My story starts in a student bedroom, at Exeter University back in 1999.
Three students sat around and talked about the dotcom bubble and this new site boo.com which was apparently going to sell clothes online - crazy talk! It soon became clear that everyone was going to need a website and guess who could give them what they needed… you guessed it. With around 8k of loans from generous family members, we set about building the web design company, to take on all web companies - Optix Solutions was born.
In the excitement that followed, we’d forgotten a few small points. We still had our degrees to study for (we were in our second year at the time) and running a business wasn’t the walk in the park we thought it would be. We were in for a harsh reality check over the coming years.
I was always the face of the business, the mouth, the one who went to the opening of an envelope to network my face off. I was the joke of my friends because I wouldn’t shut up about the business and gave a business card to anyone who’d have one.
Over the last 17 years and together with my business partner James, we have built that business up into one the most well respected agencies in the South West, employing almost 20 people and working with household names such as Flybe, The Eden Project, Exeter University and Mercedes SW. I’m very proud of the fact that a number of the clients who were there with us in those early days are still clients today.
We’ve had our fair share of foray’s into other businesses, many of which are still going and under our directorship. A social media site for Travellers which pre-dated Facebook, a wedding website and recruitment site for the hospitality industry to name but a few. Earlier this year we launched possibly our most exciting side business in a joint venture with one of clients and an ex-employee. That business, Ruby Datum is aimed at the legal sector and in the SAAS space. We’ve always enjoyed looking at new ventures and investing where we feel there is a chance of success. Obviously you’re not going to get them all right, but we’ve had quite a good run so far.
This year I launched a new business, Alacrity with my wife Lizz. This is the first I’ve done without James and is really an opportunity to work with my wife. I’m loving this stage of my life. I’ve spent a long time understanding business and the nuances of different industries. Working with hundreds of clients over the last two decades has given me a unique insight into business, one that I’m keen to share. 2016 saw the launch of my daily vlog on YouTube. Make sure you subscribe if you haven’t done so already 🙂
The next 5-10 years will be interesting for many reasons. Goals around financial security, having fun and leaving a legacy top my priority list. A home in the country where I can share experiences with the children as they grow up and spend time in the environment I enjoy most is top of my list.
If you’re wondering about how you can work with me then here are a few options.
I’m passionate about digital and everything that goes with it. Optix continues to grow and can help you with your plans around digital strategy and best practice web presence.
I’m personally available for talks on the topics of Entrepreneurship and Digital Marketing so if you’re looking for a speaker to talk at your event then get in touch and lets see if we can make it happen.
If you just want to follow my movements on social then here are some of the best places to do so. I enjoy nothing more than engaging with my followers so please don’t hesitate to reach out - I promise I won’t bite. I hope to see you on one of these channels soon.
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My personal journey
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Photos I care about