This week’s article is an interview with our newest recruit! 

Here at SQ we are constantly trying to improve our company and recently we’ve employed Ben Howes, as our Chief Technology Officer (CTO). He is in charge of our organisation’s technological needs as well as our research and development. Let’s get started!

SQ: Hi Ben, it’s great to finally have you on board!

Ben: Pleased to be here!

SO TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND

I first came to Bristol to study computer sciences and electronics at the University of Bristol. I really enjoyed being in the city so I have stayed here ever since! My overall career is somewhat unusual in the fact that I’ve been a founder and a freelancer for the vast majority of my career! One thing everything has had in common is that I have been solving problems (normally) with technology. This has spanned one to two person startups, through to working for some very large clients such as E.ON, and contracting for the ONS. I’d have to say my most valued skill is Problem Solving! Regardless of if it’s a software problem or a stakeholder management problem, I’ve genuinely enjoyed overcoming those challenges and have gravitated towards situations which have presented many problems to solve.

ABOUT YOUR PREVIOUS START-UP

I started on the business (loT) the day after my exam! I was young and frankly a bit naive. The IoT business grew out of a pivot of the business from a product. The IoT consultancy was able to ride the wave of the IoT buzzword at the time and we were able to gain several great clients in a matter of a few months. It was an absolutely fantastic experience which taught me a great deal about tech, business, and – cheesy as it sounds – myself. I wouldn’t suggest recommending it to anyone – in fact I would suggest trying to talk someone out of it. They’ll do it anyway of course! Bristol is ‘just about’ (according to you!) in the South West but the Tech scene seems to never stop getting bigger and bigger. There are some great people and organisations who work tirelessly to highlight the talent and great potential of the SW region.

WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO SQ AND WHAT DO YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE IN 2022?

I’m hoping to build on the great work that’s already been done in order to roll out the solution to more customers, and build out a great team to deliver impactful features for those customers. Sounds generic, but that’s about all I can say publicly.

 For me SQ is a dream startup stage company – it’s an obviously high impact and beneficial solution, it’s been proven in the real world, and there is a fantastic established team behind it.

TO ROUND OFF, I'D LIKE TO ASK ABOUT YOUR HOUSEPLANT APP, HEDIRA! WHERE DID THE INSPIRATION FOR THAT ONE COME FROM?

Hedira is a side-project I work on with a friend, Jess, who I was introduced to by SetSquared here in Bristol (Shoutout to Paul Forster!). Jess is a self professed “crazy plant lady” and I loved her idea of creating an app that made it easy to care for plants. We built it over a month initially as an MVP and got great feedback. We’ve been working together on it for a few years now and it has amassed nearly 70,000 plants being cared for with it. It’s been great fun! 

 

Amazing, That’s it from Ben! It’s nice to welcome someone who has worked in a startup environment before and has such great experiences working within a similar field. We are very pleased to have such a friendly person aboard our team. It will be a pleasure to see how our company progresses and the positive impact Ben has! 

If you’d like to check out Ben’s app there are downloads for IOS and Android: Hedira

This is our last article before Christmas so we wish everyone Merry Christmas from the team at SQ! 

Meg Wheller
Media Marketer, Spatial Quotient