The Wise Why
#53 Darren Evans – The Power of Memories
About This Episode
Kirsty Van Den Bulk interviews Darren Evans on this inspiring episode of The Wise Why. Darren, the founder of After Cloud, shares his personal story of loss and the realization that family history and memories are often lost forever when someone passes away. Through After Cloud, Darren has made it his mission to help people preserve and cherish their memories for generations to come, ensuring that these precious moments are never lost. But that’s not all.
During the interview, Darren also shares his life journey and how he ended up in the world of technology. Darren’s career path took him from being a military training instructor to working in banking, finance, and publishing. However, it was his son’s question that sparked his interest in the emerging world of the internet. Reflecting on the birth of the internet and its impact on society, Darren draws parallels to the current concept of AI and its implications for mankind. This episode of The Wise Why is not to be missed. Tune in to hear about Darren’s inspiring journey and his passion for preserving precious memories.
Episode #53 : Full Transcription
Kirsty van den Bulk: You. Hello and welcome to The Wise Why. This morning I am joined by Darren Evans, who I met on an OxLEP course. And we instantly bonded. And I don’t know how, but he managed to twist my arm, um, and put it right up my back. So, as usual, the show is not about me, the show is about my guest. So, Darren, over to you, and you can explain how you twisted my arm.
Darren Evans: Hi, Kirsty. Great to be here. Um, um, I don’t know is the honest answer. I think when we met at OXLEP, um, I think we found out that previously we were kind of thespians, weren’t we? Or we’d had that sort of similar background. And I think when we started engaging and talking about that, it was of interest. And the fact that we’re both supported by OXLEP, as I said, um, they’re just fantastic. Uh, the whole team I can’t say enough about, to be fair. It’s, um, huge amount of, um, thanks to give, I think.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Yeah.
Darren Evans: And Leslie Parsons as an example. Both are fantastic. Really, supportive. Catherine Shepard, when just applying for initially, um, was brilliant. Sarah, Bill, Grant, Hayward, Helen Bryn. There’s loads and loads of people. Even the marketing team, the people behind the scenes, they’re all so fantastic, supportive. I would encourage any Oxfordshire business, whether you’re a startup, medium sized or enterprise, to engage with OxLEP because they are just brilliant.
Kirsty van den Bulk: We must explain what they are. Um, so they do peer to peer networking. They do have access to business coaches of various levels. Ah, they will help you apply for funding. So, they’re a local I probably get this wrong, local enterprise partnership. And, um, there’s various of them around the country. And most importantly, they are free, everybody. They’re free for businesses like you and me. So, good talk, which I wasn’t expecting to do this morning. So more about you, Darren. Tell us about your life and how you’ve got to where you are today. And I’ve got to make sure that I call it after Cloud and not Afterlife. No idea why I get them confused, but it would be really good to explain who you are, what you do, and especially about After Cloud, because people don’t know it. And it’s incredible.
Darren Evans: Thanks very much. Um, mine’s a little bit checkered. I think if I go right the way back, I left school at sort of 16 straight, uh, into the army. So, I was in the army for eight, nine years as a military training instructor. And, um, I went into banking and then finance and then publishing. And it was just yeah, not really for me, really, that kind of world. But I did it for a while. Um, then I don’t know if you remember, do you remember when the internet was kind of just emerging? Really? All the balls were up in the air. Um, so I started working in that area. Really, I had a few ideas at the time, but just started working with other businesses, um, which led to something else. Which led to something else. But I ended up providing technology to health and social care companies for a little over 20 years, plus, probably. Um, and then a little over three years ago, um, my wife Pam and my sister-in-law Cam were primary carers for my mother-in-law. She had a very aggressive form of Lewy Body dementia. It’s a horrid, horrid disease. Uh, any form of dementia is not good, is it, for anybody that’s out there that, uh, is either caring for someone with dementia or living with someone living well with dementia, even. I, uh, applaud you in your work and all the carers that support them? Anyway, it was very, very aggressive, uh, with my mother-in-law, and literally within ten months she died. Um, and after the funeral, we were going through family possessions. And, uh, this one instance is the thing that sort of struck out, really, I guess the light bulb moment. We were going through a family photo album and my son Dylan was asking Pam, my wife, who’s this, who’s that, who’s this? And we had no idea. Asked a sister, asked a brother, cousins, nobody had a clue. So, we quickly realized that when someone dies, that whole library of information, uh, family history, even, it’s gone, it’s eradicated, and you can’t get it back. And, uh, interestingly, it was Dylan that said to me, look, dad, you work in technology. Can’t you do something or words to that effect? Out of the mouths of babes. He was kind of, uh, eleven and a half, coming up to twelve at the time. And I kind of scratched my head a little bit and thought, wow, there might be something here. So, I started speaking to people right across the sector. And, um, one person I’ll tell the story shortly, if you don’t mind, but of course, Roberta Ricella, um, Robbie, as she’s known in health and social care, head of quality of life. Um, I remember this, but anyway, I’ll come back to that. Come back to that. So so, with that, I reached out and then I realized that at the end of life, which is not something I’m familiar with at all, palliative care, they have this physical item called a memory box. So, for people that are nearing the end of life, they know they’re in receipt of palliative care. Um, it enables them to place cards, letters, um, important messages, things for the future. So posthumous posts, essentially. Uh, and then when they die, they are handed out and delivered accordingly. And we thought, well we can digitize this process, we can enable technology to do that for them, so that they can do it at any time in the comfort of their own, wherever they are, if they’re in the community if they’re in the home. So um, we did that and that was the first iteration of aftercloud. It’s, uh, called moments. Um, and yes, to answer your question, that was the light bulb moment and that’s what happened. It was originally called after cloud.
Kirsty van den Bulk: So, I’m sitting here right now thinking about the amount of memory boxes I currently have for a six-year-old child and thinking, yeah, I need to digitize that. We have got huge storage boxes, and everything is important. So, um, I’m obviously going to be talking to you, um, about uh, digitizing my memories for our daughter because I’m an older mom and as an older mom I’m aware that and I’m very aware that she’s six. I’m in my fifties. At some point she’s going to be left without me. It’s one of those real glaring facts, uh, that really shout in your face when you’re an older mother. So, we will talk about that offline. Um, so you wanted to talk about Roberta, was it?
Darren Evans: Yeah. Roberta Rochelle. Yeah. Ask you now because she’s been married since first though, can I just say, you don’t look your age at all.
Kirsty van den Bulk: I love you for that. Keep it coming. Keep it coming.
Darren Evans: It’s true. Yeah. Robbie, so when I spoke to Robbie, we just got talking and it was about the concept of aftercloud. And um, she then told me this story and it struck a chord straight away. But she was from a single parent family. Um, and at the age of 13 her mum uh, had cancer and died from it. And she was, I mean this is in Italy and uh, she was welcomed into her best friend’s family and adopted by them, which I think is fantastic. But she had this uh, uh, you know, the old um, uh, tape machines or voice recorders and you had the tiny little tapes. So, she had a little tiny tape of her mum’s voice, and she lost the tape. And yeah, when she told me that, she said it’s her voice I missed the most. Wish I could hear her again. And uh, I kind of welled up at the time and I wrote it down hurriedly and that became our strap line for aftercloud. I said, Robbie, you just said this to me, do you mind? It just sings, it tells that story succinctly. Um, so that’s what we did. Um, it’s a voice, uh, I missed the most and I wish I could hear her again. Became uh, our strap line for a while. Always there now because we’ve kind of in various markets. But that was the story of uh, Robbie and it was just, she wrote for one of our guest blogs as well with the whole story behind it. Um, so it’s there on the website for anybody to view.
Kirsty van den Bulk: I will have to look at that later. That’s brilliant. I love the story. And that’s one of the things I love about you is the way that you’re connected. Uh, you are totally connected to the emotion of the people you’re talking to. It’s one of the things that really inspires me about you. Even when you feel it, you empathize. It’s just beautiful. It’s all right. We know each other quite well. Um, one of the things I want to ask about is that moment in tech, because that’s 20 years of your life. It’s quite a long time. And I know that a lot of people who listen to the show are like me, who were around at the birth of the Internet because we’re of a certain age, and we were involved in that growth. I mean, I certainly was. What was it like? Because, uh, people today, we think about six, seven-year-olds, and we think about 20 year olds, and 20 year olds at the birth of the Internet were just being born. So they’ve got no idea how us I can’t remember what generation we are, but, uh, just picked it up. And, uh, I read something somewhere about how we’re the generation that can’t be sold to because we grew up without tech. We like tech, but we don’t need tech. So, I’m just wondering what it was like for you in that space.
Darren Evans: Yeah. Are we generation X?
Kirsty van den Bulk: I think I think we are. I just don’t want to say it in case I get it wrong. Live on air.
Darren Evans: I just remember Billy idol. Yeah, it’s an interesting question, actually, because if you can imagine now how people are feeling about AI.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Yeah.
Darren Evans: It’s a kind of similar thought process, isn’t it? Uh, and I use this analogy quite a bit, but, uh, a long, long time, in our early 20s, let’s say, because I think we’re similar. I’m probably slightly older, but we’re similar.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Yeah.
Darren Evans: Um, driving for miles and miles and miles. I lived in Germany for a while but driving back from Germany with a map. With a map, a physical book of map. No mobile phone. Um, mobile phones didn’t exist back then. So, we’ve gone through those technological revolutions several times, including the Internet. And if you can imagine this is an example, you and I speaking over the Internet. This was Star Wars. This was fiction. Science fiction. Um, so, yeah, we’ve seen a lot of changes in that time, but I compare it now, um, the sort of birth of the internet as the similar sort of concept of AI, because it has such huge implications, I think, for mankind. It’s phenomenal.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Yeah. Using AI for the last six, seven weeks, and I can remember six, seven weeks ago, starting with it, uh, writing things in, asking it a question. It was fun. And now it’s become like a standard in my life. And I’ve got a video that I must post about how AI is really, good. So, I won’t mention the brands, but you can put your information and they can churn it out, which is great, but it is still a robot. And you do need to then go and edit it and turn it into something that is human. But it does streamline and save time. And especially as a Dyslexic, it’s become an invaluable tool to my business. I’m not going to sit there and say it hasn’t. I can quickly take something, edit it, turn it to the purpose I need it to be, and then go in and put the test evander book bulk spiel on it and feel to it. It’s been revolutionary. But again, that is like the internet. Because I think we remember the time where you had to plug your connector in, and you died up through a router and that beautiful noise. So, you were probably like me. Where my first I’m going to ask you. So, the first computer that I touched was a Sinclair ZX spectrum. What about you?
Darren Evans: The same. Exactly. And I do remember the Atari as well.
Kirsty van den Bulk: I love the atari. And the Commodore 66. Was it 1660? Anyway, takes me way back to when I was working in, uh, orders department stores. So, we’ve been able to embrace and grow and adapt to the tech. And ultimately that’s what aftercloud is doing. And what I really like about aftercloud that you haven’t talked about yet, is how we can access it if we’re out in public on a phone. Let me talk about that.
Darren Evans: Well, what’s interesting, when we started aftercloud, so we launched it as aftercloud and we worked with, uh, some fantastic hospices. I have to say, give thanks to them as well. Arthur Rank. I’ll shout out now because we still work with them and do a lot of work. Uh, but anyway, during that early phase, we did a lot of beta trials. So, ten months or so of beta trial, just to make sure that it was impactful we were doing the right thing and get that can I stop.
Kirsty van den Bulk: You there for just for a minute? Because I know what beta is, but a lot of people don’t. So, uh, could you just explain what beta is and then we’ll move on. It’s really good for people who are listening. You go, oh, I don’t know what that is. And then they might lose attention because they just have no idea. So, can you explain a bit more about what that is?
Darren Evans: Yeah, it’s sort of running a pilot or running without going live. It’s a sort of behind-the-scenes trial. Ah, they have the app, it’s working for them, but it’s not available to the public.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Awesome.
Darren Evans: So that was ten months of, uh, backwards and forwards, backwards and forwards, getting iteration, getting feedback. Um, we’ve got some really good IP within our technology. Intellectual property.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Thank you. I know. So, this is one of the things that I talk about quite a lot is in industry jargon in industry talking, which, um, when we talk about marketing, that’s good. If we know what we’re talking about, we understand it. If we don’t understand it, it becomes a buzzword and jargon and confusing. So, I do always want people to expand on it, because there’s nothing worse than feeling like, oh, I don’t know what that is. Now, today we’re lucky. We can type it into Google and go and check, oh, sorry, I mentioned a brand. But you can type it into a search engine and see who it is and what it means. But I feel sometimes we should give that, uh, extra bit, just so we can be inclusive rather than always sound good. Inclusive rather than exclusive. Anyway, back up to IP.
Darren Evans: Yeah, what we do is enable people to so from their mobile, they can access the app. We’re mobile first. We have a mobile first policy because it’s in your hands. Everyone’s got a mobile pretty much now daily. Um, and it enables you to upload, uh, letters, images, video, and audio. And again, because people miss the voice. So, it’s not just that, it’s Daily Journaling. Now we’ve got three apps. So, from the beta, a lot of the feedback was, this is great, works, fantastic. They’re able to post in post, so they can post to a future date. I e what would potentially be posthumous. Um, but they wanted to see physically a sort of timeline of their life. So, they wanted these moments, but they wanted to see it chronologically plotted for them. So, we thought, this is great, this is fantastic feedback. So that’s what we did, um, as an iteration. So, we created another app utilizing the same technology, and created another app called Timelines. Um, but what we realized is, it’s for everybody. Timelines is for everybody. You don’t realize how important it is until you lose somebody. When that information is gone, it’s lost. As an example, I mean, God bless him. Paul Grady, earlier this week, nobody, um, anticipated him dying. Just, there were no signs. He was not end of life. I know he had heart problems over the years, but, um, in an instant, he’s gone. And, uh, as I say, it’s affected a lot of people. We grew up watching him on TV as Lily bless him. Um, so the nation’s sort of outpouring of love and affection for him this week has just been tremendous. But it’s, um, a sort of signal that none of us are here forever. There is an exit point for everybody. And this is a kind of timelines is a kind of marker of your life, the fact that you’re here. And also, what’s really, really important is, as our digital footprint grows and increases, um, it’s important that that’s managed in some respect as well. So we’re looking to do both things, uh, with Timelines. Yeah. And the other thing if you don’t mind me saying is, no, of course not. We also now support children’s services from.
Kirsty van den Bulk: A digital important.
Darren Evans: Yeah. So, it’s kind of it’s the whole gambit, really. It’s children, adults, and the public, um uh, it’s fantastic.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Timelines are really important. I use timelines when I’m coaching. Um, because when you’re public speaking, or you’re going to like today, when I said to you before you come on air, is there anything you won’t talk about? And that’s part of your timeline that is something that could have happened in your life that is uncomfortable for you to share, that you need to be connected to the emotion, so it doesn’t overtake you. And put a post out about that, actually, this week. So, timelines are a fundamental they’re also things that, um, will allow you the memory box for our daughter, it takes right the way through, um, all the way through from the time that she was really small right up to present day. The memory box that I would love to be able to deal with myself is actually a photo album. And this is lovely. It’s got an old docking, it’s a musical box. And I used to sit when I was 715, 16 and 17 with my granny, who unfortunately passed away, and we would go through it. And of course, this book is a musical box. That’s a photo album. And it is card or hard or it’s wood, possibly. Um, and the photos in it, we don’t know. They go back to the 18 hundred. We have no idea. Obviously, tech wasn’t available then, but they’re not even named on the back or when they are named, the writing has worn away. So, to be able to future proof that happening for my daughter is just beautiful. Picking up on Mother’s Day. It’s Mother’s Day, and I wanted to go and pick up something, and I picked up the Bible that Granny gave me in 1978 for my confirmation. And it was falling apart. I mean, I did then put loads of beeswax on it, and that’s probably not the right thing to do, but it was falling apart. If I could have kept that sacred, even just an image of it sacred without it falling to pieces, it’s that kind of thing that it’s emotional. It helps you connect. And that’s one of the things that I meant about you being emotive and connecting. And also, you are one of the most gracious people I know. You are full of gratitude.
Darren Evans: That’s very kind. The one thing I do do, and I think you give what you get. And if I can help anybody in any regard, I do. And people have looked at me in the past, in business development or sales roles as an example, and I’ve gone, look, let’s do this together. Let’s help. And they kind of look at me strangely. We don’t do that. Uh, but that’s me. That’s part of the character, I guess, isn’t it.
Kirsty van den Bulk: But that is what sales is; sales isn’t about banging down the door and pitching at somebody and saying, buy this product. It is, if it’s commercial product, that, hey, you want to buy this moisturizer because it’s going to make yourself feel good at that time. And it’s an impulse purchase. But, in the solution selling space, it is about relationships. Some of the stuff we’ve worked on, you don’t walk into a shop and pick something up because you’re hungry. You’re buying something because it’s solving a problem. And you’re looking at a long-term solution sale that could take up to three or four years, maybe even longer, for the project to be completed. And that way it’s a partnership, not, um, a sales pitch, unless I’m wrong.
Darren Evans: No, I agree. The other thing, and certainly one thing, I think, that’s helped me, and I discussed this yesterday with a colleague, Alan. This, um, environment we’re in now lends itself to a more authentic you. And the reason I say that is because we’re in our home environment, mostly we’re in our home environments. So, you can’t be anything but yourself. Many, many years ago, if you left the house to go and do some kind of work, you were a different persona, almost. You’d put your suit on to go to the business, or you’d put your jacket on to do this piece of work or whatever it might have been, whereas now you get the genuine, authentic person. And I like that. I like this environment and it lends itself to being that same person when you go outside.
Kirsty van den Bulk: So, I’m going to admit something here this week, because I’ve had a massive deadline to deliver. Uh, and this week I went on a call. Now, I am an on-camera coach and everybody always sees me beautifully made up and wearing nice clean clothes. I went on a call at 08:00 this week. They were put into perspective, into, uh, context. I, uh, had to look for the word there. Um, I didn’t finish tidying off until 1030 the night before I had to get my daughter to school. I went on the call at 08:00. And I’m really sorry to people on the other end of the call because likely you weren’t there, but I pulled my hair into a ponytail because I hadn’t got a time for a shower because my partner, my husband, was away working and I hadn’t cleaned my teeth. Now, that is really bad. But that is a blessing of the remote worker at this point in time, because there’s absolutely no way I would have made the deadline and delivered what I needed to do if I hadn’t been able to just throw on some slacks, look semi professional from the top and just crack on. That’s really bad, isn’t it?
Darren Evans: So, a little story there. I won’t name names, but, um, at the birth of this environment, the virtual environment, um, and again, I go back to the corporate world. But a colleague there and some people will know this, he’s synonymous within the sector in health and social care. But anyway, he did a virtual presentation and um uh, he thought he was off camera, didn’t realize it was a local authority, huge room of people and didn’t have his top off.
Kirsty van den Bulk: I shouldn’t laugh, I’m not laughing, but there is that thing and obviously what I love about this week is all my brand standards went out of the window, uh, from the point of view of dedicated work to deliver this body of work. And it has been hectic, it has been crazy. Um, but it’s been a lot of fun as well. And it’s really stretched my mind and it’s been brilliant. And um, I’m really hoping we get a tick box and if we don’t, I shall go back to putting my head down and making this thing work. But oh my goodness. Yeah. Um, sometimes you just have to go with the flow. Right?
Darren Evans: You do, absolutely. It’ll be great. I’m sure it’ll be fantastic.Kirsty van den Bulk: But if it’s not, it’ll just be edited. So um, along the way you will have had AHA moments. You’d have had moments where you went, yes, I know I’m doing this, or no, I have no idea why I’m doing this. So um, I wonder if you could just talk about a few of those.
Darren Evans: Yeah, one person actually invited me along to visitor, uh, economy webinar. And um, the AHA moment really actually came from when a business called Mindful Memorials up in Leeds applied timelines we so when you create a timeline and you publish a timeline, it generates a QR code. So that QR code is unique to that timeline. And they put the QR code on a gravestone called the Percy Shelley for their showroom. Um, and people can go along, you can utilize your mobile with the camera, it accesses the QR and then gives the backstory the whole history of Percy. And you can look at it in date order as it’s chronological. And it will pull up audio, video, letters, images, et cetera, et cetera, as I mentioned earlier. And then with the visitor economy in mind, it kind of lent itself very, very well to fixed assets. And that was the AHA moment, during the Vista economy piece. Um, which kind of opened up another opportunity, I guess. So, without uh, losing sight of what we do from an impact perspective, the AHA was right. We can offer timelines to both individuals, the public and um, businesses, be it local authorities, DMOS management organizations that run the visitor economy regionally. Um, but what we really want to do is make a real purposeful impact. It’s really, really important for us in terms of where we started the journey, uh, dementia and end of life palliative. So, we decided literally just a few weeks ago that what we’ll do our next um, kind of iteration, if you will, is for every timeline purchase, we will gift our moment to someone, uh, in palliative care or living with dementia. So that’s our impact. And that was the AHA bit, really.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Wow. That is absolutely beautiful. I hope you’re going to market that because that is really paying it forwards. That’s beautiful.
Darren Evans: It not only creates social impact for us, but it actually creates social impact for the community members. So, everybody that creates a timeline for themselves or for their families or for their grandparents or their parents, they know they’re also having an impact for someone at the end of life or living with dementia who can also create now a legacy.
Kirsty van den Bulk: That’s just beautiful. Absolutely ah, beautiful. Um, wow. So, we’ve had a couple of comments, which is just beautiful. I’ve got the word beautiful on the brain this morning. I need to change that one that’s going to come up and kick me in the transcript. Um, so Jonathan joined us and said good morning. Haley has said you’re a charmer and she loves the sound of timeline. So, it’s an app, is it a photo library, et cetera. Can you explain a bit more on that?
Darren Evans: Yeah, it’s effectively an app that enables you to apply key dates. It starts with your date of birth or whoever. If it’s a project, it starts with that project start date. So however you iterate it, but it starts with the date of birth. Um, you can then add, say, an image of yourself at school. The really important part is, though, you can add a narrative to that storyline with audio so that information never gets lost. You mentioned the picture earlier on and the fact that if you turn the picture over, there’s something written on the back, but not always do we get that information? Well, in a timeline, you get the full picture because you can dictate a letter in there as an example and they’ll type out the letter for you. Um, you can record a short audio of who’s who in the photo as an example. Left to right, we’ve got Artie, Mabel and Uncle David and et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. So, you can do all that sort of thing. And as I say, when you publish, you should publish anyway, because it’s a living account of your life story. And, uh, for all of us, we don’t know when that end date is, so it’s continuous. Um, and I think the other thing is looking forward, um, utilizing and we mentioned this earlier, AI and machine learning and the power of that. Who knows what’s to come? Uh, there are all sorts of things we can start to look to do. Um, I’ve been speaking more recently, and I will be speaking again to a huge brain in the UX UI design world called Simon Norris. Ah, he coined the phrase humanizing technology. Um, just a brilliant, brilliant mind m. But he will be, uh, kind of. He’s, he’s he’s going back to Uni to to sort of do his PhD, um, in AI. So, we’ll be having those conversations ongoing. It’s just incredible what can be achieved.
Kirsty van den Bulk: I’m loving this. Well, I know I’m going to see, um, how this pans out. I’m really excited. So, um, this is where the tables turn. This is where you get to ask a question on me. I have no idea what it is. I say this every week, and I’m sure people think I do, but I really don’t. So off you go, far away and see if I can answer it.
Darren Evans: Well, I would ask actually, what’s your why is the why of wise why?
Kirsty van den Bulk: So, uh, the wise why is very simple. I, um, didn’t intend to do a podcast. I’ll come on to that in a minute. But, uh, my why is my daughter so 100%? It’s b. Uh, and watching her whilst I’ve been crazily busy over the last couple of weeks, watching, um, her pride and seeing Mummy as somebody who does really big work was really important. I wanted her to feel that women can and will achieve, um, especially launching your own business from scratch. It’s been a challenge, but she’s been beside me, she’s been watching. She sits behind me when I’m really busy on her tablet, and she works behind me and I work on here. And she is 100% the reason I do everything. Whatever I put out there, I make sure that she would be happy to see it in the future. Um, I want her to know that you can come from nothing. I was born and grew up in a counselor state. I was very lucky that I got a grant to go to a private dance drama school. I was very lucky to get into arts ed, but it was a grant student. I was a scholarship student. So, um, I didn’t leave school with the best academic results. I hadn’t been diagnosed with the Dyslexia at that point. I didn’t know I was dyspraxic, which is hysterical because I was a professional dancer. But it does make sense now. Um, so I want her to know that whatever the challenges are and let’s remember the first one, I couldn’t speak till I had an operation. So whatever your challenges are in life, you can keep going and you can achieve and you can survive. And I survived an awful lot.
Darren Evans: It’s a fantastic why.
Kirsty van den Bulk: It’s an important why, because, um, she’s already got to come and grow and be strong. Even at the age of six, she’s already facing challenges. So I wanted her to be empowered. And the best way to do it, as far as I’m concerned, because your child mirrors you, was to lead by example. So that was the big why. And the wise why happened because somebody I knew was struggling to go live on LinkedIn. And I thought, oh, I think I can meet that criteria. And I’d had two glasses of wine and pressed Send. And then two weeks later, I launched a podcast, which I didn’t really plan, called The Wise Why, because everybody at the time was shouting out, know your why. And I found it rather offensive. So, I decided to launch a podcast in my own crazy way of basically being rude back at them. So, the irony came in. And that’s why it’s called The Wise Why, but it’s actually why your wisdom, which is why it’s The Wise Why.
Darren Evans: It’s fantastic. And it’s such a great cause.
Kirsty van den Bulk: Yeah, I think it’s really important that people get to hear about people like you, the people that wouldn’t necessarily step up and be on the big podcast out there. And this gets viewed a lot on LinkedIn, not so much on YouTube, not so much on Spotify, but it does get a huge audience and attraction on LinkedIn. And for me, knowing that you are being seen as an authentic human being, I’m not here to expose you. I’m not here to make you cry. I’m not looking for an exclusive. I’m just looking for you to be at your best. And you get a copy of it, and you get to go and use it on social media, and you get some brand identity for you, personal branding. That’s free. So that’s kind of another reason behind it is it’s my way of giving back. We’ve had Jonathan join us, um, and he says, so it’s a digital diary. Is it a subscription model? And can I add things retrospectively back to After Cloud?
Darren Evans: So, yes, and yes, it is a subscription model. You get it initially free, um, so that you can trial it and make sure that it’s fit for purpose for you. Um, but they’re after subscription model. And what’s interesting is you can apply it retrospectively. What’s really, really fascinating is we had a guy, Michael Bauk, and again, I owe a debt of gratitude, actually, to Michael, because, um, he took the concept and applied it to his dad, who’s a Crimean War veteran, and it blew up. I mean, it went viral. Um, it got some notoriety, uh, Newsweek, Metro, Daily Mail, and more recently, Paramount, uh, in the states he’s based in, in Boston. So he’s applied this one to his dad. Uh, and Paramount have asked him, can he do, um, another case study? So, he went and saw, um, the daughter of the chief of police, uh, of Melrose in Boston, um, and they’ve created another one now, which, uh, is yet to be aired on TV. But, uh, again, that that backs to to After Cloud timelines. So, yeah, you can apply it retrospectively. I actually think that people love walking around graveyards and seeing the backstory and the history, but you can’t, you only get the two dates a little bit about the person and a dash in between. So, I see timelines as the digital dash that, uh, information in between the two dates, um, which you can really now visualize. So, it’s the sort of people’s library of the future. I actually say that what we do is ancestry, real time, because future generations will look back at this and see our rich history come to life. Um, it won’t just be black and white paper, it’ll be that full rich history. All of this that we’re doing today, which people can view. Yeah.
Kirsty van den Bulk: So, Haley’s just joined us and she says, um, I want a digital diary. I have five diaries I write for each of my kids, but sometimes I picked them up and it’s been over a year since I picked them up. So, could you make sure that you go onto LinkedIn and onto my YouTube channel and put the link in to afterclouds or how to contact you? Um, I will put this on my website at some point. I’m just a bit behind, but if you could put that in the link so people know exactly how to contact you. And can I just say thank you so much for sharing your gratitude and sharing your time this morning.
Darren Evans: It’s an absolute pleasure, Kirsty. Thank you. And thank you for all you do. It’s much appreciated.
Kirsty van den Bulk: No problem.
In this episode:
00:00 Hello and welcome to the Wise Why
00:19 Darren Evans After Cloud
02:36 Life in the Army
03:37 Living with Dementia
05:17 Memories Boxes
07:17 Roberta Rochelle
09:36 Internet of Things
13:15 Atari, Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum
14:03 Beta Testing
15:16 Buzzwords and Jargon
17:32 Paul O’Grady – Lilly Savage
19:22 Antique Photos and lost names
21:01 Not selling or Pitching
24:58 Aha Moments
25:42 QR Codes with Memories
28:03 Audience Comments
30:36 What’s Your Wise Why, why?
34:40 Michael Balk
Connect with Dan:
Daren Elsley talks with Kirsty van den Bulk about The Unspoken Truth of Male Cancers and how losing his best friend to cancer inspired him to launch MYBOLLOX underwear, a brand with a mission to raise awareness for men’s cancers through unique branding.
Ep 59, Paul Anderson talks about banking, acting via security, and embracing life’s twists on The Wise Why podcast with Kirsty van den Bulk.