Skip navigation
Skip navigation
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser.

Straight-talking industry veterans Maher and Simnett and guests disrupt tech strategy

London, September 6th - Ever wondered how tech company and former business basket-case Apple managed to become the world’s first trillion dollar company? Or how it came to dominate the smartphone market and then premium mobile audio? Or why Apple consumers pay three or four times as much for MacBooks, AirPods and iPhones as equivalent laptops, headphones or handsets?

The answer is Category Design, a board-led corporate strategy where tech leaders deliberately set out to define and dominate an industry sector to harvest the bulk of the value created in their Category. Despite spawning several US-based texts on the subject, few in Europe, Middle East or Africa understand Category Design or how it works.

Yet, whether driving organic growth, making smart acquisitions and partnerships, or a combination of all three, Category Design is the secret sauce for tech success.

Not born in the USA
Starting on 6th September 2023, in a brand-new regular and free-form podcast called `The Difference Engine`, no-nonsense co-hosts Jonathan Simnett, Paul Maher and guests will share their knowledge of how to disrupt tech strategy with Founders, Funders and the Category-curious.

Broadcast from Europe’s tech hub, London, the show takes no prisoners, for instance, questioning why the US has continued to create and lead in tech Categories, much as it did previously in consumer goods and industrial products and what can be learned from it. The hope is the advice offered will help others to accelerate in today’s tech market.

Creating difference is the fundamental aim of Category Design and the podcast’s name derives from the work of 19th century British polymath Charles Babbage, who invented the first mechanical computer, calling it The Difference Engine.

Decades of tech strategy experience in your ear
Acknowledged Category Design experts, Maher and Simnett have been advising, building, and exiting tech companies worldwide for decades. Their experience spans every tech Category from the emergence of the Personal Computer (PC) to today’s reinvention of neural networks as Large Language Model (LLM) Generative AI.

Never backward in coming forward, and seldom short of an opinion, the two tech strategy experts share their Category Design expertise and experience gained from working with tech companies in the US, Asia and right across EMEA. Recently, they have Categorised tech-based companies in areas as diverse as ecommerce, cyber security, commodities trading, tax governance and mobile app development.

Be different, not just better
Simnett emphasises: “Category leaders know how to make their tech companies win. They strive to be different, not merely better. They know how to gain the attention and retain the loyalty and endorsement of customers, which, in turn, attracts investment and M&A opportunities. This is particularly important in the current tech environment, where fund raising is highly challenging.”

Maher adds: “The current tech downturn has dismayed many, bankrupted others but is sowing the seeds for more tech innovation to come. Every new technology paradigm breeds new tech Categories. The Difference Engine sets out to show that with deliberate Category Design and world-class Category execution, not every future Category leader will emerge from Silicon Valley.”

An irreverent and different podcast style
In The Difference Engine, Simnett and Maher’s lively exchanges can be heard in segments including:

`The Boys React` where they analyse current developments in the world of tech from a Category perspective.

`Captain Hindsight` where they look at what can be learned from past tech Category Design success and failures.

`What’s on LinkedIn` takes a more in depth look at some of their recent postings on the state of the tech industry.

`Learn & Earn` highlights different areas of Category Design and how to make a difference to your tech business and Simnett and Maaher also look into their `Crystal Balls` to make Category-related predictions.

Where to get The Difference Engine
The Difference Engine is available for download on Apple, Spotify and available from wherever you get your podcasts.

Note to Editors
The Difference Engine - for Founders, Funders and the Category curious - is a podcast from tech Category Design specialist, Categorical. It is hosted by Paul Maher and Jonathan Simnett. When they are not working in Categorical creating new Categories, Paul leads Positive Marketing, a specialist tech sector communications agency he founded, whilst Jonathan, an agency founder, turnaround specialist and former tech policy academic, is busy as a tech sector M&A advisor.

About Category Design
Category Design is a strategic process of establishing, and convincing competitors and allies alike to support, your distinctive industry point-of-view and build the ecosystems that create entirely new tech segments in which brands can thrive. In the past, CRM (Customer Resource Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and ENI (Enterprise Network Infrastructure) emerged as distinctive tech Categories with equally clear Category-leading brands in Salesforce, SAP and Cisco.

Find out more at

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Positive Marketing in the following categories: Consumer Technology, Media & Marketing, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit