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The Hell-o-cheese-copter

This is a blog about innovation in the water industry. This blog can relate to any industry in the world but I care about water. A multi-million pound industry, a public service, a regulated industry. So I start it with a quote from a book by Andrea Beaty; “Strapped into the cockpit, she flipped on the switch. The hell-o-cheese-copter sputtered and twitched. It floated a moment and whirled round and round, then froze for a heartbeat and crashed to the ground” That’s from ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’ a book I’ve read that a lot since becoming a Dad. The Hell-o-cheese-copter was Rosie’s first attempt at a flying machine, which failed due to material integrity (… it was made of cheese) In September 2017, I met Dillan Hackett. A man with an idea. Having spent years working in large RPA consultancies, he wanted to bring the same approach, technologies to the  mid markets. Those companies have a much greater challenge in building the business case for automation: they have smaller teams, smaller transactional volumes and often multi-task across a number of unrelated activities. So how do you still bring the opportunity at a standard and service level that the larger companies enjoy?. But this was an idea, not a product, not a finished idea. It was kind of there but needed to be so much further along before we could look to do anything with it. I liked it, I liked it a lot and I see there was an opportunity for something… probably. I could have been wrong, it’s happened before. There were a lot of ups and downs before this was ready for us. We’ve probably all been in a similar position before, ‘it’s great, not finished, so come back when you have done x, y, and z’. So how do we help Dillan achieve his dream for us? I put an idea to our CEO, Mel Karam, “what if we let him use our data, use our people, use our knowledge to create his business”? And so our Workshop was born. A place where small start-up business can grow, they can take advantage of our expertise, our data, our network to try out their ideas, to fail and to grow their own cheese-copters in a supportive environment.. “I love it, truly I do, your perfect first failure is a raging success now on to the next” Rosie Revere, Engineer At Bristol Water we know innovation is key to continually improving our services. We also know we cannot do it on our own, we need those new ideas coming through and we need to try stuff out or will always be playing catch up. For us, at Bristol Water, innovation isn’t done in a lab or done by a certain team; it’s a mind-set throughout the business and throughout the community. Our workshop is a business incubator, a place where we help small businesses grow by offering support. To find out more and find out how you can get involved please go to, If you are interested in how Dillan is getting on here at Bristol Water you can check out his blog over at Hackett Consulting ltd.