The members of Outlandish want to unleash technology’s potential to make the world a fairer, better place. If you want to do that, we want to work with you.
Outlandish is made up of around 20 collaborators and co-owners who love humour, quality code, and apps that challenge the status quo.
We build digital applications and websites for companies, charities and universities that make their lives easier and help them to discover and communicate new insights from their data. We are a worker co-operative and invest all surpluses into projects that help achieve our goals.
We specialise in web applications and websites that make large amounts of data easy to manage through beautiful interfaces but we turn our hands to all sorts. We love ambitious and innovative projects and we’ve helped our clients manage their money, build social movements, publicise research and engage people with poetry.
Outlandish is a democratic organisation with open and fair membership, like all co-operatives. Open and fair membership means that if you share our goal and we can find work for you (or you can find it for us) then you can join Outlandish. You have to clock up 235 days work and have met various criteria but then you become an equal member and co-owner of the co-operative.
Unlike most tech startups, Outlandish is asset-locked, meaning that its owners can never benefit from selling it. We believe that this is the best way to create good employment for our members and stable services for our clients. We can’t say that we have completely figured it out, but we are getting better.
Our long-term aim is to build a network and support services that make it easier for people working in technology to have good work and make a good living while working for social change.
Outlandish is growing, with many opportunities for talented developers, designers, project managers and product owners to get involved. We work flexibly with both our freelancers and our members, either part-time or full-time.
If Outlandish sounds like a community you’d like to be a part of, get in touch. We’d love to meet you.
Harry founded Outlandish in 2010 with a simple ambition: to build useful web products that make people’s lives easier.
His vision took shape in the fiery cauldron of the BBC’s digital learning team, where he spent four years developing search and navigation systems and building prototypes for educational tools.
It was exciting and frustrating in equal measure; the work was forward-thinking but he knew there was a more agile and efficient way of making websites without the constraints of a large organisation. And so Outlandish was born.
In the early days he did a bit of everything but now he leaves the coding to others and focuses on strategic planning, building partnerships, and coming up with wild new ideas for products.
Before turning to the web, Harry started his career in TV programme development and research, which included a stretch living in Oxford while working on BBC religious and ethical debate show The Big Questions.
He has a degree in politics from the University of Leeds and remains intent on trying to make the world a slightly nicer place.
He does so by smuggling pro bono charity websites into our schedule, inviting a steady stream of interns and budding professionals into the office for advice, training or simply a free desk, and filling a small corner of Turnpike Lane with delicious food at his famous dinner parties.
Unhinged, uninhibited and near psychotic, Harry enjoys violence and tends to prefer the aggressive way of solving problems, seeing the world as little more than a vessel for his “pinball-like stream of consciousness”.
Abi brought a wealth of experience in digital project management and social media strategy when she joined Outlandish in 2011.
She came from the BBC where her roles included project managing a host of e-learning applications, heading up a bespoke CMS build and being the BBC World Service’s social media manager.
Her seven years at the corporation sandwiched a 12 month interlude at a digital agency which worked in e-learning and wasn’t half as fun as Outlandish.
She has also worked extensively as a freelance social media trainer and all-round engagement expert, giving sage advice to News UK, Ordnance Survey and The Economist among others.
After starting as a runner at the BBC, Abi quickly realised her true calling was in telling others what to do, which stands here in good stead at Outlandish where she makes sure the projects are delivered on time, on budget, and do what they’re supposed to.
She is proud of Outlandish’s democratic business structure and believes it helps to maintain the close-knit vibe of her early days at the firm, when life was simple and the office was Harry’s kitchen table.
Outside of work, she used to enjoy playing guitar, penning film reviews and eating out, but now she has a toddler.
Rasmus is a highly skilled developer with the ability to crack any coding challenge he sets his mind to.
He joined Outlandish a few months into its life after being aggressively headhunted by founder Harry, an old school friend.
Harry first knew him as the smartest kid in class, before he went off to the University of Manchester to study maths and computer science and morphed into the cleverest grown-up down the pub.
After university he became a software developer at online supermarket Ocado, using languages such as Java, .Net and Oracle to build bespoke warehouse and stock management software, and helping to develop the company’s award-winning iPhone and Android apps.
Rasmus uses a broad range of web technologies at Outlandish and takes charge of most of our data-centric projects, when not troubleshooting everyone else’s work with laser-like precision.
The son of a researcher and a seamstress, in real life he likes to indulge his artistic side in a variety of media from origami to woodwork to pumpkin carving.
Matt got his break in digital at Disney’s popular online children’s game Club Penguin.
He was involved in policing that most lawless of web communities, booting out unruly youngsters and cracking down on a black-market in stolen accounts.
At Outlandish, he keeps our developers in check as technical coordinator, keeping up to date with their work and making sure non-techy types are clued in.
He is also lead developer for a number of projects including Outlandish’s WordPress framework Acadoowps, which exemplifies his passion for writing reusable code.
He works with a number of web languages and technologies and traces these skills to a background in philosophy, an area similarly steeped in logic.
As Outlandish’s resident eco warrior, Matt shames us all by avoiding planes – he hasn’t flown for more than 15 years – and neither does he drive, instead whizzing around on his collection of fold-up bikes.
When not saving the planet or pondering the great imponderables, he likes tinkering with tiny Raspberry Pi computers and motion sensors, and one day hopes to make his home fully automated.
Sam had been making websites for years as a schoolboy in Swansea before he landed in London to study computer science at Goldsmiths.
The Outlanders quickly spotted his prodigious talent and signed him up before the ink was dry on his degree, which finished in summer 2014.
His considerable skills have been put to good use on some of Outlandish’s most ambitious projects, including Audience Finder and the BBC prototypes Scrubbable and Suggestr.
Sam says he likes working with computers because they do what they’re supposed to, which is testament to his right-first-time coding prowess.
Lead designer and creative powerhouse Matt leaves his fingerprints on everything we do at Outlandish.
He works closely with clients and coders to develop the look and feel of our products, making sure they are both beautiful and user-friendly.
Matt joined Outlandish from the design and branding agency UXB London where he headed up their digital design team.
Ellie is one of the most organised people we know. At Outlandish she keeps things ticking along by managing digital projects, developing big data tools and shaping our strategy.
She’s worked with technology since leaving university when she bagged a job at Accenture and advised FTSE100 companies on how to improve their digital performance. She then spent time at the LSE working as an academic researcher, before moving to NPC – a leading think-tank and consultancy for the charity sector. There Ellie facilitated strategy reviews and helped charities implement systems to capture evidence of their impact. Her clients include the MS Society, the British Heart Foundation, Deutsche Bank’s CSR programme.
She’s kept busy at Outlandish managing some of our most exciting projects including Audience Finder, a big data dashboard which helps arts organisations understand their audiences better, and the British Council’s Social Monitor, an open-source tool which crunches social media data. She draws on her experience from the private, public and charity sector to support Outlandish, and its clients, to develop clear strategy and push the boundaries of data analytics.
Joaquim is a developer who is passionate about using technology for social good. Largely language-agnostic, Joaquim has worked on several of Outlandish’s projects, including Audience Finder and the British Council Social Monitor.
Joaquim‘s ambition is to develop technology that facilitates self-governance at a community- or society-wide level, enabling the undertaking of large-scale projects without strict hierarchies.
Outside of tech, Joaquim enjoys maxin’ and relaxin’.