Interview with Oak
What’s your name and where do you come from? My name is David Pinches and I am currently Marketing Director at Oak – https://www.oak.com/. Oak is a cloud-based intranet service aiming to improve employee engagement and digitalise internal processes.
I have been in the software business for all my career, I have been lucky enough to see start-ups flourish, as well as seeing emerging businesses come and go.
How did you spot a space in the market for your product or service? We saw “the cloud” coming. It wasn’t an omen for bad weather but a disruptive force for the way that software would be written, bought and used by organisations both large and small. We decided to embrace the new technology at an early stage, this put us in the unique position of having a start-up nature within an existing company.
How long did you think about your business before bringing it to life? Once we had spotted the opportunity for a new business model we started work. It took us 3-4 years to build our cloud-based intranet called Oak.
How did you raise the funds to start your business? Although already in business, we required new funds to build Oak. We went to a local venture capital firm, Northstar Ventures and secured our first round of funding.
How do you stay informed – networking, newspapers, social media? All of the above, Networking is incredibly important for funding, news gives you the broad perspective and social media offers more of an individual flavour.
Tell us about one of your business low-points and what you learnt from it In a start-up, the next round of funding is always on the horizon. Once you have completed one round, you must immediately start working on the next!
Name five qualities people need to be successful in a job like yours Persistence, Objectivity, Desire, A Work Ethic and Love for your product.
Do you have a business mentor? We have a few mentors who we can turn to for advice on certain topics. We also have a non-executive team who will challenge ideas and add a valuable external perspective.
What’s been your favourite piece of press coverage so far? One of the most satisfying was getting a piece published in Businesswoman media. They were very interested in the cloud for business for their readership. http://www.thebusinesswomanmedia.com/cloud-answer-digital-streamlining/
Name one of your favourite start-ups Although they aren’t a start-up now, Tesla, as they kicked off the electric car sector with innovation after innovation, which was refreshing in the automotive market. They initially launched a new electric roadster, before moving into the mainstream with the fantastic Tesla Model S.
Quick fire round
Apple or Android? Apple
Mac or PC? PC
Apples for hands or melons for feet? Melons
Name two chocolate bars you would put together to make a super bar A Super White Bar – Green and Black’s Organic White and Lindt Excellence White Coconut
Oak is an enterprise-grade intranet software that’s applicable to any size organisation. Set up in hours and connect your people, partners and customers from anywhere, on anything. Engaging, beautiful and fun… it’s like nothing you’ve seen before.