LDC Top 50 2022
“When I was 10, my dad bought me a Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer and I taught myself how to program it. I was a proper geek,” says Nick Thompson. He joined software development firm One Beyond – formerly known as DCSL – when he was 17, worked his way up and became CEO in 2013.
In nine years, he’s increased revenues by almost 30x from £1million turnover when he took over the business in 2013 and today employs over 350 people. He’s creating a values-driven culture that focuses on quality, communication, collaboration and pragmatism. “There’s no limit to my ambition,” he says. “I’d like to employ a further 1,000 people in the next few years.”
There’s no limit to my ambition. I’d like to employ a further 1,000 people in the next few years.”
What’s your USP?
It’s a combination of employing the best talent in the market and being able to deliver locally for our clients. We also do more than just writing software. We look after it all – from planning and design to cyber security and AI. We’re blending these services together to provide a bigger, better, stronger business that delivers beyond our client’s expectations.
How do you nurture a culture of always going ‘one beyond’?
We’re creating a values driven culture that focuses on quality, communication, collaboration and pragmatism. I spend an hour with every new recruit when they join, just to explain why those values are so important. We’re all working towards the same goal.
What’s your advice to other business leaders?
Carve out time for yourself. I used to be a classic workaholic; I never took a weekend off. There’s nothing worse than feeling stressed out and run down. You make silly decisions, you react emotionally. Over the last couple of years, I’ve completely overhauled my diet and started exercising every day. It has made me a better person and a better leader.
Nick Thompson was named Ones to Watch in The LDC Top 50 Most Ambitious Leaders programme for 2021.