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Bright ideas: how to transform them into reality – Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult

About This Episode

This week, Michael is joined by music maestro turned tech titan Jeremy Silver, CEO of Digital Catapult. He has used his remarkable creativity to boost the UK’s digital sector, helping the UK’s best tech entrepreneurs transform some of their brightest ideas into reality. He started his career in the 1990s, working with Genesis, Meatloaf and Brian Eno as a music executive, before turning his attention to the country’s thriving tech ecosystem. Here Jeremy reflects on his career and that transition, what he’s learned from his own podcast, trends in the digital landscape, his new book, and delivers a positive message about why people should always do what they love.

Jeremy Silver

Dr Jeremy Silver is an investor, author and digital entrepreneur. He specialises in digital media, music and immersive technologies. He is CEO of Digital Catapult and Board director of Imaginarium Studios, HammerheadVR and Chair of FeedForward.AI. He is also member of the Creative Industries Council for which he serves as Chair of the Innovation Working Group. Previously he was Executive Chairman of Semetric Ltd and was the founder CEO of the Featured Artists Coalition. He was CEO of Sibelius Software, which sold to Avid Technology in 2006. He was worldwide Vice President of New Media for EMI Music Group in London and in Los Angeles. In the early 90s,  Silver was Director of Media Affairs at Virgin Records where he worked closely with many artists including Genesis, Meat Loaf,  Brian Eno and Massive Attack.

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Lockdown List

What is a book that has changed your life?

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson, published in 1992 – it foresaw the internet and the metaverse, provided the name for the Raft which was the first website I ever built for the label where I worked, Virgin Records in 1994 and which resulted eventually in me moving to LA in 1998 at the height of the first dot com boom.

What are you watching in lockdown?

Just finished watching Two Weeks to Live – which is a brilliant story of suburban misfits devious low lifes on a romantic mission of revenge and discovery. It’s like Pulp Fiction comes to Sunbury on Thames.

What is your lockdown soundtrack?

Take Four by the Juju Orchestra from their album Bosa Nova is not a Crime

Kokoro by Fatoumata Diaware from her album Fenfo (something to say)

Guaglione by Mario Marini from his album I Grandi Successi Orginali

Our Day Will Come by Waldeck from their album Ballroom Stories

I Feel Love by Hector Zazou, Barbara Eramo, and Stefano Saletti from their album Oriental Night Fever.

In one sentence, describe your new normal.

My new normal is Zoom, peppered with walks and yoga, and web surfing holiday porn.

Who is your biggest inspiration and why?

Haruki Mirakami – because his novels render the magic of life’s mysteries into a readable prose  that seems so logical and obvious that the extraordinary dimensions into which his imagination reaches seem entirely plausible and sensible. I only wish I could read his work in Japanese and understand it even more fully.

What is your best tip for life ?

Never work on things that are boring, always have fun and when a tough choice comes – prioritise your instincts – they won’t lead you astray.

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