Simon Hill
Simon Hill

Member Article

Entrepreneur in the hotseat: Simon Hill from Wazoku

It’s Entrepreneurship Week on Bdaily. Simon Hill, managing director and founder of innovation management software provider, Wazoku, went into the hotseat to give us his take on entrepreneurship in the UK today.

Entrepreneurialism means different things to different people; what does it mean to you?

The term is thrown around a lot these days and I think it is frequently misused. I personally believe that whatever you call it, starting a company is about risk, hard work, sheer bloody mindedness, listening and a big slice of luck.

What skills are needed to be a successful entrepreneur?

Aside from the above, you need to be really pragmatic and not completely tied to your one big idea. We have moulded the company from the first scribbles on a bit of paper to what we are today through incremental learning, letting the market guide us and not be too tied to a rigid vision.

What was the most important lesson you learnt during your entrepreneurial journey?

Hiring the right people at the right time is the single biggest springboard to success. However, knowing this is only one small part of the equation as finding people who share your vision, who you can afford as a small business and who will stick with you through long hours and high stress is really tricky.

What excites you most about your industry and business?

This one is easy. We are all very passionate about what we do as it impacts real change within the organisation we work with. Our clients are really innovative, interesting, exciting and ambitious companies all over the world. We help them to deliver a more open and collaborative culture, centred on ideas and innovation, and the output is real, tangible and of benefit to the organisation. As a result we have some amazing relationships with some awesome businesses!

Is the UK well ­equipped to support entrepreneurs?

It is getting better. The biggest part of the challenge is that the community needs to support itself. We need a few generations of success and community building to facilitate more shared learning, support etc. However, it is not a bad place to start a business and I see things moving in the right direction.

What should the UK Government be doing to foster an improved business culture for new and seasoned entrepreneurs?

There are several angles to this. On the one hand I think that the more of a back seat the Government can take the better. Let the culture develop organically and don’t try too hard to ring fence it by an area or a catchy tag line. People reference Silicon Valley or Palo Alto and use this as a justification for developing a Silicon Roundabout, but Silicon Valley is more like the M4 corridor and Palo Alto is an offshoot of Stanford University, I don’t really see the parallels.

We have intentionally put ourselves in West London and are part of a new FIG Village hub started over in Shepherds Bush. On the other hand there are more proactive things the Government could do. Removing income tax for entrepreneurs has been very successful in some countries and would be welcome as one example.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Simon Hill .

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