2016 – 2018


Chief Product Officer

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At Play we built a new culture platform from the ground up to change the way colleagues communicate and recognise each other. We grew it into a successful business rolling out to 50+ paying companies and with industry leading retention and engagement.


From the beginning of Play our plan was to grow the consultancy side of the business to be profitable but most importantly to help us understand the biggest problems facing businesses today. After the successful launches of Boost and Digital Fitness we were taken by how the biggest impact was actually cultural, creating communities in businesses that helped individuals succeed. We decided there was an opportunity to build a platform specifically designed to empower individuals and teams by improving company culture - Totem was born.

What we did

Selling without a product

While we really believed in Totem but we wanted to validate our ideas with customers from the offset. To this end we pitched the product to Hakkasan, hoping to get our first client without actually building anything. Fortunately, they were as passionate about Totem as we were and became our launch partner. This enabled us to get feedback through development, talk to our future users and have our initial rollout planned out.

Startup-ception 🔮

Totem is a essentially a startup within a startup, but with the benefit that Play can fund Totem in the early stages to help to grow into a profitable business in its own right. We used all the learning from running the consultancy: how to build scalable B2B products; ways of working; and what mattered to businesses and baked it all into Totem from the offset.

Test and learn

Totem was launched in Hakkasan in May 2016, marking our first independent launch as a company. From there we focused on continuing to build our the product adding new features and optimisations based on feedback from customers and usage data - releasing updates every sprint (2-weeks).


Totem is a B2B product designed to empower teams to do their best work. The core client is available on iOS and Android, and a web-based CMS (Content Management System) supports admin users.

The power of team culture

The Totem newsfeed allows everyone in their teams to share what’s happening at work but also in their lives. The private feed creates a safe space to share with teams, allowing team members to form powerful, genuine connections to their teammates and business.


Totem is a powerful tool for sharing the little acts of awesomeness happening everyday within businesses. Build a culture of authentic peer-to-peer recognition - drive positive behaviours and understand how embedded organisational values really are.

Empower colleagues with data

Put essential real-time data in teams’ pockets - and see them take ownership and optimise business metrics.

B2B with character

We believe work doesn’t have to be so boring. Totem is designed to not feel like work, with playful designs and fun mascots to change the dynamic.


Since 2016 Totem has grown massively, rolling out to huge companies like Vodafone and PwC - changing the way colleagues interact and recognise each other. I can’t wait to watch as Totem continues to grow and improve workplace culture 🙌

Key successes:

  • Rolled out to 50+ companies
  • 10,000s of paying users
  • After rollout avg 90% of staff use Totem
  • 80% of users use Totem daily
  • 4.7 average sessions/ day
  • 80% week 4 retention

Totem Birthday

Totem users celebrating 1 year with Totem - can you imagine anyone dressing up for Yammer?

Teams love Totem

Incase the picture above wasn't proof enough

Used by these awesome teams

Vodafone PricewaterhouseCoopers Bupa Novo Nordisk Rush Quality Scotland Hakkasan British Quality Foundation Leeds Building Society Edinburgh Napier University

More products I've worked on

Play Consulting Aloe Bud