Jess Butcher MBE gave us her insights as an inspirational woman this week, having won several awards including Fortune Magazine’s ‘Top 10 Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs’, she co-founded Blippar, the augmented reality and A.I technology business, and Tick.Done., as well as investing in a number of businesses. Her latest venture, Tick. Done. is a micro-video platform designed to build a mass community uploading and sharing ‘how to’ videos, hoping to empower new skills to a billion people and avoid the increasingly egocentric internet values. It was announced on Monday that Seedcamp will be leading Tick.Done.’s pre-seed round of over half a million pounds.
1. Best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Work Karma. Giving your time, advice and sharing experiences with others (no matter how inexperienced you may perceive yourself to be), builds your network and always pays off and comes full circle. You also learn more about yourself and can take stock of learnings/achievements to climb your own ladder that much faster. Your network is your greatest asset – invest in it.
2. Worst piece of advice you’ve been given?
I find the narrative of discrimination/disadvantage about being a woman within the fields of tech/entrepreneurship unhelpful. I’ve never personally found it so and I believe it encourages many women to see it in places where that might not actually be the case and removes the onus for self-analysis/self-accountability – plus actually undermines confidence. Our gender/identity labels (and those factors outside of our control) are the least interesting things about any of us. We are all individuals and have more in common with those with whom we share values than with those with whom we might share chromosomes. To my mind, lack of diversity around upbringing, education, social class, and ideology are much more worrying in today’s society but they are of course harder boxes to tick.
3. What would you tell your younger self?
Care less about what other people think of you. Just stay kind, focussed, open-minded and do your thing.
4. What excites you most about the future of your industry?
That there’s a new movement towards more responsible tech with social purpose, rather than tech for tech’s sake. I think the next generation of great tech businesses will much more thoughtful in their approach and the ramifications of what they’re building. Tech has brought so much good to the world already – but also inadvertent, unwanted negative by-products. I believe tech can also be the answer (and it’s what we’re trying to build with Tick.Done.: A better, kinder, quicker web that is less obsessed with ‘self’ and that drives us to do more together, in-person, offline).
5. Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
Always those with a healthy perspective on life, who don’t over-obsess about work over family/ friends/ experiences/ health. Those who look up and out, listen to and observe the world around them and just ‘do’, with humour. Life is too short to be spent internalising every experience. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends like that, and unfortunate to have lost a few too. They inspire and guide me daily.