Meet the team
Simon Nixon, Founder
I have always believed in the power and the potential of the internet. I founded the price comparison websites Moneysupermarket and Travelsupermarket and built them up to be the leaders in their field. They were floated on the stock market in 2007 for £850 million – still the largest internet flotation in Europe. I now want to focus my energies on achieving a similar level of success for Simonseeks.
I am the type of person who loves to travel but finds researching the perfect trip laborious. There didn't seem to be a site which told me what I wanted to know. If I fancied a romantic weekend in Europe, where could I get inspiration? When I have decided on my destination where could I find out about the best places to stay and get a real feel for what they are like? I also think that food is a really important part of travel - and it is very hard to find reliable recommendations for the best places to eat out. So I decided to try to create a site where travel enthusiasts, independent travel journalists and even celebrities could share their tips and advice, and write about their favourite places. In short, I’ve built the site for me – but I hope that many other people will also find it useful. I am ambitious for it too - I want to build it into the most successful quality travel guide website in the world.
Simon Dawson, Technical Director
I did a lot of travelling early in my career, not necessarily by choice or to places I would necessarily have choosen, as part of my job with Big Blue. This opened my eyes to the fact that most places, given enough time, will reveal their own unique charm. This could apply to something very local or somewhere further afield, but as the majority of people only have limited time (whether it be on a well earned short break, holiday or a busines trip) finding out about these little gems of interest can be time consuming.
I now find myself working at Simonseeks which gives me the opportunity to work with a great team, which embraces innovation and is always willing to try something different. This in turn has created a site where people can fast-track their knowledge on a particular destination, or get inspired by people with similar interests and experiences - and as they say, this is only the start!
Paul Dickinson, Technical Director
Travel. Food. Drink. Despite the fact I can’t make them into an amusing acronym, these are my three favourite words. Whether it’s saying a little prayer and drinking homemade snake wine (complete with bits!) in the Mekong Delta, eating thick French onion soup al fresco in the Alps or munching on a perfect Bakewell tart during a gale in the Peak District, I’ve found most situations can be enhanced with the right comestibles! This is a general rule of thumb that occasionally doesn’t hold true; the fish heads in Sri Lanka being a case in point...
Whilst my years of being a ninja techie have been good to me, they haven’t quite allowed me to retire and live in Havana (yet). Finding myself with the opportunity to work at Simonseeks.com is something of a bonus: I get to think about travel all day, help build and shape a new travel community that has something for everyone, and plan my next trip whilst pretending to work.
Enough from me - go and have a look round the site, read a few guides and maybe learn about somewhere you’ve never heard of before but will be going to soon!
Rick Madden, Director
Travelling is awesome. Whether it’s a day out in the UK, a weekend away on the piste, chilling, partying, watching sport, playing sport, shopping, trekking… even a boring business meeting… It’s all an adventure. Different places, people, sights, foods, cultures. It can be fun, fresh, intimidating and sometimes a bit dicey. And that’s why we love it. We love doing it, reading about it, dreaming about it, telling people about it.
Being involved in a travel site that can help people share all of these experiences is a great motivator. When I get to travel myself, I try to visit places I have never been to before. Of course that means I spend a lot of time trawling through the internet looking for inspiration, and even when I have an idea of where to go I then have the arduous task of working out how to make the most of my time there.
So when I think about going somewhere now, I look to Simonseeks. My own test of how well we're doing!