Value Inspiration Podcast


Product Innovation: How doing good and making a big bottom-line impact go perfectly hand-in-hand

Season 2, Ep. 73

This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that boosts the return on investment of our advertising by turning every ad into an ethical one, and my guest is Amy Williams, Co-Founder and CEO of Good Loop.

Amy is an active member of the Women in Tech and Tech For Good communities. She was recently named by Forbes as one of the 30 Under 30 most influential people in media & marketing and has recently been listed in The Drum Digerati as one of the 100 outstanding individuals excelling in the UK digital industry.

Amy has worked in the advertising sector all her career. At the age of 15 she first stepped into an advertising agency. She cut her teeth at one of the world's largest advertising agencies where she worked on everything from global TV ads to scrappy social campaigns. During this time she realised that it’s really difficult for brands to get their message in front of their audience in a cost-effective and positive way. 

The more she learned about the industry the more she started to see a disconnect between brands and the people they were trying to talk to. Too often the transaction between advertiser and viewer is at best impersonal and at worst unpleasant. As ad blocker downloads continue to rise and quality journalism continues to suffer the consequences, she sensed that it was time for a more positive solution. That's why she founded the ethical video advertising platform, Good-Loop.

This inspired me, hence I invited Amy to my podcast. We explore what’s broken in the advertising industry and why current approaches to get the maximum number of eyeballs for the minimum possible cost will only make things worse, not better. 

We dive into the concept behind Good-Loop, and how it’s found an ingenious way to connect people, brands and publishers in more meaningful, and consequently more effective way that’s creating a winning case for everyone involved. 

Here are some of his quotes:

The big idea behind my business is that your time, your attention and your data, all of these things online, they are valuable to someone. They're valuable to advertisers.

And so, we want to basically harness that value and use it to make the world a better place.

The reason I called it Good Loop actually was, I was thinking about this idea of creating a virtuous cycle: Advertising is such a big business and it funds the free internet.

But it's something that people inherently resent. There's a huge erosion of public trust around advertising online.

It’s illustrated by how many people use ad-blockers. Hundreds of millions use ad blockers, and then it kind of leaves you the question: ‘How are we going to keep the internet free if we can't find a way for advertising to be perceived more positively?’

So, we're on a mission to make ethical advertising the new normal. And that means that whenever you see an ad online, it shouldn't be something you block, it should be something that you're pleased to see because it means that the world is being made a better place.

During this interview, you will learn three things:

  1. Why, in order to create breakthrough innovation, it’s key to frame the problem in the correct way i.e. name the true villain in your story
  2. How, by making your solution outcome oriented, or in other words only make customers pay for success, you can create an offer that’s a no-brainer for every stakeholder to get involved in
  3. Why, by simply starting, you will be 10 times further ahead than most people who just talk about an idea, but hope for all stars to align.

More Episodes


The compounding effect as to how we can keep getting better incrementally every day

Season 3, Ep. 106
This podcast interview focuses on product innovation that has the power to amplify the impact humans can make by a factor 10. My guest is Ajeet Kushwaha, Co-founder and CTO/CPO of SeekifyAjeet is a serial entrepreneur but started his career as a software engineer. In 2010 he co-founded his first company, a saas based practice management platform for doctors. In 2011 he cofounded HealthKart, and in 2012 1MG.In 2015 he built ‘Joe Hukum’, a chatbot SaaS platform, that was acquired by Freshworks in 2017 where he then became the Director of Product Management.In the middle of 2019 he then founded Seekify - a Customer Experience Automation Platform, helps businesses deliver wow customer experience by automating it without losing the human touch.And this triggered me, hence I invited Ajeet to my podcast. We explore the opportunity we have to enable humans to 10x the impact they can make if we go beyond the notion of just ‘automation’. We also discuss Ajeet’s perspective on what it takes to create a remarkable software business.I personally believe in the compounding effect as to how we can keep getting better incrementally every day. I believe very fundamentally that a healthy competition is always when you compete with yourself and not to the world, because then you have the possibility to the best in the worldWhile working at Freshbooks (a business software company), we realized that how only automation or how only human intervention cannot lead to a better experience. All these things needs to operate in tandem, hand in hand.That thought led to the case: Can we bring something in this in the scene where we empower these customer facing teams to deliver a better customer experience by bringing automation together. Can we create an intersection of these and make sure that automation is enabling, augmenting human in a way, that they can deliver the customer experience, which a customer really is looking for.During this interview, you will learn three things:That too often our solutions are reactive to how people want them to work. But what if we make them much more like a GPS – with self-healing characteristics based on what’s actually happeningHow momentum is created by being very picky about selecting your customersWhy the biggest impact is made when you take the mindset that every problem comes with a solution. It’s that determination that helps us win the biggest battles.

What it takes to accelerate sales in today’s B2B market

Season 3, Ep. 105
This podcast interview focuses on the big idea behind Cognism, a sales acceleration platform, and the lessons tech-entrepreneur James Isilay learned on his journey of delivering remarkable impact with his business.James Isilay is the co-founder and CEO of Cognism, one of the fastest-growing SaaS companies in the UK. Last year, Cognism grew from $2.5M to $7M in ARR and was voted by LinkedIn as one of the UK’s Top 25 Startups. He’s an inspirational and enterprising businessman, who approaches work with unrivalled technical and organisational skills, perseverance, precision and total dedication.Before founding Cognism, James was employed as an Algorithmic Trader at Axpo Group and as a Quantitative/Technical Analyst at EGL Trading. James has a Masters in Engineering in Information Systems Engineering from Imperial College London.He is an expert in lead generation, sales management and alpha discovery using algorithmic technologies, natural language processing and machine learning.What triggered me to invite James to my podcast is their story to accelerate sales by enriching prospect data with critical event data. We explore what’s broken in B2B sales and the new ways to solve the problem. We explore the lessons learned by James starting and scaling his tech-start-up, and what decisions helped him to realize the impact they’re creating today.Here are some of his quotes:The biggest thing that causes failure in a lot of companies is just poor sales process and bad sales process.Sales is actually your first problem as a CEO that you need to address and get right.And then, when you got that right, then you've got time to get your other bits right. But if you get sales wrong, you don't really have much of a chance.People waste a lot of people time pulling leads off LinkedIn, putting them through several tools to build a data set that then is not very highly responsive to outreach. So you waste, you burn time across the whole process.Whereas, if you can just get that list built correctly and efficiently and then engage that list in an effective sales cadence and get a high response, then you're saving time across every aspect and you're getting a better outcome on the actual new business that you're generating. That's pretty much the majority of the battle.During this interview, you will learn three things:Why it’s important to not only solve a highly valuable problem, but also pay attention to how urgent/critical this is to your ideal customer.Why, the moment you have success, you need to continuously keep thinking about how you upgrade ‘the system’ – nothing is staticHow to go about collecting feedback – and why it’s key to get that from real customers, those who are completely neutral and honest to tell you what works…and what sucks.

Technically Right, Effectively Wrong: Why 85% Data Science Projects Fail

Season 3, Ep. 104
This podcast interview focuses on a key aspect to drive product innovation and that is mastering human centered design. My guest is Brian T. O’Neill, founder and principal of Designing for Analytics.Brian T. O'Neill is a designer, advisor, and founder of Designing for Analytics, an independent consultancy which helps organizations design innovate innovative products powered by data science and analytics. For over 20 years, he has worked with companies including DellEMC, Global Strategy Group, Tripadvisor, Fidelity, JP Morgan Chase, ETrade and several SAAS startups.He has spoken internationally, giving talks at O'Reilly Strata, Enterprise Data World, the International Institute for Analytics Symposium, Predictive Analytics World, and Boston College. Brian also hosts the 5-star podcast,Experiencing Data, where he reveals the strategies and activities that product, data science and analytics leaders are using to deliver valuable experiences around data. In addition to consulting, Brian is also a professional percussionist and has performed at Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center.What triggered me to invite Brian to my podcast was one of his quotes about the fact that 85% of AI, analytics, and big data projects fail. That’s why we explore why this is the case, and what needs to be done different in order to be successful – creating software products that people find worth making a remark about.Here are some of his quotes:I started to see really, really bad survey results over 10 plus years. What I'm specifically talking about here is the success rate for delivering data projects.The theme here is the success rate on launching successful data initiatives hovered around 10 to 25%. So that means there’s failure rates up in the 75% plus.My general feeling was: There's a lack of a focus on the human aspect of analytics and data science projects and products right now. We're trying to use the data science and analytics hammer, and we're looking for stuff to hit. But no one's really aware why do we need holes? Who needs a hole? And where do they need the hole? Instead, it's just hit nails wherever we can and hope that someone maybe needs a hole there.During this interview, you will learn three things:That a first step in succeeding data projects is to stop forgetting about the value of fun and engaging with people.Why it is key to define the owner of value creation in your team – i.e. someone that owns the problem and the accountability for analytics and data science solutions to product value.That we have lost the humanity aspect in solution design – and a way to fix that and get some real wins is to spend time developing soft skills