Just as London recovered spectacularly from the plague and fire of the 1660s, so it will from Covid and the economic calamity of this past year. Cradle of English has a role in this.
This month sees Cradle of English launching a page on Patreon, a membership platform that describes its function as providing business tools for content creators to run a subscription service. It is like similar pages on social media that promise to streamline the journey to a bigger audience. It is like a crowd-funder site in that it generates revenue, albeit without the link to equity that is granted to investors.
But perhaps there is more to the Patreon offer.
Over 20 years of serving as an entrepreneurs’ mentor at London Business School, I have seen hundreds of business models and been directly involved in advising on, or adjudicating, dozens of them. Except for those businesses that do very well or very badly, there are few that become the sort of case studies that provide insight into the key issues of businesses’ evolution, with all their attendant thrills and spills.
There are three key reasons why we are inspired to chart our business progress “from quiet homes and first beginning, out to the undiscovered ends” of establishing a successful enterprise – while inviting a community of supporters to share the journey with us.
These reasons, in ascending order, start with a feeling we see in most Patreon supporters of content creators who seek to discover the alchemy which crafts enterprises out of passion. It’s the passion. I would not be interested in being much involved with any business for which its founders did not feel this excitement. And there will be no concern for anyone associated with Cradle of English – whether via Patreon or as investors or suppliers – about the passion driving our interest in the relationship of English language and history and how it found such powerful expression over five centuries on the printing presses of London.
Perhaps inevitably, our thoughts of how new technologies might help scale the business and extend its reach globally fuelled the second reason. New horizons for seeing the past with the assistance of Virtual and Artificial Reality, and Artificial Intelligence, offer tantalising glimpses of what it will mean to take Fleet Street online. This understanding dawned just as Covid lockdowns were starting to bite.
And then came Covid and its longer term affects, and the resulting busting of economies and the tanking of several industries that were especially bludgeoned in the context of Real Life activity where no “virtual” equivalent had yet emerged. Here the Flower of Opportunity blossomed its embrace. This was a journey to share with our supporters, engaging those most committed to the evolution of Cradle of English with the processes of discovering the most exciting place for our business in the world that will emerge from the tribulations of 2020.
To find out more, contact us on Patreon.