Guy Livingstone of Tough Mudder, the global mud run events business, gives us an insight into life online.

Guy Livingstone is the co-founder and a board director of Tough Mudder Inc., the global events business that markets and delivers over fifty events worldwide. testing all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie. Founded in New York in 2009 with the original ten - twelve mile distance Tough Mudder events, the company has hosted over two million participants over the course of the last six years, and has held events in the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Germany, New Zealand and Mexico. In 2016, the company expanded its event portfolio to include half distance events (five miles), and recently announced a partnership with IMG to expand into China, Japan, South Korea and the UAE.

Guy currently lives in Switzerland with his wife and new born baby, is an active angel investor and is studying for an Executive MBA at London Business School and Columbia Business School.

My favourite website... Serious Eats – Required reading for anyone interested in food and home cooking.

My favourite app... Living abroad, and being regularly on the move, I rely quite heavily on travel based apps for recommendations and deals. The ones I most frequently use are the following: TripAdvisor, Google Translate and Kayak.

My favourite blog... Rocket & Squash – Great food blog summarising the food columns in all the newspapers, reviewing a variety of London restaurants. Fantastic all round food resource.

My internet hero... Jeff Bezos – In many ways an anti-hero for the way that Amazon is destroying the high street, but few of us today don’t rely on Amazon, and Amazon Prime has revolutionised shopping for last minute items and deals. Nothing can beat it for convenience.

My most recent buy online... Chino cycling shorts from Huez - A new cycling performance fashion brand start-up based in London. Technical but stylish gear with excellent customer service.

Book I’ve recently downloaded... In Siberia by Colin Thubron - I read this while traveling the Trans-Siberian Railway to Vladivostok in Summer 2015. Evocative and thought provoking.

My favourite Tweeter... I was an early adopter of Twitter in 2007, but haven’t sent more than a handful of tweets. A useful service for many, but not something that I personally use.

My favourite Instagrammer... The Fat Jewish – For mindless but amusing posts.

Social media allowed me to... Grow and scale awareness of Tough Mudder within our target demographics. Our strategy was based on the assumption that if you can create a sufficiently ‘sticky’ (muddy) experience that participants want to share or talk about it, then our participants would be happy to post photos online of their Tough Mudder event weekend, and thereby alert their friends and families to our existence.

We focused on Facebook, since the newsfeed feature enabled us to exploit how our participants shared photos to grow a digital community of like-minded individuals interested in our events and the associated lifestyle that it represents.

My stand out online memory... In May 2010, we managed to secure a full page Tough Mudder feature in the NY Times the day before our first event in Pennsylvania in May 2010 - website hits spiked and interest in the events and the business grew exponentially.

Most worthwhile newsletter subscribed to... Tom's Bike Trip and Alastair Humphreys – Both writers are adventurers who encourage and challenge readers to get outside and enjoy the universe around them. When sitting in the office all day, this is a great reminder that there is a whole world of different countries and diverse cultures out there to enjoy.

My pet hate about life online... Even with the best of intentions, it is hard to unplug, and I fear social interactions have unfortunately changed for the worse since the smartphone era.

iPhone or Android... iPhone. I’ve used both but the seamless integration of Apple with my laptop is what swings it in my favour – as well as FaceTime, a must for keeping in touch with family in different countries.

11 May 2016