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Scaling Data-Driven Digital Companies & Promoting Diversity with John Cushing



In this episode of The Lucent Perspective, host Rebecca Hastings interviews John Cushing, an award-winning founder and CEO with extensive experience in building and scaling data-driven digital companies. John shares his insights on understanding the context of company performance, the importance of diversity and inclusion, and his passion for supporting female entrepreneurship. With a track record of successful exits and a commitment to advocacy, John offers valuable perspectives on leadership and growth in the tech sector.  


Episode Highlights: 

[00:00:41] Understanding company context and impact. 

[00:04:45] Private companies and data challenges. 

[00:09:30] The Gender Index. 

[00:11:20] Female founders and raising capital. 

[00:19:38] Business growth in Northern Ireland. 

[00:21:29] Diversity and idea evaluation. 

[00:28:10] Gender pay gap and sales. 

[00:33:34] Barriers in entrepreneurship. 

[00:37:31] Define your applicable universe. 

[00:45:31] Gen AI and career paths. 


John emphasized a pivotal theme—understanding context when evaluating a company's performance. He passionately argued against making swift judgments based on isolated incidents, asserting the need to consider the broader picture. 


John's illustrative example brought this point to life, showcasing a company that, despite doubling its emissions, created 500 new jobs. He argued against hastily labeling the company as "bad" based solely on emissions, emphasizing the shortsightedness of such assessments. This case underscored the dynamic nature of companies, with John highlighting the constant changes, high rates of liquidation, and administration, reinforcing the importance of contextual understanding in evaluating performance. 


The discussion delved into the psychology of founders, with John expressing curiosity about the motivations that set successful entrepreneurs apart. While he didn't offer a definitive answer, he suggested that common drivers may manifest differently in individuals. 


In conclusion, John's insights encourage a nuanced perspective on evaluating company performance, urging industry professionals to look beyond isolated incidents.


About John Cushing: 

John Cushing is an award-winning CEO and founder who has spent 18 years building fast growth, data driven digital companies in the UK; he was recognized as one of the "top 10 Innovative CEO's of 2021," represents Silicon Valley Bank on their Growth Stage Advisory Panel, and is a passionate advocate for female entrepreneurship.  


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