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The business lessons of a tech entrepreneur – Pioneering People podcast – The Scotsman


Thursday, 4th June 2020, 10:51 am

Updated Thursday, 4th June 2020, 10:52 am
Tech entrepreneur Peter Proud discusses his career on Pioneering People

Peter Proud is the founder and CEO of Cortex Worldwide, a technology company innovating in cloud computing and application development.

From an early age, Peter was interested in technology, IT and computing. From the days of floppy disks to cassette players in his youth to his current role in shaping leading edge software, Peter remains fascinated.

In this episode of Pioneering People, Peter shares many business insights including learning the difficult lesson of patience when setting up a business, the value in building a strong business network and his philosophy of why cash isn’t the only currency in business.

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Following a dynamic career at some of the world’s leading tech companies such as Microsoft, Accenture and IBM, Peter decided to set up his own company, Cortex Worldwide. The foundations of the firm originate from Peter’s work at Microsoft, where he focused on consumer engagement and how to communicate with customers across multiple platforms.

“It was all about creating rich media experiences, deploying them across lots of different channels and analysing the output including conversation, interaction and customer satisfaction.

“We saw the opportunity to create an application that sat on top of the Microsoft Azure service. What we’ve built is a software service that customers use to build big secure scalable websites.”

Peter talks about the challenges of his business so far including learning the difficult lesson of patience: “I’d say to anyone going into this, it’s going to take twice as long as you think and cost a lot more than you think.”

“You always underachieve what you think you’ll do in five years but then you start to overachieve after five years.”

Peter also speaks about his approach to scaling up his business. “I’ve watched a lot of start-ups and all they seem to be focused on is how they are going to get their next round of investment, and I actually think what they should be focused on is what their service and proposition is for customers. Go out and actually win those clients, start to get proper revenues in place so they can scale their business organically themselves.”

When reflecting on his career, Peter categorises his approach in three stages: learn as much as possible, earn as much as possible and leverage as much as possible.

Finally, Peter highlights the reality of many start-ups: “Everyone always measures a business’s success on cash but over the last five and a half years, we’ve spent £13 million building our product. There are many currencies in life, it’s not just cash.”

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