Moving on from W+K

Today is my last day at W+K London.

Starting next week, I join the Government Digital Service. You might already have heard of GDS and the single government domain (GOV.UK beta) project, which is rather exciting. If not, here’s Danny O’Brien writing about poacher turned gamekeeper, Tom Loosemore, which should set the scene nicely.

I’m joining a brilliant department. They’ve been bringing in some seriously good developers and building an exciting multi-disciplinary team. Most recently, Ben Terrett (also ex W+K) joined as Head of Design, and Russell Davies is now lending a hand too. Exciting times.

How is it that *The Government* is one I the most exciting start-ups in Britain right now? #govuk

What will I be doing? Well, I’ll be product manager for the Innovation team. Last year they launched the e-petitions site, which in its first 100 days received an impressive 18 signatures per minute. I hope to work on some similarly interesting problems and make some interesting and useful things. There’s a lot to do, and having fun with government services is an opportunity too good to miss.

Leaving W+K was a difficult decision though. Especially because I know that I’ll miss it, and the people there, very much. Leaving after 14 months, just when things are finally falling in to place and I feel at home, feels like a very strange thing to do. On the other hand, it’s good to be leaving on a high. Things have never been better. It’s been a privilege to work with such amazing people on such a wide range of projects, from the Kaiser Chiefs album launch to Cravendale’s ‘cats with thumbs’ and everything in between. There are some seriously good things coming up later this year too.

I’ve learned a lot in the past year-and-a-bit, and I learned more from my mistakes than the things I got right. Perhaps the thing that stuck with me most was some  advice for new joiners that I read on my first day, which said, if you are wondering whose job it is, it’s probably yours.

When Ben left W+K, he wrote about what makes W+K great. Like the BBC and IBM before that, it’s a place I’ll remember fondly, full of people I’ll miss seeing around.

Goodbye, W+K. Hello, GDS.


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  1. Happy to have made acquaintance last year – and best of luck at GDS with Ben (and Russell), it sounds like an exciting new venture. Maybe there’s more time for blogging too!

    Comment by Andrea — February 14, 2012 #

  2. Congratulations Roo. Sounds like an amazing gig.

    Comment by neilperkin — February 14, 2012 #

  3. Congratulations! Hope all goes well.
    That’s quite a team they are building…

    Comment by Rob Mortimer — February 14, 2012 #

  4. Congrats Roo — you are well prepared for this new challenge! All the best.

    Comment by Michael Martine — February 14, 2012 #

  5. Roo: squee. Exciting news! Congrats.

    Comment by Kat — February 14, 2012 #

  6. Good stuff Roo – and congrats to Tom on the impressive team assemblage…

    Comment by jeremyet — February 14, 2012 #

  7. Congrats, Roo! Sounds like an exciting new gig.

    Comment by John Swords — February 14, 2012 #

  8. Feels like a time for changes – good luck and well, that sounds really exciting! Congratulations!

    Comment by Andy Piper — February 14, 2012 #

  9. Congratulations, this spends like a big shift. If you can whip government into shape that will do us all good :)

    Comment by Epredator — February 14, 2012 #

  10. Congrats – sounds like a fantastic chance. I’m looking forward to hearing what you get up to.

    Comment by Dale Lane — February 14, 2012 #

  11. Super exciting news Roo, congratulations! Enjoy! Sounds like you’ll be joining a crack team, who are already putting out exciting things.

    Comment by Rowan — February 14, 2012 #

  12. Roo, you might find new sources of insight from the Digital Cities Exchange being run out of Imperial College ( It has some recognisable faces aboard, including Larry Hirst and Elizabeth Varley. I believe that @evarley was amongst those consulted for UK e-government initiatives…

    Comment by Alexis — February 14, 2012 #

  13. Huge congrats, chief. Government just got smarter.

    I have to note though, it’s looking like you only work for initials. IBM, BBC, WK, GDS… Something wrong with a company with a proper name? Like John Lewis? Or Thomas Cook?

    Think about it.

    Comment by Dan Biddle — February 14, 2012 #

  14. Welcome aboard Roo. I’m product manager on the Whitehall bit. Look forward to working with you.

    Comment by Neil — February 15, 2012 #

  15. Congratulations Roo! Looks like a really cool new gig. Good luck!

    Comment by Philip Trippenbach — February 15, 2012 #

  16. A challenge to provide one domain that deals with those who have no knowledge and are looking for basic information and those who are looking for very specialised knowledge quickly all on one site as these are very different audiences. And then being able to evaluate benefit of some of the specialised services and provide the KPIs that departments are measured on.

    Comment by Beth — February 16, 2012 #

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