Jump to content
  • Rob Carter
    Rob Carter

    Sign in to follow this  

    Lessons from a Start-up…

      Time to read: 4min

    After a career in management consulting and Financial Services, and having made the bold step of turning an idea into a new business, it’s safe to say the start-up world took me a bit of time to adjust to. Here are a few of the things I’ve learnt along the way.

     

    Location, location, location

    We have based ourselves in Old Street which is not far from the City’s banking and Financial Services district that I used to call home – geographically at least. One of the most notable differences is the sheer variety of small ambitious companies in such close proximity. The many small offices and numerous blocks of shared working spaces from the Office Group, WeWork and Google Campus engender a spirit of entrepreneurial community. You can have founder and employees of one company rubbing shoulders and collaborating with multiple other companies in the same coffee shop, building, or even in the same cluster of desks!

     

    Passion

    Everyone launching a start-up is passionate about what they do and has taken the risk to follow and live a dream. Not every company is well funded, so people give their time in exchange for advice, referrals, opportunities and the like, which incentivises the exchange of ideas and stimulates more innovative thinking.

     

    Style

    I had been guilty of wearing a suit and tie on a dress-down day so I was initially a duck out of water in my new relaxed and less “stuffy” start-up environment. I would never have thought that dress codes can be an inhibitor of innovation but I’ve changed my mind.  Allowing everyone to feel comfortable in what they wear is a small gesture that enables them to feel comfortable and encourage self-expression and communication. (As you can see from my photo, I still have ‘smart’ days!)

     

    Listen and learn

    1. Since starting AlgoMe, I have been taken aback by the help and support of my friends and former colleagues that are keen to see us succeed. It’s early days but some of the advice I’ve appreciated the most, and am very happy to share, has been: Fail Fast – don’t be afraid to try new ideas; pivot when things don’t work – decision making doesn’t need to be bureaucratic!
    2. Collaborate – it is hard enough to succeed as a start-up anyway, so try to work with and partner with other firms rather than compete with them
    3. Be smart – research the competition and make sure you really do have something different
    4. Not every idea is a good idea – so don’t be afraid of criticism
    5. Be Agile – don’t try to deliver the whole master plan on Day 1. The world around you is moving quickly so deliver benefits early and incorporate feedback along the way
    6. Understand your own strengths and seek help on the weaknesses – mentoring is a great way to plug the gaps
    7. Think big – not all firms will succeed but the level of innovation I’ve been exposed to is astounding. Rather than tweak around the edges of a problem, start-ups have the freedom to think big – so think BIG
    8. Be passionate – there’ll be sacrifices ahead so make sure you enjoy the journey
    9. Relationships – it’s not one way; dedicate time to helping the people who help you – it’s the unwritten rule of start-ups
    10. Embrace the start-up scene – there’s a myriad of groups on MeetUp, Eventbrite and others, plus communities such as Google Campus and WeWork, so take advantage of the opportunity to expand your networks and get advice
    11. Team – appreciate the value of working together. It’s cheesy but when you have the right team with the right attitude, it’s amazing what you can achieve in a short time.

     

    And for those of you who’ve not made the jump and still work in the corporate world as well, much of this advice still holds true.  Politics and bureaucracy may be common in many large corporates but you don’t need to comply – help fix the issues rather than add to the problem.



    Sign in to follow this  

    • Share this    
    Share this  

    Member Feedback



    Recommended Comments

    Be the first to comment.

    Become a member to read more and join the discussion

    Members can read and contribute to discussions

    Apply

    Register now for free access.

    Create your account

    Sign in

    Already a member? Sign in here.

    Sign In Now

  • Related Content

    • AlgoMe
      By AlgoMe
      The Investment Association, and its FinTech innovation and accelerator hub, invite you to the last TechTalk of 2019 to explore RegTech's latest challenges and innovative solutions for the investment management industry.
       
      https://www.theia.org/events-training/event?eventtemplate=253-techtalk-regtech-in-investment-management&event=512
    • AlgoMe
      By AlgoMe
      FSTP LLP in partnership with AlgoMe invite you to a lunchtime round table discussion on the most pressing issues in today’s industry; digital skills shortage and the Apprenticeship Levy.

      Date: Tuesday October 22
      Location: WeWork, 1 Fore Street Avenue, Moorgate, EC2Y 9DT
      Time: 12.15 for 12.30
       
      Spaces are limited. Please contact Andy Milner (andy.milner@algome.com) if you would like to attend.

      Introducing your hosts:
      FSTP LLP, a main provider for Apprenticeships offering Financial Services, Leadership and Management Apprenticeships, will be on hand to share insights and experience AlgoMe, the community for the Investment Management industry, connecting professionals from Asset Managers, Wealth Managers and FinTechs with their wider industry ecosystem will be on hand to discuss skills and transformation in the industry
      The event:
      12.30 - 12.50
      Your co-hosts Rob Carter and Andy Milner, AlgoMe will give an overview of demand for retraining and tech skills, based on the latest AlgoMe report; The Disrupted Career: FinTech, Innovation and The Future Of Careers In Investment Management Followed by Philippa Grocott and Nicola Spennati from FSTP LLP, will give an overview of opportunities for using the apprenticeship levy and how to do so effectively within the industry sector
      12.50 – 14.00
      Group discussion over lunch
      Key points for discussion:
      FinTech, Innovation and the growing digitisation of Asset Management mean technology skills are becoming more important to firms There is pressure in the industry from regulation and changing customer expectations in addition career paths are changing and becoming less predictable Automation and AI will make traditional roles redundant and up to 40% of the workforce will require retraining in the next 5-10 years There is over £3bn of unspent apprenticeship levy funds which are set to be returned to the Treasury if they remain unspent This money can be used to help meet these challenges by retraining existing staff, up-skilling new joiners and re-skilling returners after career breaks There are rules around how the levy can and can’t be spent Companies need to have in place an effective strategy to ensure that not only the rules are met so that the funds can be recovered, but that the needs of the individual and the wider business benefit are met
    • AlgoMe
      By AlgoMe
      Digital Wealth and Asset Management Forum – BIS Group
      BISGRP.COM  
    • AlgoMe
      By AlgoMe
      FinTech Conference - London - FinTech World Forum 2019 - UK Europe Payments Lending
      FINTECHCONFERENCES.COM    
    • AlgoMe
      By AlgoMe
      AI and Data Science in Trading
      WWW.AIDATATRADING.CO.UK    
Debug
Debug info:
You may be asked to provide the below information to an AlgoMe administrator if you are facing any problems with the app:
appcms
modulepages
controllerpage
topics/forum ID27
page ID
PHP user agentCCBot/2.0 (https://commoncrawl.org/faq/)
ThemeAlgoMe v2.1.5
Mobile appNO
Member ID
×

We use cookies to give you the best possible experience. If you continue, we’ll assume you are happy with this. For further information, see our Privacy Policy.