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After 15 years working in the technology sector, often head deep in blogs and books written by entrepreneurs who have chosen to share their journeys, I decided to document my own Event Tech Start Up journey with evvnt here in London.
Don’t worry, I’m not going anywhere, I’m just 4 years in and I’ve already been through the mill. In fact that’s the news. We have at least 6 more years to go before we can consider an exit – forget the notion of a 3 year and £10m early exit. I’m forever the optimist but this one’s going to take a 10 year commitment.
As we enter an interesting period in the business’ growth, I thought it would be fun to recap on the last 4 years as part of documenting the here and now. In doing this, what’s become very clear, is that we have already gathered enough insights and anecdotes to help, advise and give a sounding board to many a budding entrepreneur.
Companies I’ve worked with so far include eBay, Accenture, Miva, Touch Local and Qype, which was bought by Yelp for $50 million. I’ve also built and run my own consultancy company advising companies such as Johnston Press and Bauer Media.
Whenever I tell people I’m an entrepreneur the first question I get asked is ‘why did I leave a successful job and aspiring career to chase the path of a Technology start up business?’, ‘are you crazy?’ – ((Deep Breath))… I always take a deep breath when I answer this question as I have former colleagues today like Lee McCabe who is now Vertical Head of Facebook out of San Francisco and I wonder the same thing myself. Why did I kiss goodby to all those perks!??!
However… let’s start with The problem. I quickly learnt whilst at eBay and this carried on when I started consulting, that the problem with jobs and consultancy work in the main is that your earning potential is only as good as the time in the day. Let’s also not forget the restrictive working environment.  How are you meant to be amazing every day when you creativity is so restrained?
LESSONS LEARNED FROM EBAY – Top 5 employment fails – Do’s and Don’ts

  1. DON’T limit your staff, give them scope & responsibility. DO trust them to get the job done.
  2. DON’T clock watch. DO focus them on project delivery and eliminate the 9 to 5 check in / check out mentality.
  3. DON’T try and control every aspect of their job. DO let your team explore possibilities.
  4. DON’T underpay your original staff when your hiring budget gets bigger. DO align salaries
  5. DON’T lose your early staff.  DO keep the culture that made the company great in the first place.

What else have I learned? Well, no matter how good your ‘job’ is and no matter how big your job title, you are always going to have to report back to the boss – (Lee – do say ‘hello’ to Mark Zuckerberg for me old chap). So in my case, I bit the bullet.  I took an 80% pay cut, lost all my perks and began exploring the start up world. Within days I realised it was like the Wild West and I needed a plan, a vision, a purpose. And fast.

The Man In The Arena – “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.’ Theodore Roosevelt

Thank you to Dan Fellows for sending me this quote when I’d hit a wall of self loathing.

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Richard Green – CEO & Founder of
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