1 July 2022
When did you decide you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
My first taste of the startup world was at a company called DMS, which AOL eventually purchased. I then learned the excitement of creating something that was the first of its kind. In 2012, I started a consulting business focused on building custom research communities. The company still exists today as a full-service market research firm.
You have been the CEO of OnePulse for nearly four years. What changes have you made since you arrived?
A lot has happened in the past four years! The primary changes were to recommit ourselves to being a SaaS business and taking OnePulse global. We also, in 2019, implemented a unique pricing plan that made the company much less transactional than our competitors.
Where would you like OnePulse to be in five years?
The defacto location to capture immediate insights from consumers all over the world. We are already there, so it is about continuing to scale the business and improving our offering.
What are the significant differences in the start-up Tech scene in the UK and USA?
Valuations. The UK tends to prioritise short-term games and the importance of profitability quicker.
What qualities should a CEO have in 2022 to be successful?
The ability to adapt to complex challenges without changing your primary focus. We are on the tail-end of the pandemic (hopefully) but now storming into an unknown economy. In both cases, we needed to adjust our strategy, but we still knew what we wanted to be.
What has been the most challenging and enjoyable part of your career to date?
Hiring talented people has probably been the biggest challenge. But when you get it right, it is the most enjoyable part of my job. I wake up every morning and work with some of the brightest and most dedicated people I have ever worked with.
What are some of the biggest lessons you have learned which have impacted the way you work?
Communication is key. You cannot assume that people can read your mind, so you must take the proper time to ensure that you carefully communicate while also ensuring everyone in the company has a voice.
Which entrepreneurs do you respect and why?
I am a big fan of Mark Cuban. He has already done so much and has now started Cost Plus Drug Company, disrupting the bloated US pharmaceutical industry. I also enjoy Ryan Smith, the founder of Qualtrics, and how they bootstrapped the company before raising funding, selling to SAP, and ultimately taking the company public. It is probably not a coincidence that they both also own NBA basketball teams!