Darren Auld CEO of ClearSky Logic was recently in The Herald with an interview all about ClearSky Logic, covering some top tips in tech and talking about the early days of starting up ClearSky Logic.
The following is an extract from The Herald :
Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dundee.
Digital transformation. We’ll help businesses harness the power of tech to make them more efficient and effective.
We work with companies which are ambitious about their business and need to embrace technology to make it happen, including start ups, scale ups and established worldwide organisations.
£2 million +.
I often think I was a bit mad to start the business when I did.
It was April 2018 when I finished up my notice period with my employer, that same month my second son would be born (Archie). The risk I was taking reflected on my entire family; without their support, especially that of my wife Karla, I wouldn’t have been able to make the change. Throughout my life I’ve always pushed myself to achieve more, take risks and make sure whatever I am doing will make a difference, I believe this might be related to my childhood where my mother would always be pushing me to learn more and get better grades. She always wanted more for me and growing into adult life that rubbed off on me, making me push harder than I may have thought possible. I don’t really talk about this much, my family comes from a line of miners in West Lothian, most of my family lived in council houses when I was younger and my parents separated when I was five so whatever I have achieved this far and what I’m looking to achieve in future was the result of support, hardwork and of making the most of opportunities when they come along.
I was running software development for an energy utility, Spark. We were building advanced billing platforms, self-serve portals and mobile apps. We took the team from three people in 2014 to around 30 when I’d left in 2018.
This gave me the confidence that we could create a new digital transformation agency to seek out businesses struggling with technology and help turn them around.
ClearSky Logic was self-funded. My business partner Phil Telfer and I would work all the hours available providing consultancy and software development to companies. This then allowed us to start building up our team and slowly we started forming our offering and positioning in the market.
Early on we relied on our contacts and colleagues we had worked with to recommend us to companies. I’ll forever be thankful to the people who went the extra mile in helping us getting things started. This was a massively important thing for us. Coming from a technical background we weren’t born sales people, however we are really good at tech. Our work really speaks for itself but getting in the door to companies proved to be really difficult.
During our first year our biggest client went out of business, this left us in a really difficult situation where we had outstanding invoices and a difficult few months.
Looking back, times like that really forge who you are as a person. To keep taking the best next step is the thing to focus on.
Covid. Running a business which has grown 5x within a year has been really difficult during Covid times. I miss having the team out for lunch, getting to know them, having whiteboard sessions. We have started some of this recently, but it needs to be much more to grow the right sort of culture.
We want to solve business problems through tech, across multiple industries and across the world.
We are working on My Booking Hub right now which we won funding for through Innovate UK last year. We think It’s got the potential to change the world for mobile based services, such as joinery.
The shortage of digital design and software developers across Scotland holds back growth.
What could the Westminster and/or Scottish governments do that would help?
Short term, we need a way out of Covid and support for people to get them confident to be back in face to face situations.
Long term we need the entire secondary, college, Uni education system redesigned. We need more passionate qualified developers and designers ready to get involved.
Always keep on learning, when I started ClearSky I went on an entirely new path and had to learn how to run a successful business. My audible subscription is maxed out, I’m always learning new things and love to listen to other business leaders take on problems.
I have a young family, with two young boys, and try to maintain separation of work and home life.
I have a rule of finishing up at 4:30 each day to spend time with them.