Teenage hackers love what they do – do you?
The Festival Of Code is a week-long, UK-wide celebration of the next generation of ‘aspiring tech superstars’ – and maybe the generation beyond that, too. It’s a free national ‘hackathon’ for developers aged five (yes, five!) to 18 years old, who have the chance to build innovative apps and digital prototypes based on open data. Organisations supporting this unique event include Barclays, Salesforce and London Zoo.
The festival is a brilliant idea, inspiring thousands of young people to use their technical skills in a live business environment. It encourages innovation, creativity, and fosters a spirit of entrepreneurialism. As one 16-year-old participant put it: “Coding has become my real passion and I’m excited to see where it can take me.”
Innovation is addictive. At BCMS, our tech clients are very often developers at heart. I think of Mike Davies, of Compass Computer Consultants, who sold his business to a listed plc, but told us “the thing that excited me most was designing and writing software”. We met a tech sector MD just last week who has brought in a CEO and senior management team so he doesn’t have to spend his working day on day-to-day operations. He just gets on with what he really loves: developing apps.
Whatever the sector, entrepreneurs think similarly. Many are almost accidental business owners. I recall one BCMS client in the food sector, who liked to spend his working day in the company kitchens, coming up with new product flavourings. One client in home furnishings we met recently wants to focus on product design and marketing, not forecasts and business plans.
Getting ‘back to what I do best’; is a major reason for selling a business. Our clients regularly tell us that selling has given them creative freedom. Interestingly many choose to stay with the business they sold, in new roles. As one client, who sold in 2015, said: “We work part-time. Our time off is our time off. We could do more if we wanted, but we’re enjoying pursuing interests outside of the business…”
My point here is about finding what you love, and focusing on that. If you love what you do, then it doesn’t really feel like work, does it?
I’m sure any tech-savvy schoolkid could tell you that…