Episode 36: Jessica Butcher: How to Make The Right Business Decisions by Using Your Gut Instincts

Who is Jessica Butcher and the key takeaways in this episode?

Today’s guest is not your ordinary entrepreneur who just miraculously found herself in the business. But she’s a driven, determined and persistent visionary. She Jessica Butcher. Jessica is a well known personality and was named as one of the BBC’s international list of ‘100 Women’ in 2014, Fortune Magazine’s global ‘Top 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs’ in 2012 and winner of the Natwest EveryWoman Iris (tech) award in 2013 amongst other accolades.

If that doesn’t excite you to listen to this episode, I don’t think you’re aware of what you’re going to miss in this episode. To give you a brief overview of what we’ve discussed, we tackled on:

  • The contributing factors that made her the extraordinary person that she is today
  • How she came up with the idea and eventually building the business around Blippar
  • Her personal thoughts on culture and its importance
  • We’ll also get to know the company she admires the most
  • And a whole lot more…

The Questions

[4:21] How does the office design and layout match your culture and how has it helped you in regards to engaging and attracting the talent you need?
Answer: Great question. Our offices weirdly look the same in all of the different locations that you might visit us at, which is fascinating. You can be on Skype looking into the Turkish office and you would think that they were in the London office because we have this very cool consistency to the look and feel of our respective geographies.

That look and feel is very open planned. It’s kind of trendy. It’s kind of industrial warehouse looking. We’ve got lots of big space. We’ve probably focused on orange in our furnishings a little, by color. So, we have bean bags and lots of orange chairs and quite some cool fixtures and fittings. There’s generally stuff everywhere in the background: interactive products like cereal boxes and Pepsi cans, and keg cans or magazines, and piles and piles of files that we’ve worked with.

Then there are fun things on desks like toys and executive stuff that people play with, and a lot of devices everywhere. But in all of those environments there’s a very open planned, buzzy atmosphere where people learn by absorbing what’s going on around them.

[7:55] How do you maintain the culture in the organization you built and move it to the next level?
Answer: Absolutely. So, the funding announcement came just a week before a new product announcement that we made last month, which is the extension of our business model for a rather curated customer service model to key brands and publishers into this multibillions images and objects, multi-browser behavior and platform that we’ll be launching in the coming months and that is a big medium and it’s a very, very big product investment and challenge ahead of us.

This funding round is done, and very deliberately with the intent of building up our technical resources in order meet our vision and to market it accordingly as we increase and now become a business to consumer brand, more so than the business to business model that we’ve been working as to date. This cash will see us just bringing brilliant brains into the business. A lot of that will be focused on the States, but also here in the UK, and really working on the brand and the marketing side as well. It’s a pretty exciting time.

[16:06] Is there a company that you admire as it relates to culture? And if so, why?
Answer: Last year, I think I mentioned, I was very fortunate enough to be taken on a delegation of female entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley and we went around a number of very big, successful tech companies in Silicon Valley, and the company I was most struck by was Box.com. Aaron Levy very kindly gave us some time and talked us through his journey, his experience. And I think he is one of those founders who has created such an incredible culture.

Culture According to Jessica Butcher:

I think for start-ups the culture is just inextricably linked to the personal archetypes of the founding team. Particularly for that 18 month period where you’re all working so closely together, your values become the company’s values. The openness or transparency with which you operate. The enthusiasm and passion you have for the idea actually is infectious and that’s what brings those early hires into your business. It kind of doesn’t need another kind of proactive work and attention at that time because it kind of just happens. It’s part and parcel of the fact that you’re doing all that direct hiring.

Go To Quote for Inspiration

Book Recommendations:

  • The Purple Cow

What Jessica Wants Her Company to BE:

  • BE Curious
  • BE Simple
  • BE Fearless

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Interview:

  • Blippar
  • ________________

Where to Find Jessica Butcher:

Connect with John on

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

John: Jess Butcher, welcome to BE Culture Radio. How are you?

Jess: I’m good. Thank you. It’s good to talk to you.

John: It’s my pleasure. Thanks so much for joining us. I’m so excited that you have decided to join us and be part of our tribe today. We’re going to talk about culture but before we do that, Jess, give our listeners a little insight into you who you are, where you came fro and what made you the extraordinary person you are today.

Jess: My name is Jess Butcher. I am one of the co-founders of Blippar and we are a UK-based start-up, but perhaps more accurately, now a scale-up, currently enjoying international growth with a very, very exciting business model. I’ll come on and talk about a little bit more detail on myself.  I am a mid-thirties mother of one. I have been [inaudible 00:00:52] track for pretty much the last 15 years since I graduated university and I guess I was always seeking the perfect business model and idea and certain circumstances to embark upon my own entrepreneurial journey, and that all came together with my Blippar co-founders about four years ago. It’s been a very, very exciting time for me personally and professionally for us as a business.

John: Where did you come from as a child? How were you raised? Did that help form where you’re at today as an adult?

Jess: I think, yes, it did to a large extent. I had the stereotypical, very happy, happy childhood with parents that really embraced the importance of a work ethic or creating experiences in life and really testing yourself and trying as many, many different things to explore your own potential and all the opportunities that the world presents. I was fortunate enough to be taken around the world and to experience a number of different cultures. I had a great education and that education definitely gave me a sense that you can be and do anything you want. So, yes. I think where I got to in life is, to a large degree, part and parcel of how I was brought up and the loving and incredibly creative and supportive family environment that I come from. No question.

John: So, my listeners, see: Jess has her own tribe. Everybody’s got a tribe. Right, Jess?

Jess: Yes. Absolutely.

John: Now, we’re from different sides of the pond as I shared with my listeners, but we have cultural things that bring us together and things that challenge us to stay together and that being said, tell us a little bit about Blippar and how you came up with the idea and how it works, because it resonates so well no matter where you’re from.

Jess: Absolutely. Absolutely. Blippar is the world’s first visual browser. What that means is that we harness incredibly sophisticated and cool technology within a smart device. Obviously the phone, most commonly in everyone’s pocket, to use the camera of that device like your eye, and what the technology can now do is enable you to look at anything in the physical world around you and it can instantly recognize that image or object and trigger an interactive content response off it.

So, browsing, really in the truest sense of the word, and we’re becoming an extension of our physical senses in that way and they bring us to ask questions on what we’re looking at. To engage and interact with it. To buy it, potentially, instantly. Any number of actions that can potentially be triggered in the physical world, we can now spontaneously and instantaneously engage with it and have these questions answered.

So, it’s a very, very exciting new technological evolution and trend that we’re riding on at the moment. And we’re doing so within a very fun and accessible business model rather than you having to download an app for every different type of content, an app for that magazine, an app for that brand and apps for that retailer.

We’re trying to harness this experience within a single lens which is the Bilppar app and part and parcel of that is that we’re looking to create a new verb for the behavior which is: to Blip. So, think what tweeting is to microblogging. What googling is to internet search. These terms have become brand new verbs and part of our daily vernacular and Blippar is biased to become the verb for this as a behavior, to simply look at the physical world around us and be able to interpret and unlock it with something that is engaging, entertaining or useful, just useful in some way. It’s hugely, hugely exciting new technology and behavior that I suspect everybody will be doing within a year or two.

John: That’s so cool. Jess, was there a tipping point or a monumental moment when you were starting that company with your co-founders, when the lights went on and you guys were like, “Ah. I got it.”

Jess: I wish you could isolate one monumental moment in so many in the three or four years that we’ve been going. They always sort of take your breath away at different times and my personal monumental moment was just some keeping sharing the technology by my co-founders who have been working on it around their day jobs. A friend, an ex-colleague of mine had come together with another two colleagues he was working with and when he showed it to me, as anybody who has that first experience of Blippar will tell you, it has quite a profound effect because suddenly you see something happening in your home in front of you in real time. That’s something static and physical coming to life in this manner. That and people respond visibly and immediately, too.

So, [inaudible 00:05:41] worry all of the potential opportunities and applications of it and how it can fundamentally change how marketers and create messages. How print publishers create products and product packaging itself.

You see that light bulb go on and somebody’s head as it did in mine four years ago and suddenly the idea start coming and people get this sort of “buzz of electric look” in their eyes and it happens in every meeting pretty much that you go into, and it everybody’s such a thrill and has made it a very creative experience over the last four years where we’re just constantly in brainstorm mode and coming up with really exciting, cool ideas in every meeting that we’re having. That is monumental in itself.

It’s that moment in almost every meeting that you have and there have been so many milestones and moments in the business when we’ve had great PR, we’ve won awards, we’ve opened our second office in New York, we’ve heard senior people on television referring to “Blipping” like a verb as if it’s the most natural thing in the world.

Sorry, I would like to identify one tipping point but the keenness and the fact of all of that has just meant blocks of high fives and fist punching in the air for the last four years of our development.

John: I want to shift gears a little bit. I want to talk about culture. Before we do that, I might embarrass you a little bit but I want to brag about you a little bit, Jess.

She’s worked all over the world and has experienced many different cultures. She has a tremendous amount of accolades. For example, in 2013, she was the winner of the West Every Women Iris Tech Award. In 2012, she was one of the Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs by Fortune Magazine and in 2014, she was on the BBC’s International List of 100 Women.

You didn’t get there by mistake, Jess, and you’ve had to pay attention to culture. Share with us what your culture is because I firmly believe anybody that has the track record you have and the skill sets that you’ve demonstrated has to hone in pretty succinctly on culture.

Jess: I find this a fascinating question and I think that the position of the opposite sides of the pond is really relevant to this discussion as well because culture is something that is talked about so much in America and I was fortunate enough to go to the West Coast and go around and look at the huge successful West Coast companies and everybody is culture, culture, culture and have had to deal with it and be very proactive about it.

I’ll be honest and say that that’s not so British. We don’t pay as much attention to it as you guys do and I think we should, and we’re starting to. It was something I was exposed not just in the West Coast of America and the increasing amount of work I’ve done Stateside but also, prior to Blippar, I spent some time working  with Alibaba.com and we really experienced that from China, from our head office there up in Hangzhou. It was a fascinating experience for me to get something out of.

It’s something I’ve actually never given a lot of attention to it until, really, the last 18 months, but that doesn’t mean to say that I don’t think that I have tried to elicit a strong sense of culture in the businesses that I’ve worked within.

I think for start-ups the culture is just inextricably linked to the personal archetypes of the founding team. Particularly for that 18 month period where you’re all working so closely together, your values become the company’s values. The openness or transparency with which you operate. The enthusiasm and passion you have for the idea actually is infectious and that’s what brings those early hires into your business. It kind of doesn’t need another kind of proactive work and attention at that time because it kind of just happens. It’s part and parcel of the fact that you’re doing all that direct hiring. You’re sitting next to those  individuals day to day and it kind of evolves and I think that remains as those people then make their own hires. They have been indoctrinated into your personal culture and they take that forward in the hires that they make. Suddenly, that becomes more challenging with growth explosion and Blippar has been very fortunate to have enjoyed tremendous success over the last 18 months, where we kind of went from 30 people to 200 people in that time period.

And that has meant that it had to be more challenging to maintain a sense of who we are and we’re kind of trying to define it now retrospectively. We know what that is instinctively and intuitively within ourselves as a management team, but I think we are trying to put words around it so that we can share that sense of how we feel about our business with every new joiner that comes and more importantly with people that are joining us in offices all over the world.

We’ve opened up a Japan office in the last month. We’ve got offices in Turkey and Amsterdam and the offices in the States. It’s growing all the time and obviously we, as a founding team, can’t sit down and invest as much time as we might like in one of these new joiners.

We’re actually very active at the moment pooling our thoughts together into what makes us the company that we are in this sort of rather intangible way and how can we articulate that. It’s a really interesting process to go through.

John: I found, as I had the opportunity to speak to a lot of founders that as they fulfil their dreams with their growth, they have to make sure that the behaviors of the organization mirror the fulfilment of the founders and that’s kind of a cultural issue as we go down this path of growth, where we bring people into our organizations and we make sure they have the same value proposition that we have walking in the door. Do you find any of that a challenge at this point?

Jess: I wouldn’t say we’ve actually found it a challenge. I think we’re starting to pay more attention to it now. I think every business with a very [inaudible 00:12:05] hiring plan can occasionally be guilty of hiring the people on paper who have the right background and qualifications without necessarily testing that value set, and with hindsight I can look back at, perhaps, some hires that haven’t worked out or personality types that haven’t jelled with the rest of the team.

And I thought, “How can we have protected that better or prevented that situation? How can we qualify better according to the passion in details and the cultural value sets that we have as a business.” I think now, we’re taking a much more proactive approach to that than we have done in the past, but from talking with other successful entrepreneurs, I know that this is very common. Everybody came to me about a cycle of fast raise, fast hiring and realizing with hindsight that perhaps that hasn’t been paid as much attention to.

John: Amazing how hindsight is always 20/20.

 

Jess: Wonderful, isn’t it?

John: Why didn’t I see it when I was going through it? And how come somebody didn’t tell me? And your partners look at you and say, “We did.” That’s always an “Aha” moment. Jess, tell us a story about how culture helped accelerate your business?

Jess: A key part of our culture which we’ll come around to talk about as far as values is really the simplicity of articulation of what we do and distilling it down to passion for content in a simple way rather than technology.

The technology, of course, powers obviously what we do but as an organization, we’ve built a culture that’s primarily focused on the creative application which is great, simple, content.

I don’t know if this is a story but it has captured people’s attention whenever we speak, whenever we get on stage, whenever we get in front of an influential audience; they were always struck by the fact that we can detect and make sense of this forum very, very quickly and how we story tell about the potential of this technology for them and through the stories that they can tell, rather than technology for technology’s sake per se.

I think our ability to do that from day one differentiated us immediately from the competitive, more technical providers within our space and if you add to that our position on thought leadership it resonated with marketers who ultimately were the decision makers for what we do.

I think that is intrinsic to our culture and it’s integral to a lot of our success, whether it’s been in big client, successful PR opportunities or even award wins and pitch competitions. I can’t help but think that that’s very much a cultural think that has contributed to that, rather than a strategy.

John: What I hear you saying is your culture made you one of one?

Jess: Exactly that. I think that’s very fair. Yes.

John: For my listeners, as you start and grow your business, one of the things that we all try to achieve as entrepreneurs is being one of one, because being one of many is not a lot of fun.

Let’s shift gears a little bit again. We’re going to still talk about culture but let’s talk about the physical side of culture because I think we’re all products of our environment to some extent. Jess, let’s talk about your physical.

We talked about all the different places that you guys are in business. How does the office design and layout match your culture and how has it helped you in regards to engaging and attracting the talent you need?

Jess: Great question. Our offices weirdly look the same in all of the different locations that you might visit us at, which is fascinating. You can be on Skype looking into the Turkish office and you would think that they were in the London office because we have this very cool consistency to the look and feel of our respective geographies.

That look and feel is very open planned. It’s kind of trendy. It’s kind of industrial warehouse looking. We’ve got lots of big space. We’ve probably focused on orange in our furnishings a little, by color. So, we have bean bags and lots of orange chairs and quite some cool fixtures and fittings. There’s generally stuff everywhere in the background: interactive products like cereal boxes and Pepsi cans, and keg cans or magazines, and piles and piles of files that we’ve worked with.

Then there are fun things on desks like toys and executive stuff that people play with, and a lot of devices everywhere. But in all of those environments there’s a very open planned, buzzy atmosphere where people learn by absorbing what’s going on around them.

We encourage a lot of open conversations and discussions. We make sure that the right teams are sitting next to each other to be absorbing that, even by osmosis. Sometimes, our own boarding is very much throwing people into the job and they get rotated around, meet people  but they very much learn on the job and from sitting with people and listening and being proactive with asking the questions. It’s fun. It’s very buzzy.

This is the wrong week to ask me because we’re about to move out of our London offices where we’re way over capacity. There’s these boxes of mess everywhere but we’ll be building almost exactly the same environment in our new offices from next week which is very exciting. Probably a little less clutter and mess. Otherwise, it’s the same vibe.

John: It sounds like it was intentional.

Jess: Yes, very much so. My co-founder, the chief creative officer, he’s quite a ecstatic, clean-minded individual. He’s kind of taking control of that look and feel and, I guess, shared that with our overseas officers so there’s that consistency to it. It’s a lovely environment he’s created.

John: I have to tell you, one of the businesses we have is BE Furniture, and my wife and I have successfully run it for 12 years, and what makes us one of one is that we really start the conversation with someone like your partner and say, “What is it you want your culture to be?” And we can tell people, within a 10 minute period, whether we’re a fit or not for them because sometimes we get no answer at all. We get, “Well, we want furniture.” Good to know. And people want food.

Jess: We have free lunch Thursdays which go down very well, I can tell you, – and free beer Fridays. Little things that go a long way towards speaking to your culture as well. We want people to socialize together. We want them to enjoy each other. We’ve got so many different, diverse personality types here and the more we can foster reasons for them to sort of sit and chat outside of their core teams, the better it is for business. We love to turn to do as many socials as we can alongside the office events on Thursdays and Fridays.

John: It’s amazing that when you bring that to the front of your business where you’re concerned about the culture and about the interaction, how the metrics follow and that’s been a real shift here in the States over the last 5 to 10 years, where people have really decided that metrics will follow. If you build the correct culture and you build the right engagement between the people you work with and you create a linear organization versus the old fashioned hierarchical organization, then the results will be amazing. People were like, “Wow. How come we didn’t figure it out first?” But I think it’s a matter of having had to go down the path to gather the information. How do you feel about that?

Jess: I think it goes without saying that it takes some while to sort of register the importance of that a hundred percent. It’s certainly what we find at Blippar and it’s actually because of the culture we created that we haven’t had to do very proactive hiring like in the early days, because people were just flooding to us. Word of mouth spread. Some friends of friends getting exciting not just by the product but what they’re hearing how we operate and the kind of people that have been attracted to the business. It’s self-fulfilling, certainly.

John: I want to ask you about the financial side of the business. We’ve talked about the people side of it. We’ve talked about the physical side of it. Let’s talk about the financial side of it.

You received an amazing amount of funding so I’m sure you became everybody’s best friend,  that they all wanted to talk to you. We talked a little bit, pre-show, about that earlier. Tell me a little bit about that and share it with our listeners. What that is like, that process? Because I always liked for our entrepreneurs that are building business to understand what that’s truly like, to be in the trenches of that funding moment. Pre-approval, post-approval. Take us through that, would you?

Jess: Sure. I’ll be honest and say that the brunt of most of the energy at that time and stress around funding, I’m grateful that my co-founders and I have taken it on, in particular the CEO. I have all the pressure, the numbers of the negotiation on the term sheet and then the legal aspects of that.

I would tend to talk more about vision, about where we’re going, and why we believed that we’re the ones to to fulfil that vision. With any business, the funding rounds are obviously absolutely critical to the fortress of the business and very, very time consuming. That goes without saying and it’s like a sort of dating game really because yes, the money is important but as much and sometimes more so it’s the personalities involved that you’re bringing in to your board to strategically work with on how you grow a business when the lines haven’t been drawn. The roles aren’t there when you’re disrupting, and doing something very, very new. How can these people totally with big pockets actually really assist you with that? What experience do they have in doing some of the things and most importantly of all, the personality set.

How well will you work together? Is there a mutual respect and interest? Is there a transparency in communication and the desire to collaborate and a working style that is effective and that complements your own. That’s going to make for a successful long term relationship. Of course some of these are very tangible and based on the numbers of the cash that comes in, but much of it is very intangible from what I’ve learned. It’s the highest you can make. They  can be perfect on paper but what if there’s this niggle that you can’t put your finger on it at the back of your mind. Even with that cultural cohesion there with that sense of business, you can’t necessarily rationalize some of these less tangible aspects to the investment equation but they’re critically important from what I can see and from what I’ve experienced. This is something very, very fortunate that with our growing profile and success, we were able to have a lot, and we had lots of different conversations with a number of different types of investors, different scale of investors and different personality types that enabled to us to really find the best fit for our business, not just the right the numbers of cash to come into the business, which has just been fantastic for us.

John:  You’ve gotten your funding. As you look forward, what capital investments do you guys make to take you to the next level? Because isn’t that really the question of what you do with the funding? And how do you maintain the culture in the organization you built and move it to the next level?

Jess: Absolutely. So, the funding announcement came just a week before a new product announcement that we made last month, which is the extension of our business model for a rather curated customer service model to key brands and publishers into this multibillions images and objects, multi-browser behavior and platform that we’ll be launching in the coming months and that is a big medium and it’s a very, very big product investment and challenge ahead of us.

This funding round is done, and very deliberately with the intent of building up our technical resources in order meet our vision and to market it accordingly as we increase and now become a business to consumer brand, more so than the business to business model that we’ve been working as to date. This cash will see us just bringing brilliant brains into the business. A lot of that will be focused on the States but also here in the UK, and really working on the brand and the marketing side as well. It’s a pretty exciting time.

John: Jess, we have a number of listeners that are entrepreneurs that are building teams, building businesses and building culture. Is there a tip that you can share with them that you feel would be very meaningful at this point of their journey?

Jess: It’s not a very scientific tip but it’s one that I swear by, particularly when it comes to building teams, which is to trust your gut instincts more than you might be inclined to. We were talking earlier about this. People that are just great on paper and seem like they have all the skills they need to do the job that you require and as entrepreneurs, you realize their limitations and the expertise that you need to bring into the business is greater than your own, but I have this thing that I say which is: if I’m not still thinking about it in two days later after I’ve slept on it for a couple of days, then, they’re a no hire.

They might be perfect on paper but I won’t still be remembering them and things that I wanted to ask them. And that’s when I use, what I call my latent back brain, to do the decision making rather than the proactive front brain. I think that, ultimately, is where your culture lies. That’s where a lot of indefinable essence of who you are as a business comes from. I think, trust your guidance. You might not be able to justify it verbally to your co-founders or to your own essence but trust it because it’s fundamentally important.

John: Is there a common mistake you’ve seen made over and over again that you’ve witnessed throughout your travels? Because you’ve had a tremendous journey to date and have done extremely cool things but I’ve got to believe there’s something you’ve seen entrepreneurs do over and over again. You shake your head and go, “Wow. Stop. You’re killing me.”

Jess: I’m happy to say that I don’t feel like we’ve made any of those fundamental mistakes yet. I do think, as I said earlier, it has to be going back to our culture and trying to articulate that in a quite late, the pace or way for that success that we’ve enjoyed has been fantastic. The common mistakes in culture, I think the British generally don’t pay  enough attention and I think we’re learning very rapidly here. Everybody now reads more about the huge successes Stateside that now we have a number of our own to draw from and I think they’re consistently tired of saying about a more proactive European culture and how it can be ingrained from day one and push through to draw in success.

It’s as simple as that. More importantly, it’s got to be paid more attention than it perhaps has been. A lot of entrepreneurs felt it’s been lost  and [inaudible 00:28:25] could be quite challenging, right?

John: I’ve got to tell you. You spoke earlier, you shared you have a small child, and I’ve raised three children into adulthood and I like to say to people, “Building a company and raising a company and raising a family, there’s a lot of parallels. Pay attention to them because you’ll get out of things what you put into them.”

And I tell people: I work with a number of people with small children. They’d come in shaking their heads some days and I said, “Stop turning that child upside down. There are no directions on the bottom.” And they look at me like, “Listen. You live and learn.” And that’s just the way it is with companies. As you build companies, what we did when we started 12 years ago, we don’t do that today. We’ve made some mistakes and we have to be authentic and be able to say to people, “Sorry. I didn’t do that right.” Just like when you raise I child. I did the best I could but it wasn’t right. Let me shift. Let me pivot. Let me do some different things. Like I hear when you’re sharing, pay better attention to the culture side of it. They do something wrong, then they just learn from what they’ve experienced, right?

Jess: Yes, definitely. Very spot on.

John: I want to take you into the lightning round if I could, okay?

Jess: Okay.

John: Here we go. What book, if there is one, changed your life?

Jess: I was thinking about this previously and I really struggled to come up with a book. I’m going to pick a business professor and author who has impacted me and that is Seth Godin, who I came to quite late. Somebody once gave “The Purple Cow” to me and it really just left a huge, lasting impression on me and I will continue to go back to it and dip into it. I’m an avid reader of his blog and pretty much everything he’s worked on since “The Purple Cow”. He’s written books over the past 15, 20 years but I guess read it in a fairly fundamental point in my career.

I had tried the dot com post-university and failed spectacularly and it restored a little bit of my confidence. I realized that I actually had been trying to do with that a bit of what is in “The Purple Cow”. Yes, I didn’t have the experience back then but I could get it and I could continue to operate in a way that was sort of quirky and different, and really think through innovative opportunities and ideas and find my own purple cow in time. So, I strongly recommend focusing on the marketing and vision aspect of business.

John: Do you have a go-to quote for inspiration?

Jess: I do and it’s something my father used to say a lot which is: “The best investment you can make in life are in memories,” and that follows through in every thing that I do in my professional and my personal life.

Blippar has been a roller coaster of memories that have taught me more about myself and my strengths, my weaknesses, the things that I enjoy, how I want my career to evolve and develop and in my personal life. It’s about spending time with family. It’s about doing different things. It’s not about the material possessions. It’s about enjoying each other and our friends and making time to push ourselves, challenge ourselves, to take yourself out of your comfort zone. Punctuate life with things that are more remarkable and memorable than the routine of 9 to 5. I continually come back to that. It’s something that’s lived with me.

John: Jess, is there a company that you admire as it relates to culture? And if so, why?

Jess: Last year, I think I mentioned, I was very fortunate enough to be taken on a delegation of female entrepreneurs to Silicon Valley and we went around a number of very big, successful tech companies in Silicon Valley, and the company I was most struck by was Box.com. Aaron Levy very kindly gave us some time and talked us through his journey, his experience. And I think he is one of those founders who has created such an incredible culture. [inaudible 00:32:42] And his personality.

It was apparent. We only got 10 to 15 minutes with him. But the people around him that we met, they [inaudible 00:32:52] what they’re doing and their openness, their transparency, their passion. They all seemed like [inaudible 00:33:01] and the office environment itself is just so fun and in that it was palpable, you could feel how much people enjoyed what they were doing. It was beautiful looking up close but, most importantly, there was a vibe there which everybody in the trip was incredibly struck by. It was just very, very impressive to observe.

John: Why would someone want to work for Blippar?

Jess: Simple. If you are invited to go on a rocket, you get on it. We’re going places and anybody that is presented with that has an opportunity to use the power of that and would be a fool to turn it down.

John: Jess, here we go. For our big finish. Are you ready?

Jess: Yes.

John: Describe Blippar in three words and remember you’re in BE Culture Radio.

Jess: I would say, BE Curious.  We’re all about unlocking our curiosity about the world around us. I think it’s ingrained in every single one of us to be curious. So, BE Curious.

Secondly, BE Simple. We don’t have to over-engineer things. There can be incredibly complicated technology at the heart of things but what does it mean? What does it mean? Very, very simply put, how will it change our day to day life and what does it give people that just excites them and brings things to light?

And lastly, BE Fearless. I think that’s absolutely critical for any start up business and certainly for any entrepreneur. The risk of failure is, of course, great, but there’s no point in focusing on all that. There has to be a sense of throwing yourself into the unknown and trying it. Fearlessness is integral to all successful businesses, ultimately, at the end.

John: Outstanding. So, we’re going to BE curious. We’re going to BE simple and we’re going to BE fearless.

Jess: Yes.

John: I’ll sign on for that anytime. Jess, I just want to thank you so very much for extending the courtesy and spending time with us. How can my listeners connect with you?

Jess: We are all over social media. I’m on Twitter @JessButcher. We are online. We’re on Facebook. Search “Blippar” and find all our social channels. If you’re interested in connecting with me directly, LinkedIn is probably my preferred tool of choice although be specific about why you want to connect. We were talking about this earlier but I would like to connect or it’ll not go down well. I would like to know why you want to connect and what potential opportunities there are for us. Maybe we can do business together or work together in some capacity. Frankly, I’m open to connections and very interested in helping people with whom our story might resonate.

John: Any rollouts you want to share with our listeners before you go?

Jess: Get Blipping. If you haven’t had the opportunity to, then you absolutely should because it’s a free app and you can use it on particular things on the physical world around you that’s growing by tens and thousands daily. So, check out our website for a little bit more: Blippar.com, and our social channels and hopefully, you’ll all be blipping within the coming year.

John: Well, I will tell my listeners, I was doing it this week and it is so cool. So, I thought I was really cool, Jess and I called my 21 year old daughter in college and I said to her, “Hey, Mackenzie, guess what I’m doing? I’m blipping.”

I did the whole rundown on your company and she said, “Dad, really? I already know that.” I’ve been beaten to the punch again by the 21 year old.

So, you’re a hit with the college kids. I can tell you that because I have two of them in college and they both knew about it. They were like, “Dad, good for you.” You’ve got to know they think it’s very cool.

Jess, I never end this show without sharing with my guest my favorite quote and it is from Maya Angelou which is: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” And I hope we made you feel part of our tribe and welcome. Because I can’t thank you enough for spending time with us. We hope you’ll come back in six months and share more of your success stories

I would like to ask you a favor. In your travels, if you come across another entrepreneur that you think would enjoy this platform to tell their stories and share with our listeners, would you send them our way?

Jess: Of course. I’m absolutely okay with that. I will send anyone your way whose similar questions I want to hear the answers to, and that’s a lot of entrepreneurs so expect a deluge.

John: We look forward to it. Stay in touch with us please. I wish you the very best and be well, my friend.

Jess: Thank you, John. Very nice to talk to you.

John: Alright. Bye, Jess.

Jess: Bye.