Question of the Week
Creating an Inclusive, Profitable Tech Company
Happy Friday, all! And happy last week of Pride month.
We dropped another great MDB episode this week. I chat with Paul Pastor, a media and tech entrepreneur who serves as Chief Business Officer and Co-Founder of Quickplay. In the episode, Paul shares his experience transitioning from media to the tech industry — and how he immediately noticed and began to address a lack of diversity in the latter. He also discusses the business case for diversity and opens up about the lessons he learned from a previous failed business venture.
Mission-driven businesses follow personal motivations.
According to Paul, mission-driven businesses take a step back and follow the personal motivations of their founders. When he created Quickplay, he had three big drivers and motivators behind the vision for the company:
- Do you see a big idea and want to chase it?
- Can you continue to drive impact in the industry that you have?
- How do you make sure you keep a sense of responsibility that comes with being an entrepreneur?
Paul and his co-founders stayed true to their answers as they created a company that builds out the technology behind streaming services. Paul’s also guided Quickplay to a broader LGBTQ+ ally-driven initiative, which gives the company an even greater sense of mission and purpose.
“I think about how do I, from a company perspective, not only make an impact on a specific technology or specific television show distribution but also how do I step up as an individual and how do we step up as a company and say there’s other things that are important about the way we do business,” he said.
Make a business case for diversity
When Paul moved into the tech industry, he immediately noticed the lack of diversity. Walking around a trade show, it was clear that most attendees were white or Indian men. In response, he’s made it a focus for Quickplay to create space for LGBTQ+ individuals and allies in the tech industry — and the result is a positive impact on the business.
“At the National Association of Broadcasters conferences, we had a co-sponsorship with Google Cloud, and what I loved was not only did we have a huge number of attendees, but it became an event that people wanted to go to and co-sponsor,” Paul said. “Anil Jain from Google stood up and said, ‘This is the company that shares the values of how we like to operate, and that’s the type of company we want to do business with.'”
Culture always wins.
Not only can diversity lead to business opportunities, but it can also create a work culture that allows employees to do their best work alone and together. As a result, the company creates a strong, safe, and respectful culture that will enable it to thrive. But Paul emphasizes that culture has to stop at the top.
“When a leader walks in the room, everybody else is looking at how that leader walks into the room,” Paul said. “Your presence, how you communicate, how you talk to others matters because it sets up how others mimic those behaviors and fundamentally take on the positive and negative aspects of the company.”
Find product-market fit quickly and cheaply.
The first gate for a business to cross on its way to success is product-market fit. Paul emphasized that it’s important to find product-market fit as quickly and cheaply as possible because once you can show fit and market size, you can find capital to grow.
“It takes a lot of discipline to make sure you follow through those proper phases,” Paul said. “We’ve clearly agreed and defined our goals, so we’re not spending a lot of time debating the next step because we’ve already defined where we’re headed.”
Quote of the Week
“Your presence, how you communicate, how you talk to others matters because it sets up how others mimic those behaviors and fundamentally take on the positive and negative aspects of the company.” – Paul Pastor
Task of the Week
I loved Paul’s perspective on leadership and his drive to create an inclusive and welcoming tech industry. Don’t miss this episode. You can also learn more about Quickplay and Paul in the links below.
● Paul’s Social Media: LinkedIn