No need for glamour, but have a good story
Last night I attended the Northern Tech Awards
, celebrating the most successful technology companies in the North of England and Scotland.
What always strikes me about this event is how it focuses on companies that generally don’t get a look in from the tech press because they often don’t move in London venture capital circles, and don’t tend to court the media.
Also, many of them fly under the radar because what they do isn’t ‘sexy.’ But when it comes to revenue and profit, they’re often more successful than the companies that do get coverage.
This is a reminder that tech isn’t always about headline-grabbing innovations. Tech, overall, is the new industry. It’s not always about scaling at venture capital speeds – some of the companies pitching to judges yesterday were over a decade old. It’s all about businesses building things people need, and making a profit on it – you know, it’s normal business with new kinds of products.
That’s not to say the companies taking part in yesterday’s awards were merely 'normal’ – but they just weren’t all necessarily in sexy industries.
But that doesn’t mean there isn’t any value in adding a layer of gloss to a successful but unglamorous company.
As Blue Prism
’s Dave Moss noted when he was interviewed onstage last night, having a good story can be hugely beneficial. Blue Prism’s automation software didn’t fit into any existing category, so they invented the term 'robotic process automation’ – a phrase now widely used to describe the field in which they’re a leader. Moss credits this move with being an important part of the company’s success
Given the work I do to help tech companies, I almost punched the air with happiness when he said this. 'Sexiness’ is in the eye of the beholder, or mouth of the storyteller.