In this episode we talk to Vaughan Fergusson about the importance of culture, timing and breaking down ego to help build a successful venture. His company Vend is a breakthrough POS system which was sold for $350 million in March this year. We also talk to Ana Wight, newly appointed CEO about her background and how to not only run a business in a pandemic, but how to thrive.
4:08 - How luck, timing and culture impact a startup early on
7:35 - Competitors being viewed as an opportunity - not a threat
9:08 - The secret to great leadership
10:42 - Ana Wight's life before Vend
18:41 - Biggest takeaway from Ana's time at Microsoft
21:26 - Moving back to NZ from London - a year-long bike ride
25:32 - Unleashing potential of teams and directing people in the right direction
30:17 - How Ana started at Vend and focused on scalability
35:50 - Predicting Ana's rise to CEO
41:55 - One of the biggest challenges leading vend through COVID-19
43:40 - The type of leader Ana wants to be
48:30 - Ana's advice for founders, CEOs and leaders - not what you expect
Ana Wight Bio:
Joining Vend in 2017, Ana Wight is responsible for developing and translating strategy into actionable plans in a variety of settings. With over 12 years’ experience across strategy and operations, Ana began her career in Group Strategy at Spark, before moving to London and leading market strategy for Microsoft’s Consumer & Online division in the UK. In her last role at McKinsey & Company, Ana led multi-million dollar transformations for a variety of international clients. Before moving back to New Zealand, Ana spent a year cycling across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, which combined her love of travel with her love of good food!
Vaughan Fergusson Bio:
Vaughan Fergusson, a veteran of several online startups, founded Vend in 2010 based on the idea of using technology to liberate retailers, save them 1,000s of hours, and empower them to deliver rich new engaging experiences in their stores. Along with multiple awards for Vend, Vaughan was named EY's Tech Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014. In 2015 he founded a charitable initiative OMGTech! with the aim to help kids into careers with future technology. Every year Vaughan does an impossible challenge, something to take him out of his comfort zone, like running 1,000km, learning to sing to get a paid gig in front of 100 people or cycling around the world in 80 days. This has become a core value at Vend, to do the impossible.
Vend is the retail management software taking retail to the cloud. More than just a POS system, Vend helps businesses succeed, grow and thrive in all areas. Designed to be intuitive for anyone, businesses can now worry less about the tech side of things and focus on what matters most. Founded in New Zealand in 2010, Vend raised almost US$60 million from investors and was sold in March 2021 to Lightspeed POS Inc for US$350 million.