Zapnito Advisor Insight: Mark Breslin's story
I was interviewed recently as a Zapnito advisor on my career and my perspective on Zapnito and its future - here are my responses
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself and how you became a Zapnito advisor?
First and foremost I’m a Business Consultant, I work with companies of different sizes across various sectors to solve difficult problems where an external perspective is needed. I help to determine root causes of a problem followed by designing and implementing sensible solutions that will work for a company and their customers. I have known Zapnito since its early days so I was delighted to join as an advisor. I am a big believer in the Zapnito vision, the value proposition and how they want to reinvent the experts network. This will help to harnessing a collective of brainpower to solve meaningful problems in the world.
2) Why, would you say, is Zapnito necessary and important today and how do you see Zapnito’s business developing in the next 5 years?
Given how ubiquitous digital is everywhere today in the developed world, oddly, the options for putting experts together globally and virtually, in a seamless and intuitive manner to collectively problem solve are very few. This is where Zapnito comes in. It solves a problem that is worth solving. As the pace of change and innovation continues to accelerate everywhere this makes the need even more important. Zapnito can and is used to solve business problems as well as societal problems by providing a place for experts to collaborate and problem solve together. I see Zapnito making further developments and tools to ensure these business problems are a thing of the past.
3) What in your opinion/experience is the single-most important skill in running a successful start-up?
It’s unrealistic to limit this to one skill as, in really, it’s a combination of a number of skills and attributes. At a minimum I would say the key skills are:
- Tenaciousness & self belief - having the ability to develop a vision that others buy into and be willing to walk on broken glass to make it a reality
- To be a leader that others want to follow
- To be an active listener. No one has all the answers so an entrepreneur must listen to advice from family, friends, staff, investors, customers, advisors, then interpret it and use it to guide and to help inform decision making
- And finally, related to the point above, is to be a fast learner that is willing to roll up your sleeves and do anything required whilst learning how to do it on the fly
4) What has been the biggest lesson you have learnt in your career to date?
Again, there have been so many it’s very difficult to limit to one. If I had to limit it to one, it is probably to have truly acknowledged that you can learn something from everyone you meet, in all walks of life if you are willing to listen, to care, be patient and be open minded. I am curious by nature so learning this and truly embracing it has opened my mind to a vast amount of new knowledge over the years that I would otherwise have not being aware of.
5) If you could advocate one company to the world (aside from Zapnito & your own), what would it be and why?
Wellcome Trust - Having worked there as a Transformation Consultant I was amazed at how much good they do in the world. They are the second largest philanthropic organisation in the world. They spend circa £1bpa to help to solve global health problems. A truly inspiring organisation.
6) 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
Renewable energy. We have only one planet and we cannot afford to break it. The world needs to move entirely onto clean energy within the coming decades and renewable energy is the path to make this happen.
Please do contact me if you would like to learn more about Zapnito or to get in touch about my work. Mark Breslin