What Does Success Mean To… Alex Cole
Alex is CEO of Peekabu studios, an Edinburgh based visual tech company.
What does success mean to you?
“Success is setting out a plan that can still be flexible and achieving it as best you can, sometimes exceeding your expectations, sometimes not, but it’s intentional. It’s not meandering, it’s not falling into one happenstance or another. A lot of entrepreneurship can be attributed to luck and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. It’s important to see the moments when something happened as a result of luck and that’s great but also the moments when you prepared and worked hard to execute a plan as part of a team and you achieved what you set out to. So, giving luck it’s due, to me success is recognising where your effort has made the difference.”
My dad used to say “success has many fathers and failure is an orphan.”
What does that mean for Peekabu?
“My dad used to say “success has many fathers and failure is an orphan.”
When it’s your own company all of the successes and failures (especially) tend to fall on your doorstep. I try to keep it to the degree that when things go well it’s a team effort and when things go poorly that lands on my doorstep, blaming others isn’t useful in that regard. It isn’t always as smooth or clear cut as that but that’s what I try to work towards. Our success comes down to being part of a team and working with great people.”
Why did you start Peekabu?
“That’s one thing that was kind of a surprise to me, a lot of the idea came from the work I was doing for my dissertation and it was stuff that I found interesting around interacting with 3D objects on the screen but not using any specialised kit to do it as I was a poor student at the time and obviously didn’t have money for the fancy impressive equipment that I would have needed. As a result, I came up with a way to use the webcam to do so and the idea to turn this into a company actually came from a suggestion by one of the departments in Edinburgh uni where I was doing my masters. From there the idea grew through talking to people and doing some market research which showed that there could really be some utility here and it was a rare opportunity to do something new. It played to a lot of the things I like about creation and innovation while being able to turn it into something real that’s never existed before which is really exciting to me.”
What apps can’t your business live without?
Slack – “I’ve tried a lot of apps and there is just no getting around it, Slack is just simple and good and does what you need it to, we find it ridiculously useful.”
Google Apps – “We use this because of the cross compatibility which means we don’t have to mess about with a million different emails, documents and calendar entries, this integrates everything for us. It’s predictable but for me, this couldn’t be more useful.”
Sketch – “I grew up on a lot of the old design stuff like Adobe, Photoshop and Illustrator and it costs the company a lot of money to keep that license going. Sketch is cheap and simple, does exactly what it says on the tin and it is a pleasure to work with. In terms of exporting stuff for design flow it has been excellent, I’m very pleased with it.”