Simon Chatfield is the CEO of OptimumHQ. Simon is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Simon provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of OptimumHQ. Simon Chatfield joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has recently awarded OptimumHQ with our Impact Company of 2019 award. We are delighted to have Simon join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview and our popular “speed round” as well.
Simon, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview about your company, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. What is the “elevator pitch” for OptimumHQ?
OptimumHQ was founded on the idea of building custom applications without having to start from scratch. The whole custom software process – while the outcome is amazing – is flawed and quite frankly, it sucks. It takes too long and costs too much. With the concept of datasets and workflows, OptimumHQ puts the power in the business person’s hands to develop their own solutions or work with a Business Analyst/Solutions Architect to develop custom solutions at 10% of the cost and 10x the speed of traditional custom development.
2. What is the key to your company’s success?
We’re currently building out a new niche in the industry and we’re not entirely sure when we will achieve product market fit. Our ability to adapt the software and adapt strategies quickly to make sure we’re always keeping the customer front and center and building software that they love is the most important thing. The key is building something customers want/need, even if it doesn’t come out the way you initially envisioned it would.
3. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
Make sure that you have a product that people will pay for. You can have the greatest idea and company in the world but if there’s no real customer base who’s willing to pay for it, you are going to fail.
4. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Focus on your core business and core principles (and make sure you have core principles in place).
5. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at OptimumHQ, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
Our Director of Customer Success was our 10th hire in the company and that department is currently one of the largest divisions of the organization. Focusing on customers and their success on the platform is key for any SaaS company and is a large part of our success.
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
“The Google.” But seriously, I spend a least an hour or two of the day listening to business podcasts, watching videos and reading blogs, seeing what’s new and trending on LinkedIn, etc.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead OptimumHQ?
I get up in the morning to have fun, build something new, and solve tough challenges. I keep myself at peak performance by waking up early and dedicating the first 3 hours of the day to myself: working out, reading, etc.
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
“The Great Game of Business” by Jack Stack. It covers the concept of bringing your employees and teams in on the key drivers that they can do to directly impact the business. This enables the business and everyone in it to take ownership. In many ways business is a game and at OptimumHQ we like to have fun, but if you don’t know what the score is how do you know if you’re winning or not?
9. When communicating with your staff, can you tell us the most important thing you do so that they are able to carry out the objectives that you set forth at OptimumHQ?
We have weekly staff meetings where everyone gets together and sees what every other aspect of the business is doing. They understand the challenges and opportunities, and everyone can weigh in and identify what their tasks are for the next week. It creates an open communication forum where all departments can get on the same page and share ideas.
10. Can you explain what leadership means to you?
Leadership means being ready to help anybody at the company at any point. Be their support and make sure they’re successful.
We would like to have some fun and do a “speed round” with you! We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only.
Here you go!
1. In three words or less, what makes a successful CEO?
Passion and understanding.
2. Describe your business in one word?
3. Describe your customers in one word?
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about your company?
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
Delivering great experience.
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
Product. Culture. Luck.
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at OptimumHQ?
Prove and move.
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
More gray hairs.
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English language?
Simon Chatfield, thank you so much for sitting down with us for our DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping our readers learn more about what it takes to be a leader. We wish you, your family, and of course OptimumHQ, nothing but the best.
Simon Chatfield, CEO of OptimumHQ, The Leader Roundtable Interview Series