Shed Simove is a comedian, entrepreneur, author, and corporate speaker. He is an expert in ideas and can help you make your ideas happen. Shed believes that “when an idea pops into your head, it can send you on amazing adventures – if you follow the idea through…”.
‘I spend so much of my time out and about that my desk is pretty much contained in this suitcase, which accompanies me wherever I happen to be working, like a faithful plastic dog! You’ll find many items in here that have played a part in the story of my life to date.
It all started when I was twenty-one and spent two years working in Disney World, Florida as a 16th century gentleman. This inspired me to work in the ‘entertainment’ field. I returned home and got the attention of the boss at Planet 24 by sending him a pizza with a message on the underside of the box which read: ‘Wanted to give you a pizza my mind…’. It was the cheesiest pizza he’d ever received, but it did the trick. I worked as a graduate trainee in various roles on The Word and The Big Breakfast. Later on, I was made commissioning editor of Big Brother, (which included working on Celebrity Big Brother 5 during the internationally-reported racism controversy).
Since then, I’ve concentrated on developing ideas and making them happen, in many different areas. I’m now an author/entrepreneur/speaker/comedian/contrarian. I try my hand at anything that fires me, by having a clear vision and then finding experts to help me.
The big red polystyrene ‘SHED’ sign in the photo was made for my upcoming Kickstarter campaign. I’m hoping to launch a brand new product in time for Christmas and if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, I’ll let you know as soon as that launches.
Clockwise from the sign, you’ll see my book ‘What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex’. The pages inside are completely blank and I had no idea that this was going to become a success. Together with the Spanish, Croatian and Dutch copies, it’s sold over 80,000 copies so far.
I’ve also written two books the more ‘traditional’ way – i.e. with words. ‘Ideas Man’and ‘Success Or Your Money Back’ are the result of my successes and failures – and contain concrete techniques for getting anything you desire. Although both books get great reviews on Amazon, they’ve not sold nearly as many as my blank books, which is rather depressing and amusing at the same time.
Continuing clockwise round the image, just past the ‘Sergeant Pepper Mill’ there’s a copy of the front page of The Sun newspaper. Ages ago, I filmed a documentary about the potential of young people, by attending a school for nine weeks (aged 30) posing as a 16 year old. The school and the pupils knew we were filming a documentary about the ‘new boy’, but not my true age. As well as filming my experience of being sixteen ‘again’, we focused on a number of inspirational, funny and moving young people in the school about their hopes and dreams for life. When we revealed the truth to the school after nine weeks, I didn’t manage to communicate my motives for making the documentary and awfully, ended up hurting a lot of very good people. The events caused a scandal which hit the headlines and the programme has not yet aired. It taught me a big lesson about honesty in my personal and professional life. I still have hope that one day this film will be made, as it’s one of the most exciting and important projects I’ve created.
Back to the image above, at the bottom you’ll see two of my best selling products, the ‘You’re Old’ and ‘Don’t Ask’ birthday cake candles and the ‘Control A Man’ and ‘Control A Woman’ novelty remote controls. The ‘Control A Woman’ remote got me into trouble in Australia.
What’s the copy of Racing Post for? Well, I use triggers to inspire me and it’s a technique that I share with companies when they hire me to present my techniques for coming up with amazing ideas. Horses’ names are a brilliant way of sending your mind down new alleys of discovery. Try it as a way of getting your brain creatively ticking…
Next up is a ‘cease and desist’ letter that Random House’s solicitors sent me when I published my ‘Fifty Shades Of Gray’ book with 50 pages of…different shades of grey. (It’s up in the top left of the picture). They didn’t much like that, and now I’ve got a warehouse full of unsold books. But the Dutch version – now that’s sold really well!
The image above also shows some letters I’ve received from the Trademark office. They wouldn’t allow me to trademark a name for a brand of rude sweets I created, so I fought them to allow it, and lost. I then filed another trademark for the phrase ‘The Trademark Office Has No Sense Of Humour ™’. In the end, they had to allow me that one.
A lot of people ask me about how to protect ideas. I always say that rather than spending huge amounts on trademarking or patenting, you should use your money for making a really great prototype and for any PR you can afford. I talk about this area in an interview on Newsnight. Here it is.
The Yellow Pages and the Encyclopaedia in the photo are another way to generate great ideas. Open each one at a random page and try to force the two unconnected concepts together. See how it helps you come up with a new marketing strategy, a new product or service for your business – or even a way to make a loved one’s day.
The suitcase is full of products that I’ve developed over the last few years and which show you how easy it is to take a simple concept and turn it into a product like the ‘Martin Loofah King’, the ‘You’re Fired Flag Gun’ or my ‘Credit Crunch Cereal’. There are various other products that are a bit on the rude side, and you can see them for yourself on my site, should you so wish! We all get ideas that pop out of nowhere. Many of us do nothing with them, but today – with the internet at our mouse-clicking-fingertips, it’s so easy to find experts who can help you get them off the ground.
We are so empowered today. You’re only a couple of clicks away from finding an expert designer to help you, using sites like Elance or People Per Hour, or a factory to produce your ideas using a site like Alibaba.com.
On the right hand side of the suitcase, there’s the rubber stamp that I use at book signings. I think it’s always better to exceed people’s expectations – so as well as a signature if anyone asks me for one, I give them a print of my exclusive stamp.
Below the rubber stamp is another letter. That one was from my bank who got very shirty with me when I changed my name to ‘GOD’, just to see if I could. The bank insisted that I needed two names on my account, so I said ‘Put me down as ‘Almighty God’ then…’, thinking that this would mean I’d be ‘Mr A. God’ on my credit card. They weren’t amused at all and threatened to close all my accounts. The press loved the story.
So there you are. My life in a suitcase. I really hope it helps you remember that it’s more possible then ever to make your ideas happen. And that getting into trouble and having hiccups along the way are simply signs that you’re trying something new…
You can find Shed easily on the interwebs: