Guy Jackson, Co-Founder, Launchpad, has a 15-year career in media & ad-tech, with previous roles including VP at Teads and UK Commercial Director, Yieldmo.
Who is your digital hero?
Alexander “Solly” Solomou – CEO & Founder of LADbible.
What has he done to win hero status in your eyes?
Solly’s story is one that dreams of made of and for me, what Hero status is all about. A young lad from Stockport with a vision, an idea and most importantly a plan (and guts) to realise it. Founding a business straight out of university and in less than 10 years taking it public in a multi-million pound float, while still holding a majority stake in the business….. all by the age of 30. I’d say “BOSH!!!” – what a story.
Entrepreneurship is really important in business culture, and you’ll see how Solly has instilled it in his teams within LADbible where ideas are valued more than hard-line structures, giving staff the knowledge that they can be the masters of their own success.
If there was one negative thing that I have to say about Solly, it would be the fact that he shamefully copied my designer hairstyle.
How has his heroism helped drive digital?
LADbible as a brand also fascinates me in a number of ways:
Firstly – I believe that they were the 1st and probably still the best publication to leverage the modern digital consumption of the youth, enabling social as their core traffic driver. Tapping into this at the right time gave LBG a huge advantage of not needing to pivot a historical business model into something new but instead be at the forefront of defining how
Secondly – I love what LADbible means in today’s world. On the night that I met Solly and asked about the connotations behind the term LAD, he replied “It’s easy to change a name, it’s a challenge and an achievement to change the connotations of a word through the creation of a movement to enforce positive thought and behaviours”. Building a voice and community of the youth & for the youth and centring that around positive and thought provoking & diverse subject matter enables them to have huge social effect and one that I hope will influence the leaders of the future.
What the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?
Technically, I believe that measurement and the creation within the digital economy is the biggest challenge that the ecosystem faces. However, one of the issues that I would like to see solved the most is the problem of extremism being proliferated by the ways that the modern tech giants have changed the nature of news consumption.
Moderate viewpoints are no longer able to get the airtime they deserve due to eye-catching and extreme headlines from both sides of the political divide getting more attention and interest. I believe it to be a massive issue and one that throws massive fuel to the fire of division in today’s society.
Whether this comes down to the human psyche more than a problem that can be solved by digital product is a question that I can’t answer, however a belief that I hold strongly all the same.
What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?
In the company of the people above, I don’t really think that I have anything of note that I feel I can brag about.
Digital (or tech) for me has always been about growth. Building solutions that solve repeatable challenges for humans and as such giving way to the potential for exponential growth in businesses that don’t rely on a service-based business model. However, this then shifts the requirements of humans from being doers to thinkers and idea creators. I’m a strong believer in growth being a mindset, the ability to see past barriers and realise a bigger picture.
From this I’d say that my biggest achievements aren’t ‘what I have done’ or ‘what I’ve built’ but in seeing AMAZING people within teams that I’ve built flourish and continue to break down barriers in their careers after gaining more belief in what can be accomplished past previous conceptions of potential from the position of a growth mindset.
Our business Launchpad is a consultancy that helps business in the space realise growth potential. We help businesses within the space understand their options for growth based on the collection and illustration of fact-based evidence, detailing the requirements around any given growth strategy and enabling us to help businesses gain consensus around what options are the best to pursue and the tasks that they have in order to execute them effectively while minimising risk.
Ultimately “digital” is the new age of the ways of work where “Experience” is nowhere near as valued as it may previously have been because the world is changing at such a rapid pace. The mindset to develop yourself and leverage new technological developments is the only way to keep yourself growing. The only experience now is the knowledge of how to manage and utilise mindset as a means to keep you current.