Getting to know you: Andrew Yates

What do you currently do?
I am the CEO and co-founder of Artesian, a software company providing social intelligence for B2B sales. As traditional selling through ordinary methods becomes less and less effective, our B2B app allows sellers to target, connect and share with customers and prospects, through a single view of business intelligence, news and company information.

What is your inspiration in business?
I have always wanted to make a difference and create a software company that will make a meaningful dent in the universe. I enjoy guiding hyper-growth businesses working to create repeatable, robust and scalable processes to deliver lasting customer happiness and shareholder value.

My inspiration is seeing how technology tools can help companies to succeed. I have launched two businesses, and seen them flourish despite challenges including the collapse of the .com bubble and the global recession. If you are committed and you have a good idea, you can succeed.

Who do you admire?
I have had the benefit of a number of mentor figures during my career, and I have taken something from interacting with each one. The people who have inspired me have been Kevin Lomax from Misys, Peter Beard and Ron Lambanini at Cognos and Steve Garnett at salesforce.com. The growth of companies such as salesforce.com and Google is also inspirational.

Looking back would you have done things differently?
I would have raised institutional money to grow and develop my first company, which was called ‘Then’. The lack of access to capital restricted our ability to express ourselves, to generate revenue and ultimately to reach our full potential. If we’d had the kind of support I have now at Artesian who knows how much more successful it would have been. I also wouldn’t have started a brand new business in the middle of a recession. I did it twice, in 2001and 2007, and I wouldn’t do that again.

What defines your way of doing business?
It starts with a good idea, but then it’s about finding the right people to help you bring it to fruition. You have to lead by example and build a team that shares your inspiration and your determination then hone their skills to ensure you deliver exactly what the customer wants.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Get the best advice that you can afford. Don’t learn lessons the hard way. Be humble and open-minded and be prepared to fail in order to succeed.

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