trajectory. Phil moved his family to Brighton and became involved with Wired Sussex as their Managing Director. Now he helps companies and freelancers in the digital and tech sectors reach opportunities, facilities and, crucially, each other. One of his key takeaways was that if your work is not disruptive, you’ll become the disrupted.
Wired Sussex’s Fusebox is where businesses can learn about new technologies, set up work and access a range of resources. It’s the home of the UK’s latest 5G testbed which promises exciting opportunities for digital and technology, being very stable, fast and with little latency. The Fusebox also pioneers Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality among other emerging technologies.
Phil’s main job is simply bringing creative people together. He said:
“This city has always been known for its creativity, for welcoming artists, welcoming those with different view points or different life styles, and that’s a core part of innovation. When you add that in with the technology then you get something really interesting.”
Join this diverse community – best summed up by their motto: imagination, inspiration and innovation: https://www.wiredsussex.com You can hear more form Phil in Brighton Chamber’s short video interview, here: https://youtu.be/SMDxzt3OYrw embed code: <iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SMDxzt3OYrw" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe>
#Fusebox #WiredSussex #Digital @FuseBoxBtn @philjoneswired @WiredSussex
Thanks to Roz Scott for writing this blog