Looking back

The most Memo-rable stories 2015-18

By Kitty Knowles 12 February 2018

A collection of The Memo’s greatest hits.

Given our big news, we thought it only fitting to crack-open The Memo’s archives and pull out some of our favourite stories and themes.

From some 3,500 articles over three years, there’s a wealth of inspiration to choose from.

Read more: The Memo has joined Forbes 

Here are our most Memo-rable stories 2015-18:

The super-commuter. Cycling is in the midst of a revolution, which we’ve loved following. From testing out e-bikes to talking with the entrepreneurs bringing shared cycle clubs to Britain and across Europe. We uncovered how Transport for London’s data secrets are being destroyed and how it won’t be long until we ride ‘naked’ on a Hyperloop, CEO Dirk Ahlborn told us.

Money, money, money. Today, the most important part of your bank is its app. That’s why in 2015 we launched the first Great British Mobile Banking Review, which saw Natwest & RBS take top billing as the best apps. In 2016 Barclays stole the show with innovations like ‘Direct Call’, and held on to the title in 2017 despite Metro Bank’s attempts to thwart it. Then again, there’s always the outlier to think about – and we were all wowed by France’s security code-switching card.

Caught on camera. Throughout 2017 The Memo launched three pioneering video series. Smart Cities took a look beneath the concrete jungles of our cities and at the technologies that power them. While Future Finance and The Money Maker explored how the devices in our pockets are changing our relationship with money. Our cake-centric The Blockchain Explained remains among YouTube’s most-watched clips on cryptocurrencies.

The story of sex-tech. We first spoke to adult performer-come-entrepreneur Ela Darling in the early days of VR porn. Diving headfirst into ‘sextech’ we went on to meet virtual strippers, and leaders like MLNP’s Cindy Gallop and MysteryVibe’s Stephanie Alyss. If their businesses are anything to go by, the future’s going to be hotter than ever.

Our love/hate relationship with Apple. For the longest time, our editor Alex was an Apple fan, gleefully documenting Samsung’s slide into irrelevance throughout 2015. But it was in 2016 that his passion was replaced with a fierce anger that Apple’s hype had become overblown as he charted in Why I’m done with Apple and subsequently switched to Android smartphones and Windows laptops. Today we hear he’s converted back to Apple…

The secret to a healthy life. We’ve loved meeting the leaders keeping us healthy – whether that’s nurse Neomi Bennett OBE who invented a lifesaving sock, Michael Seres who’s given the 200-year-old colostomy bag a digital upgrade, or Dr Ali Parsa whose mobile GP service Babylon is saving the NHS millions. Most recently, Tania Boler told us why millions of women are playing smartphone games with their vaginas. Looking after your body will never be the same.

An Uber saga. Back at the start of 2015, Uber was still tech’s golden child, but The Memo was one of the first publications to reveal its bad behaviour. Exclusively publishing emails which revealed the company’s attempts to thwart its drivers from unionising, highlighting the growing anger of Uber drivers, and giving a voice to London’s black cabbies.

What’s up with Richard Branson? Richard Branson is one of the greatest British entrepreneurs, but behind every great man is often a secret, and The Memo has never been scared of casting a critical eye on Branson. Whether it’s his endless promises about space which never came to fruition, the strange ways he dealt with Virgin Atlantic’s failings, or his endless pleas for your money.

We all went back to school. In 2016 we were moved by a website that showed how hard it is to read with dyslexia. But the truth is, we’re all going to have to adapt to survive in our brave new digital world. Today, 3-year-olds are learning to code, kids are playing maths games for fun, and university students are studying in virtual reality. It’s all change in the world of education, where soon, there may be no teachers at all.

Going green. Receiving our very own letter from David Attenborough was inspiring, but our lean green future involves so much more than streaming Blue Planet on Netflix. One world-famous surfer told us how he’s turning plastic bottles into prefab homes. Provenance founder Jessi Baker is tracking your food on the blockchain, while fashion designer Diana Auria’s making swimsuits out of recycled fishing net. Your green future never looked so good.

Finding your work/life balance. We told you about coliving before WeWork took over the world. We took you to entrepreneurship hubs like Google’s Campus for Mums and Dads, and Berlin’s business accelerator run by Adidas heirs. But what people really wanted to learn about was how to find better work/life balance with mindfulness apps, Calm courses – even delicious fika treats in the office (we definitely recommend that last one).