Category: Business insider

A letter from Monster Mansion

serial killer

“It was certainly a mistake to describe a certain city in print as: ‘Britain’s largest open prison’. Complaints were made, the mayor denounced the magazine (FHM) and it got a little lively for about five days,” explains former features writer Simeon de la Torre. “But ultimately, it was a joke. No harm done. “I did,… Read more »

He punched me so hard, I was airborne

one punch

“I’ve NEVER been as exhausted as when I trained with the Team GB Badminton squad; within 50 minutes I was a heaving, quivering, sobbing wreck. Same goes for the day I spent with the Premier League referees,” says SIM7’s creative director and former journalist Simeon de la Torre. “Elite athletes can literally run rings around… Read more »

Encounters with spies


Interviewing a secret agent to get a story is every bit as complicated as it might seem – but not for the reasons you’d expect. “The thing about interviewing spies is that it’s almost impossible to tell if they are who they say they are,” says former journalist (and SIM7’s founder), Simeon de la Torre…. Read more »

“I stayed comfortable for too long”

If you have a successful business, it takes guts to start another, says Barbara Soltysinska, CEO of Indahash. Having built two booming businesses before her 30th birthday, Barbara was well aware of the huge personal sacrifices that come with launching a company. But, as one of Poland’s smartest entrepreneurs, she also knew an opportunity when… Read more »

“Exercise caution? No, you just need to make decisions…”

Ben Grech likes to make things happen, fast. Here, the man behind explains what confi dence can do for your career. The youngest CEO to grace these pages so far, 29-year-old Ben Grech is the co-founder of, the world’s leading online marketplace for student accommodation. The company was launched in 2013 (with backing… Read more »

“Money has never been my driver…”

Inspired by his own personal battles, Jan Willem Poot decided to sell his sporting holiday business to use physical activity to help troubled youngsters. Between the ages of 12 and 27, Jan Willem Poot struggled with a range of addiction problems and spent almost eight and a half years in and out of treatment programmes…. Read more »

“I’m not a beach club sort of person…”

With a background in banking, Beltrán Álvarez de Estrada makes an unlikely, but effective CEO of the hip Purobeach brand. He shares his know-how If you’ve been to the beach at Palma or Marbella, you may have been distracted from your bucket-and-spade work by the faint sounds of house music from a nearby luxury beach… Read more »

“I had to become smiley myself…”

Nicolas Loufrani is CEO of The Smiley Company, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t had to work hard for his happiness, in business and in life The smiley character is one of the world’s most recognisable images and so simple – a cheery yellow circle with eyes and a mouth – that it’s perhaps surprising… Read more »

“Making money is no longer the sole function of any company…”

Businesses should add to society, says Rafic Daud, MD of bespoke shoemaker Undandy The trouble with a good business idea is that it can take off at such a rate that your biggest challenge is not driving sales, but keeping up with demand. Take Undandy, for example. The men’s online footwear retailer lets customers design… Read more »

“Design is absolutely key…”

The Generator hostel model, where experience is everything – from the unique venues to the background music – is disrupting the hotel industry, as CEO Fredrik Korallus explains For a man who spends so much of his life travelling that he claims not to have a daily routine, it’s good to know he stops short… Read more »