Please tell us a little bit about yourself
I studied hospitality management as my degree and then worked at the University of New South Wales for over six years. E-learning was what caught my imagination for a number of reasons. I then moved back to London where I first discussed the concept of Zapnito with Charles (my cousin) and Jon. I became engrossed by the platform for expertise and saw how Zapnito could be used to deliver learning. I myself started a solely digital platform a couple of years ago to enable individuals to become chartered managers at CMI accredited institutes.
How did you end up becoming a Zapnito advisor?
Intrigued by the potential of Zapnito’s expertise-focused platform I wanted to be a part of its development and help it grow, so I was approached to become an advisor, offering my services, personal network and own business expertise when possible.
Why is Zapnito necessary and important today?
I believe Zapnito is most critical in the modern day for all sorts of publishers as it provides multi-media publishing with ease. This is why I feel the application has the potential to be key within the education space. With content publishing no longer viable in print and old digital technology hindering knowledge producers in modern learning, the Zapnito platform is simple and offers accessible reliable insights from trusted publishers. Universities, especially need to adapt to deliver learning and Zapnito supply engaging digital content, meeting the needs of the future generation.
How do you see Zapnito’s business developing in the next 5 years?
Feeds is certainly a product for the future and one that there is a high demand for. Its embeddable functionality and gateway price point is exactly what new customers need to use the programme on their own site before then considering their own Network. This illustrates the platform’s relative advantage which is critical to the consumer’s purchase decision process.
What in your opinion/experience is the single-most important skill in running a successful start-up?
In my experience, tenacity and resilience is the most important skill to running a successful start-up. Keep applying your nose to the grind stone and have the belief in your vision and what you’re doing.
What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt in your career to date?
The most significant realisation I have learnt in my career so far is that people are the essence to any organisation. The biggest lesson however, would have to be to embrace the trustworthiness and dedication of people. If you create the best environment to help them reach their potential and let go of all a lot of control, people will surprise you.
And what is your main career goal for the next 5 years?
To make Switch education a business success. I aim to become the leading platform for managers globally to be a become leaders. Assisting non-traditional ‘accidental’ managers is one objective I am especially passionate about. Anyone can be a brilliant team leader and improve their managerial skills, I want to facilitate that and help individuals to get the qualifications they want and need along the way.
If you could advocate one company to the world (aside from Zapnito & your own), what would it be and why?
It might not be everyone's cup of tea but I'll say Starbucks (pun intended). As Charles knows, I've had an over 20 year relationship with them so I'll call out my bias and I accept they ain't perfect. And why advocate them? The people and the culture, NOT the coffee, is what makes them successful. Benefits, empowerment, diversity - you name it, they're up there.Tech companies take note, the product is obviously critical - no one is going to go to Starbucks if they have bad coffee (some would argue they already do!). But it's the people and culture that keeps it going.
Everyone has a brilliant app idea. What’s yours?
To take Switch education onto a mobile platform.
If you had £1 billion and had to invest it in only one of the following three, which would it be and why? 1. Virtual Reality 2. Artificial Intelligence 3. Renewable Energy
I think by py process of elimination, everyone throwing billions at renewable energy. Virtual reality is also well covered but it does have the potential to become an important tool to business management. It would have to be AI though, as it has so much scope to how it can be applied to tech and society.
And that’s me really. Please do contact me if you would like to learn more about Zapnito or even to get in touch about my work. Richard Carter