Keeping a diary of the weird and wonderful stuff you do can be a ball ache. It’s great to have a record of these events, like pictures, something you can look back at an be like “Holy shit, I forgot that I wrestled a bear in Angola”.

However writing these long entries can be irritating and the big blocks of text aren’t the most inspiring things to look at. Enter Remember When the micro journaling website I have developed to make it easier to record and relive the best moments in your life.

Every entry you make looks like a postcard, which kind of makes the posts more intuitive to write. It’s essentially writing a postcard to yourself. You can also invite and tag your friends in memories, as everyone has a different perspective of an occasion and may include things about an event that you hadn’t remembered.

You can sign up and start adding memories at

I have just released a new version of my site, Nineline, the online timeline for tracking trends and predictions. It now works a lot more smoothly and is much easier to browse. There’s still a bit of loading time, as I constantly improve the code, but it’s getting there. Next up is getting together a version that allows others to sign up and add their own predictions.

I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research recently on happiness and I thought it’s only right to share some of the things I’ve learnt.  I have been trying to consolidate what I have found from various source into one model for happiness, a model I am calling the “Life Tree”. Here’s a list of the 17 areas I have identified so far:

  1. Develop a positive mindset
  2. Do what you love
  3. Work on your relationships
  4. Develop your romantic/sexual relationship(s)
  5. Experience new and different things
  6. Manage your relaxation and stress
  7. Respect yourself and others
  8. Become involved in communities
  9. Learn
  10. Do regular exercise
  11. Take care of your health and nutrition
  12. Develop your beliefs and spirituality
  13. Surround and immerse yourself in beauty
  14. Fully embrace your senses
  15. Spend regular time in nature
  16. Make yourself safe and secure
  17. Survive

You can see my up to date development of these ideas, and in much more details, here. I built this *Pyramid* tool, based of the Pyramid Principle, to help develop and convey ideas in a clear way. It is still very much in development but has been really useful in developing my thinking.

For each of these 17 areas I am coming up with actions which you can take to improve your overall happiness. I’m trying to simplify it much more though, as 17 areas is a bit too much. However the first area, develop a positive mindset, is by far the most important area and accounts for most of our happiness.

Stay tuned for more updates.

  • Sept 2010 – Charlie founded Nine Studios because he wanted a place where he could further develop the weird and wonderful ideas that come to him.
  • Oct 2010 – Nine Studios is running as a small design consultancy and performs one job, building the graphics and illustrations for the Rainbow Training website.
  • Jan 2012 – Whilst in his final year studying a BEng in Product Design and Manufacture at the University of Nottingham Charlie designs Lumine for Nine Studios, a range of smart colour changing lights.
  • Summer 2012 – After graduating Charlie realises he knows bugger all about running a company and decides to pursue a MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship at UCL. A fantastic course where you run your startup as you learn more about what you’re doing. At this point the idea was for Nine Studios to be a weird sort of design ecosystem made up of the following:
    • Nine Designs – A design consultancy where our employees could get exposed to a wide range of different projects, gaining new experiences in different industries.
    • Nine – Our in house design team where we build consumer friendly smart home products.
    • Nine Store – Our store where we sell great home design with a focus on smart home technology. Selling both our own products and those from other manufacturers.
  • Sept 2012 – Jan 2013  – It quickly became apparent that this model was way too ambitious to start it all at once, so we dialled it down to just Nine Store. We developed this business idea, closely following the Lean Startup methodology, lots of consumer interviews and the building of Minimal Viable Products (MVP’s).
  • Jan 2013 – At this point having been heavily involved in business development and e-commerce, Charlie begun really missing the excitement of designing new and interesting products. The company pivoted, instead of selling consumer friendly smart home products, we were to build them. The problem we tackled was:
    • Digital photo frames are shit, they all look the same and are a ball ache to setup and keep new photos on them. There must be a better way of reliving the best moments in your life.
  • Jan 2013 – May 2013 – After performing extensive product, customer and business development we had developed Photine, a family of smarter, better digital photo frames. We also had a team of six people working on making this happen, and had a lot of fun building all sorts of prototypes.
  • Summer 2013 – We won the London Entrepreneurs Challenge, the UCL Bright Ideas Award and got shortlisted for the Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas award and the NACUE Varsity Pitch Competition. We got a small amount of seed funding and started building towards a crowdfunding campaign to validate the market and raise the money we needed for manufacture.
  • Nov 2013 – We had put together a great looking crowdfunding campaign and launched on Indiegogo. Unfortunately we failed spectacularly. However we learnt so much from the experience and I’m sure we’ll fuck up in a different way next time we crowdfund.
  • Dec 2013 – Feb 2015 – Nine Studios went through a hiatus, where we didn’t know what to do anymore, so we all went our separate ways for a while.
  • Feb 2015 – With Charlie’s interest in futurology and mapping trends he built an online timeline tool called Nineline, as a Nine Studios venture, aimed at being a small tool for mapping trends, rather than a main focus for the company.
  • March 2015 – Nine Studios starts a reboot, focussing on building products and tools that make people happier. Our first such product, Remember When, a micro journaling platform aiming to help you record and relive the best moments in your life.
  • 2050 – …Great success, we’ve made the world a happier place and we’re working from our own private island, sipping cocktails and coming up with ridiculous ideas we can now afford to implement.

Shawn Achor talks about happiness at work but his ideas travel much further than just for work. Developing a positive mindset accounts for 90% of our happiness. The 5 key ways to do this:

  • Everyday write down three new things you’re grateful for.
  • Keep a journal of your positive experiences.
  • Do regular exercise.
  • Meditate.
  • Perform random acts of kindness.

His ideas have greatly shaped the direction I am taking with my startup Nine Studios. We have been building a micro journaling platform to help improve people’s happiness. Check it out at


I have now completed version 0.0.1 of Remember When, the micro journaling platform that makes it easier to record and relive the best moments in your life. This first version is more of a way for me to test various ways of writing short journal entries, but anyone can sign up and use the basic features. Expect bugs, infinite loops and poor design, if you’re not into that kind of thing then keep your eyes peeled for when version 1.0.0 comes out. That will be the major public release.

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Hello fair gentles, I have a brand spanking new website. It has sexy images of me and my work on it. I created it using WordPress and my own custom theme, putting those PHP skills to good use. I have also used the Bootstrap framework as a way of cheating and speeding up the time it took me to build this, which is always handy.

I have also been using LESS for this site. LESS is a great way of writing and maintaining CSS, you can use variables and functions so it is super useful. If you notice any bugs or issues with this site then please let me know.

I tried to keep the site simple, with the only sections being “Projects” and “Thoughts”. Projects will contain all the weird and wonderful things I get up to, from designs and business ventures to music and art. Thoughts is my space for splurging out the things I think that never make much sense.

Anyhoo, have a look around and if you like what you see subscribe to my newsletter!

p.s. I have also included a small tip of the hat to the late Terry Pratchett in the code of this site, a most inspirational and fantastical person.


After reading a very good article summarising the near term potential of artificial intelligence (AI), I’ve come to the conclusion that by 2050 we will either go extinct or conquer death. A rather exciting future to live in, I may say.

When a super intelligent AI is created, that can improve itself at a rate far greater than ourselves, problems like ageing, unhappiness, hunger and more will be easily solvable. Whether the AI decides to do this for us or whether it thinks that universe will be more efficient without us in is another matter.

Either way it seems to me that the most important thing to do over the next 35 years or so is to either:

  • Be part of the development of AI, to make sure the outcome will be good for us


  • Do whatever you can to enjoy yourself over this period. Building for the future seems less important if it’s either going to be super amazing for everyone or non existent. It looks like living in the moment and enjoying these years is more important than ever.

I started learning Mandarin in January, thought it was about time I stretched my language muscles and delve into something I had no clue about. Turns out, it’s really bloody hard. Especially when learning using the Chinese characters and not the phonetic “pinyin”. However Rosetta Stone seems pretty good, so plough on I must!


I started an improvisation comedy course a few weeks ago. Level 1 improv at the spontaneity shop in London. A rather entertaining endeavour I would recommend to anyone. You basically get taught how to be ridiculous and hilarious as a group. It kinda doesn’t matter if you have an audience or not. As long as you’re with a great bunch of people it’s hilarious.

A lot of the content can be very useful in everyday life too. The session on status, looking at the aspects of people with high or low status, and how to play either character is incredible interesting. You watch the way people act in a different way.

Anyway, you should sign up and have a go. You’ll get a lot of laughs out of it and meet some great people. I’m definitely going to take this further than this course, I’ll keep you updated.


Among some of the strange projects I’m working on, I’m also attempting to build my own fantasy universe and write stories within it. It’s called Cornucopia after “the horn of plenty” as anything goes in this world and horn of plenty is an entertaining phrase.

In Cornucopia 99% of everything is ground. It is essentially a universe that is underground, with no concept of sky or above ground. Think of space and replace that with rock. Sure this means I have to come up with some funky physics to explain how this can work but it’s an exciting challenge.

With everything being underground it is much harder for people and cultures to explore. Resulting in very different cultures potentially living side by side until someone builds a tunnel that intercepts them both. This will let me be able to continuously introduce new cultures and new dynamics. Hopefully creating rather intriguing stories.


I have begun a new way of blogging. Seeing as normal blog posts take too long to write and I have many things I would like to talk about, I have decided to do microblogging. In a similar style to Facebook updates or the way people blog using tumblr. However I’d still like to mix in a full length blog post every now and then so keep your eyes out for that.

I might also integrate my Twitter feed into this as well as I can then pull in some of the interesting links I tweet out.

Keep you eyes peeled because there should be a lot more posts coming your way, otherwise I’ve got lazy again :s


So my latest thoughts are around pursuing an idea that aims to bring long distance couples closer together.  Stemming from my passion in connected products and my three-years experience being in a long distance relationship the idea is a pair of wi-fi connected speakers that can call each other and allow you to talk through them. Here’s the main use case I can see:

You just got into bed after a long day at work, the lights are off and during this quiet isolation you want to talk with your partner before you fall to sleep. You tap the speaker next to your bed and, miles and miles away, it starts calling your partners speaker. Your partner is likewise in bed and notices the speaker ringing, they touch their own speaker and it answers the call. You now talk with each other about the day, lying comfortably in bed, no phone to your ear or computer on your lap. As the conversation goes on you get more tired, the conversation slows and you begin to drift to sleep to the passive noises of your partner doing the same.

Read more…


After a tantalizing conversation with an entrepreneur and good friend of mine we stumbled across the idea of creating an Entrepreneur Tycoon video game. Simply put you would simulate the decisions that happen when forming a startup, testing it’s potential, raising money, handling competitors etc. the whole bundle. Similar in concept to Game Dev Tycoon.

However we came up with some interests ideas unique to an entrepreneurial version:

– The game could finish when a startup exit strategy is completed e.g. Successful IPO, buy out etc.
– you could get real world startups, accelerators, VC’s or other organizations to sponsor the game by being featured in it and having their real world services publicized.
– The game could promote real life entrepreneurship. Having a blog on entrepreneurship theories, selling books, recommending other material etc.
– We could organize real world networking events related to the game.
– There could be cooperation in game between users e.g. Forming in game startups together with decision voting rights dictated by the terms of the share agreement.
– if we got enough sponsorship is there a way the virtual startups can actually make money by being better than the others? Maybe have prize money for the biggest exit that month.


The Xbox One may be the beginning for Microsoft’s Home 2.0 Internet of Things Platform.

Having read Mark Wilson’s article on this, I began thinking about the challenges many of the Internet of Things platform startups will have to face. Especially when the big boys start their focus on this area.

With successful Kickstarter campaigns by platforms like Smart Things we’ve seen the popularity of such services. With all the resources and experiences that companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft have what can startups do to make it as they build Internet of Things/smart home operating systems? From what I can see so far, speed seems quite essential. These companies are yet to release anything in this area and getting first to market with a whole host of products having been designed by other startups and companies could gain the momentum needed to rise above the expected offering from these giants.

Read more…

Charlie Jackson Dissertation 001

link to PDF

So, this is the dissertation I wrote for my undergraduate degree doing Product Design and Manufacture at the University of Nottingham. It’s titled;

How the potential changes in technology and the resultant impact on society will affect the design of home products in the next 8 years.

It’s a relatively short report 3000-4000 words, but I had a great time writing it and I think it contains some interesting theories about how our homes may change soon.

Read more…


Pretty much all the talk around smart homes is on control, security, home environment and monitoring. Is this really what consumers are interested in? Does the idea of controlling your air temperature with your phone excite you? Does the setting up of home security cameras give you a huge hard on? Maybe… I’m not here to judge…much.

I love the idea of the smart home being a place primarily for improved home entertainment. Improving the things we care about and have an emotional connection to. Our music, photos, films, games. Connecting with our friends and families and having a more immersive experience in the things we enjoy.

Read more…

And Here We Go

My startup just launched Photine on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo today! Seeking to raise a daunting £200,000 in pre-orders but we are extremely excited about this. Check out our project and look at some of our awesome offers, a funky Photine t-shirt, Nine Studios beer glass and of course… 3 different glorious digital photo frames up for grabs.

Photine is a family of smarter, better, connected digital photo frames. A better way to relive those better moments in life and feel more connected to your friends and family.

Yet another time to apply for funding. The Nacue Varsity Pitch Competition awards up to £10,000 to lucky winners. Here’s our sexy video pitch for it. One of the most useful videos of our product, Photine, so far. Photine is a new type of digital photo frame. A better way for you to relive the best moments in life and feel more connected to your friends and family.

It’s a busy time for pitching and raising money for events. My latest entry is for the Shell LIVEwire Grand Idea Award. A chance to win £1000 to put towards our Kickstarter campaign in November. We have successfully been shortlisted and we now need to get the public vote to win the award. Please visit: to vote for us.

Had to post this up. Had far too much fun recording and writing it. Sorry for sounding up my own arse. It’s what they were asking for in the questions. This was my application for Britain’s Top Real Role Model. I think it has a bit of character to it ;)

Demonstrate your business and entrepreneurial skills

My first exploration into entrepreneurship involved persuading my Dad’s work friends to pay me if I could persuade the grumpy old lady to go on the trampoline and do a seat drop. Luckily the charm of a child shone through and I got around £100 for gilt tripping that old crone to bounce off her rear end.

Seeing this as my first investment I went to secondary school and used to buy those packs of Smarties cookies (5 for a pound, tasted glorious by the way) and selling them to unknowing school children for a pound a pop. Until the school didn’t find this too honourable and banned doing such things.

Around 17 I started tennis coaching in my spare time and decided to invest around £1000 in getting a stringing machine and publicising myself as a cheaper option for getting your racket strung. That went to great success and covered the costs in the first year.

In my second year of university (2010) I started my company, had no idea what I was doing and when I finished did an MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship at UCL. The company is now doing extremely well, shown on next question.

Read more…

Does dressing as a chicken whilst giving a pitch help your chances? Well I gave it a go at the Tech Hub run event – Don’t Pitch, Inspire

Never wanting to miss a chance to win a bit of money to help finance our Kickstarter campaign for Photine, we found this interesting event – Don’t Pitch, Inspire run by Tech Hub.

The event was giving away £1000 and a Lenovo laptop and was run under the idea of:

We don’t want to hear about your P&L, we just want to be inspired by you, your startup, and what you would do with the 1k…

This is a pitch with a difference, it’s about working out how to get your voice heard above the noise, it’s about being creative, what can you bring on stage? WHO could you bring on stage? What could you do to stand out? Can you bring a choir to sing your pitch? Could you act out the problem your startup is solving?

So what’s the obvious thing to do? Dress up as a chicken and explain the importance of memories, reliving moments and the best experiences of our lives.

Didn’t quite win the money but got a lot of attention and a mention on their blog. Looks like the chicken is a winner. See the write up at Tech Hub here.


I was pitching Photine – a new type of digital photo frame. A better way for you to relive the best moments in your life and feel more connected to your friends and family. See more at our company website:

Tech Hub

TechHub is a unique environment where technology startups can start up faster. We nurture an international network of like-minded and focused tech entrepreneurs, providing places where they can work, meet, collaborate, network, learn and have fun. By getting the right people together in a physical space, good things happen.


It’s an exciting time boys and girls. Just launched a new site for my digital photo frame project Photine.

Designed for my startup Nine Studios, Photine looks at how the digital photo frame has not changed much since they first came out. Sure we have some that connect to the internet now, streaming photos from Facebook, Instagram etc. But the majority look like little computer screens wrapped in a black case with wires running down the walls or put on the side so they can hide those nasty power leads. Our homes deserve better. Our photos and memories deserve to be shown better.

Photine is a new digital photo frame. It initially stands out as the first multiple screen digital photo frame and connects to your wifi to make it simpler to get the latest photos you care about. Wires? Not anymore. As Photine uses colour e-ink technology you can have it on your wall at home, when it runs out of battery it will still be able to show the last images indefinitely. To charge it up simply take off one screen, place it on a charging dock, wait for it to get full, place it back and it redistributes power to the whole assembly.

Lets face it, digital photo frames suck. Our photos are important to us, they’re our memories, reminders of our experiences and who we are.

Displaying them brings us great pleasure and nostalgia. With the increasing amount of photos we’re taking we need a great technological solution. Digital photo frames have so far been poor to the task.

I’m looking at the problems the digital photo frames we’re trying to solve and doing them better.

Hey boys and girls. Just got through the video from TEDxUCL where I gave a talk on open hardware in context to designing future homes.

Open Hardware

Talk summary:

Our homes are changing. Connected products and advancements in technology are bringing in a new era of adaptive and smart products into our homes. The ramifications of these trends have an important impact on how we will want to design and innovate these new generation of products.

Software has been excellent at letting us personalise devices, but when these current and future trends start really transforming the home will we want the same level of personalisation in our hardware products?

I believe that the UCL community of creatives, makers and thought leaders could benefit from seeing a new way of thinking when it comes to designing for the home.

Charlie Jackson Overview:

Charlie is an engineering graduate in product design and manufacture. He has written a paper on the future of home design and has been exploring his own design startup for the last 3 years. Since being at UCL, studying an MSc in Technology Entrepreneurship, he has become more involved in the internet of things scene in London. Charlie has previously designed a range of wifi colour changing lights and is currently redesigning the digital photo frame for his company Nine Studios Ltd.

Check out my youtube channel for me bits and bobs on design, enterprise and the internet of things.