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January 13, 2017
Name: Ky Nichol
I originally started in Space Science and was fortunate, as an undergrad, to work on mathematical models for micrometeorite impacts in near-earth orbit. I got a great opportunity to play around with big chemistry and electrical engineering in a fast-growing printed circuit board company that we grew to be the largest in the world.
From there, I moved into management consulting, which gave me fantastic exposure into lots of industries with a focus on implementing change. In this role, I spent a lot of time with the European Space Agency on the International Space Station, but also with Accenture, Shell and various Government Departments and Financial Services companies. I then got a fantastic opportunity to work with the London 2012 Olympics from its very early days and came to lead my consulting practice relating to Government and Major Sporting Events globally. The trend I became interested in was the ability to present the live telemetry of a critical event and to bring experience from the space industry and the Olympics into the enterprise for events that have similar risk and importance profiles, such as making changes to core banking systems.
When and how did you come up with the idea for Cutover?
It’s easy to join things up afterwards but the combination of the great live telemetry for critical events in some of my previous roles and industries, and the apparent lack of it due to the absence of established tooling in some of my other roles (such as helping out a colleague on the UK launch of EE: the UK's largest mobile provider), showed an area where we could really make a difference to people's lives, as well as improving enterprise costs and risk exposure.
What is a typical day like as the CEO?
It’s a role I am honoured to have. I am grateful for a fantastic team where success is due to a combined effort. My role is about stewardship and ensuring that we navigate the complex environment of growing a company based on the great set of insights and experiences from both within and outside of Cutover.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Selecting the right set of great opportunities that have been presented to us to date. We have benefitted greatly from an excellent startup ecosystem in London, from guidance within the Financial Services Industry, including fantastic support from Barclays and the wider Fintech Innovation Lab companies such as Nationwide, Morgan Stanley, RBS, Lloyds, Credit Suisse and others. It’s easy in this situation to attempt to do too much. The most difficult discussions are choosing what to focus on and what to leave until later.
What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned throughout running Cutover?
1. To respect the timescales and processes necessary to navigate engagement with our enterprise customers. It’s all too easy for a startup to forget the processes that are required for a corporation to operate at scale. We continue to develop packages to enable our prospective customers to quickly engage with us and to save them time.
2. That user experience and simplicity in enterprise applications is critical. We are focused on ensuring that we make it simple to start using Cutover and that it is a good experience in a critical and stressful time. Listening to the users in this case and our investment in user groups is a great route to continuing this drive.
What are your main priorities going forward?
To build out the product in a way that continues to delight customers and engage more of them. To continue to build a great team and collaborative culture. To ensure we deliver great value to the Financial Services Industry.
What do you see in the future for Cutover?
We have a great vision for where we can take Cutover with the sponsorship of our users and customers. That's not something I will go into detail about here for lots of good reasons, but we have some great innovations in the pipeline.