The Product or the People?

This weekend we attended our fifth Silicon Milkroundabout at the Truman Brewery in East London. It caused me to reflect on just how much VisualDNA has grown in just 2 years – we’ve now successfully hired over 12 people from SMR and have grown from just 25 to a 100+ strong team!

Although the event does a stellar job of connecting bright minds with big ideas, and was timely since we’re in the middle of recruiting a few key roles, Silicon Milkroundabout is far more than an opportunity to save on recruitment costs or find your next job.

It was a great opportunity to see, first-hand, some of the exciting new technologies, products and services being born here in London’s very own Silicon Roundabout.  When I was able to get away from the queue at our stand, my highlights were running into everything from the exciting new Farm Drop – aiming to enable local communities to trade local produce online – to the intriguing ‘Heard Words’ art installation and a really useful Hailo cab-app!

The high energy and enthusiasm of the attendees was what inspired me most about the event, and given how much emphasis we place on personalities at VisualDNA, when it was our turn to give the one minute “lightening pitch” to the audience, we decided to take a more personal approach.

Instead of talking about our products, Our Chief Product Officer, Jim Purves, spoke about our culture and and how this is what makes VisualDNA an incredible place to work. Risky perhaps; since most people may have expected a pitch on how great our products are … but what can you really say in a minute?  We thought better to major on how we work.

The pitch obviously hit the mark with the audience and was later summarised beautifully by a candidate who exclaimed … ‘ I have just heard your lightening pitch, I have no idea what you do, but it sounds like an amazing company!’

Of course, we had a stand packed full of people afterward to tell our fascinating product story – the bigger point is that no matter how big or small your venture, no matter what it is you make, success is founded on teams of people pulling in the same direction – and picking the right people is too easily forgotten. For us, Silicon Milkroundabout was a great reminder of that fact.

Did you attend SMR over the weekend? What did you think?