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Cambridge Tech Podcast, Show Notes 27: Doing for barcodes what Spotify does for entertainment

John Doherty started coding at age 11 on his ZX Spectrum, at 14 dropped out of school and started writing code. One of his first contracts was connecting mainframe systems with the internet.

After 20+ years working on contracts, and after a few false starts, John started a business. The inspiration came from John’s son who was doing a summer job when he came home one evening and said there must be a better way of doing his job.

John got straight to it and created a mobile app which was tied to skateboard (really) the next day and it worked. And that was the birth of Orca Scan which is now used by Toyota, NASA, Airbus, and many more.

In this episode, John talks us through his journey - how to commercialise a free download, how to build customer success (versus ‘sales’), defining product development through customers’ needs, growing through revenue vs investment, not ignoring ‘the legals’, and the role Cambridge has had in his learnings.

In this week’s news we talk about Andrew Williamson from Cambridge Innovation Capital and Professor Irene Tracey from Oxford University who are spearheading an independent review to stimulate global growth for innovative UK companies as part of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s vision to nurture the world’s next Silicon Valley.

A new data centre campus has been granted full planning approval by Cambridgeshire County Council and is proposed to be one of the largest in Europe. Cambridge based robotics trailblazer CMR Surgical has a new CEO -MedTech supernova Supratim Bose. Majicom has won Innovate UK funding to help transform the water infrastructure in Sub-Saharan Africa. Machine Learning specialist Intellegens has opened a new HQ at Chesterton Mill.

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