Mark McDermott is the CEO of ScreenCloud, a global digital signage platform helping over 8,500 businesses communicate meaningful content using screens.
He is also the co-founder of Codegent, an independent digital product studio based in London, UK and Bangkok, Thailand.
Mark spoke to Futureheads as part of our FFS series, a regular interview series where business and industry leaders share their insights and personal experience. Other articles in the series can be found here.
Tell us about the impact that Covid-19 and the lockdown measures have had on your business?
The world has changed and it’s unlikely it will be the same again. It’s been tough seeing some of our smaller customers who have been with us since we started ScreenCloud being so badly affected.
On the other hand, the demand for workforce communication tools that help separate what’s important from the noise is more important than ever, and we’ve pivoted to bring features like “Company TV at home” quickly to our customers, which have been very well received.
How have you adapted your operational and hiring practices?
Operationally we’ve always worked at least partly remotely, but we have put new initiatives in place to help everyone feel more connected like regular All Hands sessions, “ScreenCloud Radio” and virtual fitness classes.
What are your top tips for successfully managing a remote recruitment process?
We’ve not been recruiting during this period so I don’t have much to add here, but it’s interesting to read about the challenges and solutions that others have experienced.
Has this crisis made you look at your business differently or consider changes moving forwards?
It’s actually helped to clarify our mission more, around helping workforces to communicate better to their employees using tools that curate and collect what’s important, rather than just adding to the noise.
What advice would you give to anyone in a similar position to you at the moment?
Clear your mind. Do what you need to do. If you think “what would happen if I fail?” and you plant that seed in your mind, then you WILL fail. It’s time to go back to basics. People don’t want ‘complicated’ in tough times, they want simple and relatable and a narrative that fits. If the focus of your narrative in boom time is about innovation and the future, reframe it for now; what innovation that you’ve done to date is useful for today? You have to be instantly relevant.
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