What do you currently do?
I am the founder and CEO of ECNlive, the first pure-play digital media network for corporate office environments in the UK.
After co-founding and growing LOVEFiLM I was looking for my next venture, and identified the corporate office environment in the UK and Europe as one with huge media potential yet to be exploited. Working with Australian investors I brought the whole concept of office communications using digital display technology to the UK. Over the last twelve month we have built up a media platform that combines the best aspects of digital display with internet connectivity and live editorial content and established it in London as a cutting edge communications network.
We have created a bespoke media channel for the office environment. Our screens are situated in high dwell time locations and display a mix of full motion display advertising as well as real-time content with breaking news, financial and sports updates, weather and travel information and localised information relevant to audiences in individual buildings. The business has grown fast; we are now in 100 of some of London’s most iconic buildings and reach an audience of 450,000 executives.
What is your inspiration in business?
Seeing a dream or an idea turn into a product or services and then into a business. Providing employment and creating value for investors and staff is what keeps me going onto the next venture. Being ahead of the curve of customer trends and technology really excites me. Seeing staff learn new skills and master their destiny is pretty cool.
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
Not always being in a rush and taking more time to plan before starting to execute. This is a key skill in itself in restraining yourself from the execution phase and spending more time planning your moves.
What defines your way of doing business?
My business approach has been to disrupt traditional markets with new technology. Using internet connectivity, real-time content, cloud based distribution software and cutting edge display and digital office communication, ECNlive introduces new technology and a new concept to the outdoor advertising market and disrupts how media has traditionally engaged with audiences.
With LOVEFiLM I had the same approach, using the internet to change a business model and change consumer behaviour; with ECNlive we have created an entirely new media network which is redefining what’s possible with posters and the potential to engage valuable business audiences.
I would also say that the success of each business I have founded has really stemmed from recognizing potential in a business model, establishing good technology and executing it in the right place and at the right time.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
When starting a new business it is invaluable to identify the gap you are either going to fill or the market you are going to create and then be the first mover to implement and dominate the market in order to be successful.
A successful new business sees potential in a business model or idea and executes at the right time. It should also ask and answer the question, what do people or their environments want and need? A company is triumphant when it is relevant and useful.
I would also advice anyone staring a business to be dynamic, bold and take calculated risks. It is only the brave who innovate, change things and find success.