This week’s interviewee is David Levine, CEO of DigitalBridge.
1. Biggest mistake you made in the last year & how you fixed it?
I almost made the huge mistake of assuming that an accelerator programme we were invited to apply for was a waste of time. It was the John Lewis accelerator and it meant spending 12 weeks in London over the summer. Having tried (and failed) to make much impact with them over the previous two years, and having to spend so much time in London were just two reasons I literally – almost – very nearly – decided not to apply. In fact, it was only in the last hour before the deadline I decided to do so.
I’m glad I did.
280 companies applied. 5 – including us – got in. We ended up spending 12 weeks in their Head Office, being mentored by senior execs, using their UX hub and running and in-store trials which proved the value of our platform. We ended up winning that programme and securing not only investment from them but huge amounts of PR (including the Times) which brought in further investment.
Lesson learned: Assumption really is the mother of all mess-ups. Don’t assume. You never know where opportunity comes from – take every single one.
2. A lightbulb moment
Realising the whole point of hiring people smarter than me (not difficult!) is that you have to trust them to make decisions. Once you do, you realise they’re right far more often than you are. But you have to let go.
3. Tip for tomorrow
Just do it. The only thing in life that is rocket science is – believe it or not – rocket science. Even brain surgery isn’t rocket science (it’s brain surgery). Everything else you can do – just believe in yourself. How do you know what your strengths are? Ask people you trust and look at what you’ve achieved in your career. Previous performance is a good indicator of future behaviours.
Want to share your advice?
NWB confessional style interviews are posted every Monday from people in the business community. They are not self-promoting, or carefully selected quotes to make you sound good. They are full of useful, actionable insights from experience, not egos or bravado. If you like NWB’s style and have something useful to say, we’d love to interview you. Tweet @nowankybollocks or email katie [at] subjectconsulting.com.