Living-it Up In Silicon Valley | Q&A with Know-it CEO Lynne Darcey Quigley
Know-it’s CEO and founder Lynne Darcey Quigley recently jetted off to the Mecca of Tech Silicon Valley to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs, investors and leaders of multinational corporations.
The opportunity for Lynne came from winning the Startup Summit competition in October 2021, run by FutureX – a community who support business leaders, their companies and make a positive impact on the role businesses play in society.
What caught up with Lynne to find out what she’s taken away from the trip and how it has inspired her!
What did you expect?
I had no idea what to expect!
All I had was an agenda from FutureX, 1 week out of running Know-it and my general curiosity.
For selfish reasons I was hoping that I could understand if Know-it could work in the USA market through banking partnerships, data integrations and the US business infrastructure.
However, I took away so much more than that, so it was definitely an experience worth doing.
Best experience when you were there
There were so many great experiences for all different reasons. But Eric McAfee was really inspiring!
After “retiring” aged just 32 he says he doesn’t work anymore. All the business he creates and invests in are for his fun and enjoyment. He still has a passion that drives him even though from a financial perspective he doesn’t need to be involved in business anymore.
Taking pride and joy in our work and having a purpose is something I think we can all be inspiration from.
Best words of advice
One piece of advice I’ve heard lots over the years is “no one knows your business like you do, you’re the best person for this job and it’s the hardest thing in the world to be an entrepreneur”.
This was reaffirmed over in Silicon Valley and its advice that never fails to get you every time.
Has the trip inspired you?
The culture, the attitude and ambition is remarkable, it’s contagious!
What will you take away from the experience?
There was a lot of reassertion for me.
We’re doing a lot of fantastic things really well within the company which is always fantastic BUT there are loads of things I want to do in the business for the staff and the culture which I always put off due to no time.
However, I will try and not lose this feeling!
Are you excited about going global
Yes definitely, in time!
The UK is the most important market for us just now and helping as many users with their credit control as possible and building out the Know-it platform is our number one priority.
What are the key differences in doing business in the UK vs US?
A huge difference I found, and I think it relates to culture, is the risk threshold in Silicon Valley is extremely high compared to doing business in the UK. If investors like an idea and they love the CEO and the team, they are willing to risk a lot.
The amount of capital available to start-ups from investors in the valley are around 10x what you would typically find in the UK!
In the USA, particularly Silicon Valley, failure is almost celebrated. You can try something that may not take off but you learn a lot and can take that onto your next project. I feel in the UK, failure is still very taboo. It’s not something many people over here enjoy discussing openly.