Interview: Dan Lewis, CEO of Digital Profile
Dan Lewis is a seasoned Welsh tech entrepreneur in his own right, having set up web development firm The Genie Lab in 2010 and social media analytics platform Blurrt in 2012.
He’s on his latest business development, Digital Profile, a service that aims to change the way people find jobs and employers find new talent. We talk to him about the business, his career and the Welsh tech sector, in general.
TD: Can you tell us more about you and your background?
DL: I studied design at the University of South Wales before working in finance for 7 years. After getting made redundant, I set up The Genie Lab, providing specialist web development services.
While at Genie, I moved on to creating my next start-up Blurrt, which delivered real time Twitter analytics. Eventually, I was itching to start my newest venture and left The Genie Lab and Blurrt to pursue the Digital Profile dream.
TD: What is Digital Profile? What does it do?
DL: It’s a platform that allows individuals to place themselves in the perfect job and companies to discover the perfect candidate without the middleman.
TD: Why did you set it up?
DL: I’ve experienced the difficulties of recruiting digital professionals firsthand so wanted to create something that would disrupt the market and help both individuals and companies find their perfect match.
TD: How does it benefit your customers?
DL: For the individual, it replaces the boring CV with a personal profile and puts them back in the driver’s seat to find their perfect job. For the business, it’s a far more cost effective and efficient way of looking for talent.
TD: Why does recruitment need to change?
DL: Unfortunately, the market has an increasingly negative reputation with underhand tactics, high costs and candidates being sent to jobs they are not qualified for. Subsequently, there’s little faith in the current industry. We’re hoping to change that, though!
TD: How can your start-up do this?
DL: We’re working on creating an easy and transparent platform for individuals and businesses to use, and our payment options are dramatically lower than recruitment agents’ fees. In due course, we’ll also provide a matchmaking service to further assist in finding the perfect counterpart.
TD: What do you think about the Welsh tech scene?
DL: The Welsh tech scene is thriving. It’s an exciting place to be. There’s some great support available from the Welsh Government as well as a large community of entrepreneurs that offer support and guidance to one another.
TD: What motivates you to be successful?
DL: The opportunity to change and disrupt a market for the better. I’m aiming to create a platform that transforms the job search worldwide.
TD: What has been your biggest win?
DL: Working with people at the top of their game and learning from them, as well as them from me, has been invaluable. I’ve also created many jobs and helped progress careers. This is a huge personal gain for me. Seeing others do well from what I’ve created is my biggest triumph!
TD: What has been your hardest lesson to learn?
DL: Letting failure get to me. There was a time when I took defeat to heart too often, but I’ve come to realise there is always a solution and failure is what enables you to grow. My mantra is now: ‘fail fast, learn fast’.
TD: What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs looking to go into the tech sector in Wales?
DL: The advantages of being in Wales is huge. We’re in a thriving community with lots of funding and help available. Speak to other entrepreneurs who can share connections and help you. Above all, do what you love!