Harder Better Faster Stronger Review

Last night saw the inaugural `Harder Better Faster Stronger` event from Manchester Digital.

The night consisted of three very interesting talks from Hugh Garry formerly of the BBC and now freelance, Andy Budd from Clearleft, and Tony Foggett from Code Computerlove.

Hugh Garry

Hugh, dressed in a questionable short-sleeved hoody, talked us through the changing world of digital marketing. How social media had/has helped to revive television and allowed TV shows to engage with their audiences. How the audience were now creating and curating their own content and he also waxed lyrical about the social media strategical genius: Lady Gaga (#PawsUp). It was brilliant.

Andy Budd

Andy took us through the history of his agency, Clearleft. From its inception 7 years ago to how it works now: making sure they pick the right clients that suit them, charging enough money to ensure they can afford to do the job properly and growing very slowly (in terms of staff).

Tony Foggett

Tony gave a similar(ish) talk to Andy in that it was about how his agency, Code Computerlove, had grown from its early days. Code seem a lot larger than Clearleft and as such Tony was able to talk about different experiences; notably the growing pains of a larger agency: creating a culture that aims to retain staff by virtue of the working environment being fun. Code Computerlove’s directors clearly spend a lot of time thinking about their staff and I think a lot of agencies would do well to adopt their approach.


There was a nice mix of topics last night and although two of those talks were relatively similar, they were delivered from different perspectives and therefore offered a great deal of insight. It was also really refreshing to listen to talks that were more business-oriented (as opposed to being code or design oriented) and I hope this Harder Better Faster Stronger event becomes a regular thing.

Sidenote: There was also some free beer/wine. Always a bonus.

Sidenote 2: Here by the way is Louis CK clip that Hugh couldn’t show because he ran out of time. Everything is amazing and nobody is happy.

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