Prior to founding Gospel Technology in 2016, his career and key experience gained was focused on building large scale infrastructures for global enterprises. Ian Smith was instrumental in leading the design of data architectures for corporations including HSBC, Dell, Deutsche Bank, and Lloyds TSB Group.
In 2009 Ian Smith founded his first enterprise software company; Butterfly Software, a data analytics and migration software company, which was acquired by IBM in 2012. In 2016 he founded Gospel Technology with a mission focussed on allowing organizations to share data both inter and intracompany whilst maintaining control. Whilst this may appear fairly un-exciting - it is the basis for modern business. Trusted data and secure use of that data are the foundation of an ethical business environment. Gospel Technology has developed technology with proprietary distributed data security capabilities along with deep open integration into the existing enterprise stack for frictionless adoption.
I am proud that our approach to the business issues we are addressing have been recognized by LocalGlobe, IA Ventures and Salesforce Ventures who agree that the major problems facing business and society today require the kind of trusted foundation of data that Gospel Technology provides.
~ Ian Smith
Q: What would you like to see your team accomplish in 2019?
Primarily I want to see our team develop and progress both as individuals and as a high achieving team. I will personally support this and ensure that they are aligned with the Gospel Technology mission and achieve this as one of my key objectives. With each day that passes, I gain a greater understanding from our clients and partners of the importance of the work that we are doing at Gospel Technology. Our mission to build trust into enterprise organizations allowing them to operate at digital efficiency has many applications. We believe that as a team we can comprehensively focus on and support all of our clients, resolving real business challenges and driving a digital agenda that reduces risk, improves efficiency and supports data-driven collaboration that resolves many of the big business problems - in delivering this we will have exceeded expectations.
Q: Who is your role model or hero?
This is a tough one - I personally have a focus on seeking out self-development from all sources. I look to my family, my friends and my colleagues and partners to listen and absorb with the hope that I can personally ‘accumulate and adapt’ this knowledge to improve myself. I try to consume as much written or recorded content as possible whether it be business books or podcasts with a view that I will select and curate knowledge to hopefully improve my own life and business practices. That said, as a founder and entrepreneur, I find myself facing a continual challenge of comparing myself to a perfect and optimized version of my own self - which creates a constant need to drive forward. In terms of role models - anyone who has performed exceptionally over a sustained period I hold in high regard. Whether this is emergency services, sports people, business leaders- perseverance and persistence 'against the odds' I value hugely.
As a founder and entrepreneur, I find myself facing a continual challenge of comparing myself to a perfect and optimized version of my own self - which creates a constant need to drive forward.
~ Ian Smith
Q: What is your favorite book?
I travel a lot and so I listen to many audiobooks and podcasts - my current favorite has to be “Black box thinking, by Matthew Syed”. I am also a big fan of ’The twenty minute VC’ by Harry Stebbings. I enjoy learning and absorbing new information whenever I have free time. As an aside to my technology work, I have a vineyard which is a huge passion of mine - I enjoy reading the latest publications on viticulture. It shows me how even with one of the oldest crafts - we are still learning and developing our understanding of growing, nurturing and harvesting grapes to make great wine.
Q: Do you use any specific method or system to run daily operations?
As a fast-growing startup it's super important to keep the whole business aligned and connected - without too much rigidity. Ultimately, I have to empower and trust my management team to execute daily against the mission of the business. I have great admin support, and we run a weekly all-hands meeting to provide a platform for everyone to engage in the business. At this scale, I take time to connect with all areas and key individuals in the business - again to progress and develop my understanding of the operational effectiveness of our organization.
Q: Looking back - if you could advise a younger version of yourself to do something different - what would it be?
I’m still young! haha. In a short time, the world has changed very quickly for young people. The connected world and the social media generation mean that life is very challenging for young people trying to navigate their way through the formative years. Created by the crazy world of highly-connected global materialism, there are unattainable standards created which must be exceptionally difficult to rationalize for young people. My guidance would be to not underestimate your own power, potential and capabilities, ignore the irrelevant aesthetics and focus deeply on what is real and how you can make a difference. Keep perspective and enjoy the little things without worrying too much about your own perceived limitations - you have the power to realize your dreams. Aim high and work hard!
Keep perspective and enjoy the little things without worrying too much about your own perceived limitations - you have the power to realize your dreams.
~ Ian Smith
Follow on Twitter: @iantsmith