When I was working for a law firm, I represented a lot of venture capital firms, start-ups, and big multinationals. This made me realize two things: first, that I wanted to become an entrepreneur, and second, that I was really frustrated that lawyers didn’t have good technology at their disposal to do their jobs better. My idea was that if you could train a computer to understand the language of lawyers—to understand legalese—you could have a very big impact on the industry.
Once you’ve seen hundreds of examples of a specific contract type, the concepts keep repeating themselves. I said, if this is so repetitive, it can be automated.
I read Ender’s Game for the first time as a teenager and have read it several times since.
In addition to being a great and intriguing novel, it taught me many things as a young man. Important concepts like meritocracy, teamwork, strategy and tactics are all clearly exemplified in the plot. Several parts of the book are also dedicated to video-game-style battle simulations which I really enjoyed having been an enthusiast gamer for years. And finally, the futuristic and imaginative plot inspired me to think creatively at the world and problem-solving.
CEO and Founder, LawGeex
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Purple was founded through frustration with a service – in our case, this service was public WiFi. Public WiFi lacked a positive experience in every element and served little commercial value for businesses. This was something we wanted to address.
We were the first movers in the market, helping create an industry-wide demand for advanced WiFi. We believe this, and our investment in technology and innovation has contributed greatly to our success to date.
Since the business was founded in 2012, we have seen significant year-on-year growth in sales, headcount and global reach, and we now have over 50 million users worldwide across more than 34,000 venues.
Jack Welch’s Straight from the Gut is the book that has inspired me the most. He wasn’t your typical entrepreneur in that he was involved in lots of different businesses, but he rose through the ranks at GE and used the knowledge he gained along the way to transform and diversify the business, leading to a great deal of success.
I’ve definitely borrowed some of his values around communicating a vision to the business and focussing on innovative projects to stay ahead of th e competition.
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We have two main books that have helped us lead the company through the changes and challenges we have encountered:
1. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh (Zappos) – The reason we fell in love with this book is because it helps us deliver a Wow experience to our customers on a daily basis giving the autonomy to our teams to make decisions on the go while speaking to our customers. Whenever we have a new recruit in the company – we gift this book to the new hire and make sure they understand the strategy behind it.
2. Who – the A method for hiring – The Who book helps us hire the most talented people to work with us and join our organisation by creating a scorecard that reflects the outcomes of the job that they were hired to do. We follow this methodology religiously and strongly believe that if we hire type A that fits our team and culture – we can achieve the strongest results. The essential core of this book says that it’s not about type A – but about bringing the right people to Missbeez to create value for the company and its customers.