Andy Whitlock

Head of brand, Lost My Name

Messy, scary, stressful and joyful

Andy’s talk will focus on the beautiful chaos of breathing life into ideas, trying not to let them die, and giving every ounce of energy to ensure they thrive.

Andy looks after the brand and editorial marketing for Lost My Name: the company on a mission to bring magic back into the world, by combining stories with technology.

Before joining Lost My Name, Andy sat on the management team at digital product innovation agency Made By Many, leading strategy across multiple projects. His many head wrinkles are a testament to a career of learning how hard it is to make amazing things actually happen.

Dots Live

How to operationalise creativity

Sometimes a process isn’t neat. Sometimes it isn’t this perfectly formed thing that functions exactly the way it was designed. Sometimes it’s a messy, scary, stressful and joyful thing. That was Andy Whitlock’s message to the Dots 2016 audience during his talk.

Creating an emotional and exciting journey

Andy, the head of brand at Lost My Name, discussed life at one of the UK’s fastest growing start-ups – how trying to make an idea work at scale is very messy and very crazy. “One of the first things is, you have to work out what the hell you’re doing,” said Andy.

The company’s first book, The Little Boy Who Lost His Name, is a far cry from where it started. Andy and the team understood the potential of the idea, but were convinced that there was a better way of doing it compared to how it was being done.

True to the world of start-up, they began with a minimal website to see if people were interested in it. They then operationalised the idea, creating an emotional and exciting journey for the company and the audience. The book was the third best-selling children’s book in the US last year.

Operationalise and scale

The company’s second book, The Incredible Intergalactic Journey Home, was just as successful. It highlighted Lost My Name’s ambitions, which were exemplified when they sent the book up to the International Space Station where it was read by Tim Peake.

“There are a few purchase moments throughout the year, but we want to be more present in our customer’s lives,” said Andy. “So we need more things to fulfil those opportunities.”

To make this happen, every discipline within the company is like a little start-up within a start-up, looking to figure out ways to operationalise and scale things.

“When you make something that people really like, it’s the love of the product that can make it work,” said Andy.