Home' acuity : Acuity March 15 Contents we get advertisers to continue their
support of what we’re building.”
At that time, advertisers weren’t
using digital the way Batten thought it
could be used.
“While I didn’t obviously see
Facebook doing what it’s done – I wish I
had – I could see that there was this real
shift in how consumers were interacting
with digital media and early signals of
the shift into social media. Really, this
complete disruption of advertising is
what I could see happening.”
She says while “complete disruption”
has yet to happen there are more
players every day.
“It seemed to me we needed a fresh,
smart way of looking at digital advertising
so I had this idea I wanted to start
advertising that was focused on digital.”
The idea was then planned, funded
and sold (French company Havas
bought a majority interest in the agency
in 2012) more quickly than she could
have imagined – testimony to the team
having the right idea at the right time.
“It was very quick and very, very
After the success of Massive, Batten
admits she had a huge vision for
Victors & Spoils.
The company is still going strong,
although it has moved in a different
direction than Batten had initially
envisaged, becoming more of an
advertising agency than a digital platform.
“Sometimes you will make
compromises to make sure you can live
to see another day versus dying on the
vine with your true vision intact.”
Batten says there is a little science
to successfully exiting a company,
“plus a lot of wishful, optimistic
thinking around the continuation of
the journey and the dream”.
Being an entrepreneur involves
knowing not just when – and how – to
get in, but knowing when to get out.
“I don’t know if you actually ever know
when it’s the right time to sell,” Batten says.
“When you make that decision you
know that you’re locking yourself in
to becoming part of somebody else’s
vision, rather than necessarily moving
your own one further.”
When an entrepreneur gets presented
with an opportunity to exit a company
they need to consider where they are
at, whether they can move forward on
their own, or whether they need the
support of an entity that’s going to take
them to the next place, Batten says.
There are a number of ways to get
support from another company.
“Partners could take small stakes,
they could take big stakes, they could
acquire you, support you – you get to a
certain point when you know you need
these strategic partnerships to move
forward and there are multiple ways
you could come together.”
She says while the “big guns” are
needed to add value, a start-up also
needs to ensure these big guns “are
hearing your story”.
“That’s why I’m a big fan of PR –
you’ve got to make sure people are
hearing about you.”
Equally, you need to make sure
people who are in your network are
aware of what you are doing, and that
you make purposeful connections with
the right folk in strategic relationships.
For example, Massive’s partnership
with Microsoft came about after
Massive evolved to such a degree
that it was able to engage in strategic
discussions with the software giant.
Managing your network
While Batten is a great fan of networking
and connectivity, her next business
venture was designed to solve the
problem of too much connectivity and
to offer a way to manage connections.
So she and two other women co-
founded Broadli, a mobile app which
helps people organise their LinkedIn
network in a meaningful way.
This provides an alternative
to “stalking” people on LinkedIn
who might be able to help you
professionally, then connecting with
them in a very “cold start”.
Batten says if they don’t know you
they won’t know whether to help you, or
why they even should.
“With Broadli we pre-filter that – you put
out what you need help with and then your
networks suggest people they think you
should connect with to help you with that.
“ Then people who are connected to
you and know you well and know your
work can make an introduction, like a
Broadli started with “a big bang”, with
its launch covered by Fast Company.
While the team has now taken a step back
to review business, Batten continues to be
involved with the company.
“My personal belief is that all companies
have their own journey and their own path
and timing, and Broadli decided that it
needed to slow down.”
What Batten loves most about being an
entrepreneur is the people.
“ Trying to create something – with
a team – something that hasn’t existed
before, is a great experience.”
She also loves convincing other
people to share the journey and
finding ways to win as a group.
This desire to create something
that has never existed before is “the
entrepreneurial crack”, and that’s the
addiction that gets entrepreneurs out
of bed every day, she says.
Having worked in law and in the
mechanical side of running business, then
from working at Microsoft, she enjoys
operational execution. But having and
creating a huge vision that, without you,
couldn’t exist, is the biggest motivator.
She describes herself as a change
agent, as well as an entrepreneur.
“I think I’m that before I’m an
entrepreneur – and that’s the bit that I
really do enjoy the most.”
When asked if there’s a formula for
success as an entrepreneur, she says she
doesn’t believe in formulas.
“I disregard them right at the outset. The
acuity | MARCH 2015
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