Didn’t build a tech business! He built a consultancy business. You don’t have to be in tech!
He feels he used to be the least entrepreneurial person that he knew. As far as he was concerned he was just doing the normal job and then he developed an itch – so he joined the BMJ. He was instrumental in developing the clinical evidence series. That’s where he met his business partner and the business started!
It was called Baysian and it helped publishers, commissioners, NICE and others to look at the evidence for various treatments. Then they got into guideline development and gradually became digitalised.
13 years on he sold the business to the Economist group who wanted to develop a health consulting wing. This led to a good relationship with them and he still consults for those who bought his business and has developed a portfolio career.
He was surrounded by good people. He feels that serendipity was helpful. He never knew where he would end up. Find people you trust and value who are more experienced than you – you are exposed and you have to realise who you are in yourself and what you believe in / your values are.
Find people around you who at their core have similar values to you. The idea is only a small part of success, execution and diligence in execution are so important. Keep an eye on your finances, staff, culture, products. It takes absolute commitment. There comes a point where you have to make a decision: It can be destructive so you have to watch your relationships. It also requires resilience. In 2007 his business partner developed breast cancer and had to leave the business.
On the flip-side it is the most liberating thing. Like anything that is hard you come out of it stronger, having survived. They managed to build their business without investors – perhaps it wasn’t as big as it could have been but it didn’t matter to him. He is living proof that consulting is a viable option for clinical entrepreneurs.