As part of our new 'Member Spotlight' series, we interviewed TechHubber Toby Beresford. Here's what he had to say about startups, entrepreneurism & TechHub!
What is your background and how did you end up doing a startup?
I started programming when I was 10 and have been doing both consumer and business web apps since 1997. My parents are both entrepreneurs, so startups are in my DNA. Leaderboarded is actually my 6th startup! Numbers 1,2,3 and 5 didn't do so well...but I exited with number 4 (Nudge Social Media).
Tell me about Leaderboarded!
Leaderboarded.com lets you manage your own leaderboard based on social data and/or your own data sources. Digital marketers use it to reach and engage an online audience while event managers use it to focus the twitter conversations of delegates at an event. I'm actually running one here at TechHub, by leaderboarding all the TechHub startups based on their Twitter activity. You can see the latest weekly leaderboard here.
Why did you choose TechHub? Has the community been helpful?
TechHub is a creative community of fellow startups. It has the right mix of no-nonsense getting on with it, coupled with great people who help guide you, just by thinking the same way. I like the access to top speakers like Doug Richard, Eric Ries and Bradley Horowitz. All that wisdom helps. I think being at Techhub has helped me focus my startup energies on the areas I am genuinely good at - gamificaiton and social media.
What's a piece of advice you would give to a budding entrepreneur?
Be ready to team up. My successful business actually came out of a merger of me doing something hot (Facebook apps) and a talented existing team working on something slightly passe (flash based web sites). I think collaboration is simply a battle of business models - your business model has to be better than the others around you otherwise you'd be better off investing your time and energy in theirs. Too often we get emotionally attached to business ideas that are okay at best. If someone next to you has an awesome business idea just jack yours in and join theirs..... It goes without saying that if anyone wants to join me on Leaderboarded then I'm open to offers. ;)
One random or silly fact about yourself...
I used to be Father Christmas each year at an inner London primary school!
Thanks for chatting with us, Toby :) Stay tuned for more 'Member Spotlight' posts coming your way soon!