Tech Swindon is all about getting to know our community, and we start off with ten questions to get the conversation going!
We interviewed Matt Aldridge, CEO of Mango Solutions, to find out more about the organisation
1. In your own words - what do you do?
Mango help our customers thrive by harnessing advanced analytics and data science to drive their businesses forward
2. What's the most exciting thing about what you're doing?
It's always exciting seeing the effect of Mango’s work in helping businesses change the way that they use data driving benefits such as optimising maintenance schedules at Housing Associations through to helping shorten drug discovery timescales. Helping customers on their data-driven journey is immensely satisfying
3. What are you most proud of so far?
Over the last few years being able to work with an amazing team within Mango and seeing people’s lives and careers develop is a tremendous feeling.
Also when we started we wanted to help people use data more effectively and embed complex analytics.
We were ahead of the market in that thinking and weren’t sure if mainstream industries would use statistical techniques. The wave of interest in Machine Learning and AI has given us the satisfaction of seeing our vision (start to) become reality.
4. What have you found most difficult about being a growing company?
As founders, you learn on the job and there are moments where you can’t be sure which way to turn. Accepting that these are often marginal decisions and being kind to yourself and recognising that you made decisions for the right reasons at that time helps with any feelings of regret.
Access to finance that doesn’t involve selling children into slavery or kidney donation is an age-old issue which never seems to change.
5. What would you do differently if you started now?
Not much, I’m a big believer in making mistakes once and learning from those lessons. However, finding time to chat with mentors and other owners is important, but in the initial enthusiasm can get lost in a flurry of alternative activity.
Many people do not comprehend the investment, financially and emotionally you make so finding or creating an environment where you can unload and share would be a key thing. Often the act of sharing an issue sparks the internal solution to it.
6. Where do you think you'll be in 12 months?
Whilst we are all going feeling the effects of COVID19 I think that it will help crystallise the importance for organisations to consider how they utilise data and analytics more effectively.
We expect that to lead to increased demand for Mango’s help and services.
7. What tools/people/services/organisations helped you most?
Employing experts is sometimes expensive but allows you to focus on what is truly important. Hiring an accountant on Day 1 was a big step for us but helped us concentrate on winning and delivering business.
Likewise not wading through legal agreements yourself or getting sales expertise in to sharpen messages and activities are crucial. Sometimes this expertise is expensive but the value it can create is immense.
8. What's the best thing about being based in near Swindon?
The last few months have reinforced that we are lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the world.
In terms of business, there is a great range of business expertise from a wide variety of industries in Swindon and the surrounding areas. Many tech veterans reside in our area and these can be really helpful in unlocking potential in you and your company.
9. What support does the tech scene need in Swindon?
We still need more investment in infrastructure and development. The ecosystem around tech needs to improve, we have a thriving tech scene but all too often councils, landlords, banks etc are stuck in old styles of thinking.
Groups like TechSwindon are vital to allow business owners to access ideas and advice in non-judgemental ways.
10. Where can we find out more about you?