We are always looking for a fresh and different perspective from Silicon Roundabout’s genuine game changers and disruptors. This week we caught up with six leading entrepreneurs and asked them the same question.
You may be surprised!
In the 1990’s Jeff Bezos hesitated before starting Amazon after a respected colleague advised him against it(see The Economist 3rd-9th March 2012). However, he applied “‘what he calls a ‘regret minimisation framework‘, imagining whether as an 80 year old looking back, he would regret the decision not to strike out on his own”.
Today Rich Martell (founder & CEO) of Floxx Media, Oli Madgett (co-founder) of We R Interactive and Glenn Shoosmith (founder & CEO)of Bookingbug explain what 2012 holds for them, their businesses and how they may have used the ‘regret minimisation framework‘ themselves in the past!
In the short term, 2012 holds the prospect of our first game I AM PLAYR being up for a BAFTA award this Friday as best browser based game. June will see us no doubt going out on penalties against the Germans, but we’ll hopefully be consoled by the fact that I AM PLAYR has broken through 1 million monthly active users at this point (this morning we’ve just reached 615,000). This year will also see us launch our second social game around music, which the whole team is massively excited about.
Inadvertently, none of these things would have be happening if I’d listened to the vast majority of my friends and colleagues in 2008 when they said it was a completely ridiculous idea to create a digital time capsule that would be sent into space towards a solar system that could also harbour life – something that we accomplished with the ‘A Message From Earth‘ app on Bebo, and a lot of help from the National Space Agency of the Ukraine.
Taking that fork in the road ultimately led to meeting everyone that came together over the following 12 months to initially create WeR, and I’ll now be able to tell the grand kids when I’m 80 that the message that Gramps sent 5 decades ago has now finally reached Gliese 581
This year is a big year for Floxx. It’s only my second year of running a business full time (all of my previous ones have been during education) and it’s starting to get very serious indeed. We achieved a lot last year, but this year we have really ramped up a gear and opened a new agency side to our business which is growing extraordinarily quickly. It seems that many businesses are really seeing the benefits of having an app – so we’re seeing some really great clients coming in. This year we’re focussing on building out that part of the business as well as continuing to build several in-house apps that have developed from our own ideas.
When I was making the decision about whether to leave my job at an investment bank to start up my own business I spent a lot of time thinking about regret. In the end I actually made a pretty quick decision, however to validate it I sent an email around to my closest friends asking them to choose A or B. I knew that they would all choose the ‘leave job’ option as there was no downside in it from them. It just meant that if it all went completely wrong I could just blame them!
I started BookingBug with the idea that there are millions of small service businesses that should be listing, managing and booking their availability online. Like all ideas, timing is everything, and right now, the combination of cheap mobile internet, near universal broadband and the explosion of the daily deals market, has meant that service businesses of every ilk are pouring online and looking to increase engagement with their customers. BookingBug is perfectly positioned to take advantage of that in 2012.
Before starting BookingBug I spent ten years working for banks and consultancies as a developer. I was always entrepreneurial, but never brave enough to take the leap to start my own business. I used to work on my ideas in my spare time, evenings and weekends. But when offered redundancy from Bank of America, the combination of having already convinced myself that BookingBug was a solid idea, and having enough savings to live cheaply for a year, I decided to take the leap and get started on BookingBug. I minimised my risk by contracting at banks part of the time, and I was safe in the knowledge that in the early days, if BookingBug looked like it was going to fail, I could always return to a bank should I need to. Although it was something that I certainly never hoped to have to do – and it’s inspired me to keep driving forward for fear of finding myself back at a large corporate again!
Thank you Oli, Rich and Glenn.
Tomorrow 3 more entrepreneurs answer the same question.
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