July 05, 2019
On my first day as Content Writer at SquaredUp, I walked into the orange and blue-themed office and immediately took a liking to my surroundings. It was bright, it smelled fresh – and I distinctly remember noticing that all the meeting rooms were Star Wars-themed. Warmly welcomed by the friendliest of colleagues, I was shown to my desk, where waiting for me was a Star Wars LEGO set alongside company merch as a welcome gift. We went for lunch as a department that day – and I could not have felt more welcome. A month on, I am glad to say that I am more than happy to be a part of the SquaredUp family.
Today, I sit down separately with our new Chief Operating Officer, Tim Critchley, and new Chief Product Officer, John Shaw, in the meeting room “Light Side” for a chat about their impressions of SquaredUp and their reasons for choosing to back the young company I have grown to love.
Tim and John have served as our new COO and CPO respectively from April this year.
Chief Operating Officer
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Lydia: Hey Tim! So what is it that made you choose to join SquaredUp?
Tim: A good number of reasons, as I’m sure it won’t surprise you to know. The product, for one, is very impressive, both in terms of the problem it solves today and how elegant the software is, but also with regards to the vision and the roadmap.
The stability and loyalty of the customer base is also super impressive… I really liked how engaged customers are with the SquaredUp story and the community feel about it. SquaredUp has done so well in engaging their customers as users rather than customers.
Also, I tend to make any important decisions in my life based on the people involved. When I met Richard and the team during the engagement and interview process, I found them to be impressive people who are experts in their own field, but also just really nice people who made me feel very welcome right from the very beginning.
Lydia: That’s exactly how I felt too! With your previous experience, what do you hope to bring to SquaredUp?
Tim: Having grown my own business from just two or three guys into over a hundred people and some 15 million revenue, I am hoping to help us at SquaredUp go through that growing stage. There are things you hear as you go from 30 to 50 to 100 people and I’m hoping to bring some experience about that next phase of growth we’re about to go through.
Too often big businesses put in processes for the sake of control and bureaucracy. I hope to make sure we have the right management structure and processes that liberate people to do their jobs better and grow and stretch themselves – something we managed to do very well at my previous company Semafone.
On a more personal level, I bring with me a lot of energy, passion and enthusiasm to learn and get involved with everything. I’m very much a doer, very much a ‘roll the sleeves up and if there’s a problem we get involved and fix it’ type of guy.
Lydia: Just the sort of guy we need at SquaredUp! Thanks Tim.
Chief Product Officer
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Lydia: Hey John! Why did you choose to join SquaredUp?
John: I’m a product guy, and I think SquaredUp has a really cool product with a lot of potential to be taken much further. It could be taken to a much broader audience by integrating it natively with cloud platforms, which is where a lot of IT is today, and certainly where the growth of IT is.
Also, structurally the company is in a fantastic place, as in it is revenue-generating, profitable, and paying for its own growth. That’s a rare thing to find, and it means the company can control its own destiny, it is not answering to the venture capitalists or investors etc.
Ultimately what really attracted me to the company is that it just seemed like a bright group of fun people – and it’s proven to be even better than I thought when I first joined. It’s a great group of people to work with, very passionate about the product and tech, very passionate about supporting customers. I’ve never come across in my career a company where customers I’ve spoken to – and I’ve spoken to many customers over the years – are so enthusiastic about the product and the company, and that comes from the passion of the people who build the tech at the end of the day.
Lydia: Nicely said. Given your years of expertise as ‘a product guy’, what do you hope to bring to SquaredUp?
John: I’ve spent the last over 20 years with software product companies building software products, and in that time I’ve managed, released and grown a lot of different products – lots of them successful, lots of them not so successful. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to make a product successful and where mistakes can be made. All very applicable to our new Azure product that’s currently in the works.
On another note, I was a part of growing Sophos from a company not much bigger when I started than SquaredUp is now, to a multi-billion-dollar company listed on the London Stock Exchange with three and a half thousand employees. That was a hell of an experience, and it was it wasn't just a straight linear 15 years of amazing growth. It was bumpy along the way, but it was great fun seeing something grow from relatively small to this big thing that it is today – and that knowledge is something I hope to contribute to SquaredUp.
Lydia: Fantastic. What would you say are your plans for the company then?
John: The vision is to solve the problem of tool sprawl for IT teams – to build a master application dashboard for IT operations and DevOps, and the users they serve. The product today is a great starting point, but it can do a whole lot more and that is what we’re building.
Lydia: Yes, lots more exciting stuff in the works! Thanks for your time John.
It’s not just Tim and John (and me!) who are new to the team, SquaredUp has recently hired 21 other new starters. More aboard our ship as Tim and John help direct SquaredUp’s exciting next phase of growth! Keep your eyes peeled for updates about our next product launch!