Real Business Christmas Countdown: The Best of 2014: 2 December

Like Marty McFly speeding along in the DeLorean, Real Business is travelling back in time – and we’re currently in January 2014 – to bring you the most read articles from across this year.

With day one came a medley of media including online retailers eyeing the high street; a look at the subscription business; the hottest 2013 startups, and the revelation that you should book a holiday if you fancy a promotion.

So if you’ve finishing swallowing that, it’s time for day two.

News: Yodel named “worst parcel delivery firm”

It was a bad start to the year for Yodel – the chosen delivery service of Amazon, Tesco Direct and Argos – as it was slammed with a “bad” rating by 58 per cent of its customers. In fact, at the time of the report, 3,000 people had signed a petition for Amazon to abandon ship and find a new courier. Meanwhile, the service taking most of the praise was DPD, which saw 69 per cent vote for the company as “good”.

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Interviews: “My motto is get up, crack on”

There are many types of business mottos – McDonald’s has: “I’m loving it”; Tesco says: “Every little helps”, and Ashley Madison’s is: “Life is short. Have an affair.” On the other hand, individuals have been known to generate famous phrases too, and for Green Man Gaming CEO and founder, Paul Sulyok, his motto is “get up, crack on.” Real Business spoke to the entrepreneur about his social commerce platform for video gamers and discovered the company’s ambition to reach £100m net revenue in the next three years, even though Sulyok once endured the “crushing experience” of redundancy. Ironically, it was that which allowed him to build his business.

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Opinion: FinTech: The future of finance

An opinion piece from Liquid Labs founder Michael Backes detailed the importance of financial technology and why the trend will be the way forward – notably $1 billion was raised through fintech-based VC rounds in 2013. Services such as online payment platform Stripe and mobile card transactions with SumUp were hailed as impressive examples of startups shaking up the future of the finance industry.

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Surreal Business: 10 things we only know because the paper records were protected

In a world where everyone is discussing big data and digital, this article of the bizarre variety explores some of the more valuable things we know thanks to the preservation of print materials. This includes details on the composition of the moon, a 30-year newspaper study of serial killer mentalities, and the realisation that flu jabs for children under two are ineffective.

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