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Ten Questions in Ten Minutes: With Brett Hancock

Brett Hancock is owner operator of Auckland based digital design agency Born Digital.

Business to Business - What inspired you to start up your business?
Brett Hancock - I started freelancing in the UK when I was 22, and quickly warmed to the notion of deciding when you want to work, and that you can control your income based on how often and hard you choose to work. I typically did six month IT contracts, then had a month or two off travelling in Europe. My last full time job was over 20 years ago.
In terms of starting up the company things just took off - more and more I needed different people for projects and eventually just started hiring.

BtoB - Who has influenced you the most professionally?
BH - As an IT contractor for six years, I worked under many different IT Managers and project managers - and was inspired by quite a few of them for different reasons. There was one guy who ran a very tight ship under a lot of pressure but was always smiling - I liked that. He was a big round ginger smiling man!

BtoB - How would you describe yourself as a businessperson?
BH - I'm an ideas person, who can see the big picture. I am passionate about technology so everything is focused around that - we automate as much as we can internally so that we are using what we are selling. I love solving problems or making life easier by using technology so I'd say that my business focus is more on creativity and innovation.

BtoB - What do you consider your greatest achievement?
BH - Born Digital has grown quite nicely over the last seven years without any advertising or sales staff - this has been a massively satisfying achievement.

BtoB - With hindsight, what is the one thing you would do differently?
BH - Would have hired more staff sooner, rather than trying to do too many things at once for so long. Also, I am currently doing a course with a business coach - really wish I had done that seven years ago!!

BtoB - Who do you find inspirational and why?
BH - My business coach - Paul. He has read ALL the right books and is teaching me the best parts of them. I have also been reading some of the philosophical teachings of Einstein, Buddha and Osho which is opening my mind to a very holistic view on how Born Digital operates and serves its clients.

BtoB - What is the most inspirational book you have read recently?
BH – ‘The Best Advice I Ever Got’ by Katie Couric.

BtoB - What is your favorite website and why?
BH – I visit often - they list the type of websites that I really like, often very clean and simple design which I like best.

BtoB - What is the first thing you would do if you became Prime Minister?
BH – Give priority to high speed internet rollout and improved public transport for major cities. Reduce the price of beer.

BtoB - What is the best thing about being in business?
BH – Control of your destiny - it's totally up to me how much I earn, how many hours I put in and where the company goes from here.