What do you currently do?
I’m the co-founder of LyteSpark. LyteSpark is a simple, straightforward video conferencing facility that helps you connect with colleagues, suppliers and members of the public. Hosted in the cloud your branded meeting room is accessible from laptop, desktop, tablet and smartphone. Secure high quality video conferencing without the pain of software downloads or installation. Instead of replicating the current video conferencing tools on the market, LyteSpark has adopted a different approach, focusing on creating an intuitive experience that makes communication easy and effective, and in doing so, makes it easier for businesses to operate in a connected yet distributed global economy.
What defines your way of doing business?
You cannot underestimate the importance of listening to your customers and solving their problems in an efficient and timely manner. Building a dedicated customer base can make or break a business. I also believe in focusing on creating actual value and providing a product or service that enhances the way we live and work.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
Two factors came together. First, frustration, having worked for UEFA and attended meetings in the far corners of Europe that took 24 hours of travel time for one or two hours of actual meeting. With all the technology that existed there was there no compelling video conferencing solution that could viably replace meeting in person. Second, witnessing the potential of video interaction when I worked on a project organising virtual speed networking events. It was clear that the key to forming valuable business connections was trust, and trust is formed so much faster when you can see the person you’re talking to (whether in person or via video).
Who do you admire?
I really admire founders with simple missions that drive global disruption. Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s mission for Google to “organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” has revolutionised our interaction with information. A less structured, but equally disruptive mission, to share all music in the world, led Sean Parker to found Napster and totally disrupt an entire industry.
Looking back, is there anything you would have done differently?
We were clear about our long-term vision – to make virtual communication as easy as talking to the person next to you – but should have paid as much attention to the immediate market needs. In the short term, customers were crying out for a solution that took the pain out of video conferencing. A platform that was simple, secure and straightforward. As of today, that’s what LyteSpark provides, but we could have brought it to market a little earlier.
What advice would you give someone just starting out?
Know your own mind and be clear about the purpose of your business, but beyond all else, listen to your customers. All businesses have one thing in common; they must sell something to someone, so if you want valuable feedback engage with your customers as early as possible.