On the morning of Wednesday 6th June 2018, we welcomed to Simpleweb HQ a 25-strong delegation of business leaders from the Netherlands.

Following their previous trip to Silicon Valley, the entrepreneur’s business trip programme organised by the Dutch bank Rabobank chose Bristol and Cardiff for their 2018 trip.

Direct from Bristol Airport, Simpleweb was the delegation’s first port of call, for coffee and a light breakfast followed by a presentation by Simpleweb CEO Mark Panay and Simpleweb Block CEO Tom Holder, who gave an introduction to our new blockchain studio.

After a brief history of Simpleweb and being introduced to our portfolio of startups and how we’re investing in their journey, it was time for some questions from the group. We’ve summarised our answers to some of our favourite questions.

“What is the difference between a good idea and a great idea?”

For us, it’s all about people and their vision, as ideas inevitably change. We look for humility in the people we invest in and that means a sense of awareness about limitations, and not being afraid to ask for help. Tessa Cook, co-founder of OLIO is a perfect example of a founder with an impassioned vision who is always maintaining momentum, even as the ideas evolve.

“What are the challenges in using data in the products you develop?”

It all depends on the nature of the product you’re developing. It’s very difficult these days to launch a consumer-facing app without some level of social media engagement and tracking of user engagement. However, importantly for us, it comes down to ethics and that’s why privacy is of utmost importance in all of the work we do.

“How do you recruit engineers?”

Generally, we try and recruit in Bristol, it’s important to us to train people where possible and we’re a firm believer that it’s more valuable to get somebody to achieve above their own expectations than it is to try and make them fit into a mould. We’re proud of our team member’s ability to step up to the next level, even if that means they go on to bigger roles outside of the business. Rather than hiding it, we’re proud of the people who have left Simpleweb, and we celebrate those achievements through the Simpleweb Alumni on our website. Unsurprisingly, ethical use of data was a big talking point of the visit, as well as the transformational developments around blockchain – compelling themes not just for the team here at Simpleweb but clearly for business leaders and the wider business community too.

As our visitor’s stop-off came to an end, we were pleased to hear that it wasn’t just the climate that set Bristol apart from their last visit to Silicon Valley – our discussion of people, ethics and happiness had replaced an obsession with profits and exits. For us, that was the most refreshing take-away.

If you’d like to discuss your startup or project, get in touch with Simpleweb today.

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