Alice Taylor was trawling the aisles of a toy fair in London's Olympia last year when the seed for Makieworld was sown. "I was struck by the total lack of innovation and creativity," she says. So she began devising an "entertainment playspace for young people" that will invite users to download and print 3D dolls and accessories. Taylor wants to build on the success of digital favourites Stardoll, Moshi Monsters and Habbo, which all offer safe fantasy characters and environments for children to explore online.The tech startup stars
Taylor has the perfect background to lead a business reinventing dolls for the digital age. After four years at software company Stor, she joined the BBC as a producer in 2002, and five years later became commissioner for education at Channel 4. Mother of a three-year-old girl, she is well versed in the tyranny of pink girls' toys, and adamant that Makieworld will be equally for boys. "Action figures," she says, "are just dolls with more jointing."
Taylor is a loss to Channel 4, where her imaginative digital commissions helped to reinvent the station's educational offering. She admits that she won't miss the pressures of the job: "Being a commissioner meant having to say no 15 times before breakfast."
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.