Join Spaceport

Made In SpacePortX - Distology

Written on Friday, 24th April 2015.

We have our second instalment of SpacePortX introductions! Today, we're introducing you to the Director Of Sales And Marketing at DistologyRick Yates. Long terms SpacePortX resident, Rick takes us on his journey through Manchester, the highs and lows and gives some great advice for all of the tech startups out there.

So, over to Rick to let us in on his deepest and darkest secrets....

What does Distology do?

Distology is a Value Added Distributor of cutting edge IT Security products. We work with software vendors to take their products to market and in doing so, we make sure that resellers and end users get all support and information they need to make an informed decision about their security infrastructure.

What makes Distology stand out in the IT Security software market?

We purposely focus on a niche area of the IT market, allowing us to provide a large amount of focus on our reseller partners. We offer a high level of technical competency for complicated products, and increased pre and post-sales support to make sure the customer journey is as streamlined as possible. 

What made you choose Manchester?

I think Manchester is a great choice for any start-up business of any sector. It provides a substantial economic centre with excellent transport links, and is so much cheaper than London (and much friendlier).

Why SpacePortX?

SpacePortX is a well-priced, very accessible resource for start-up businesses and those individuals who are just tech focussed and want to meet like-minded people. It has acted as a great incubator for our business as we have grown, and we have seen lots of other businesses come and go too.

Your biggest lesson learnt?

Don’t try and do it all by yourself.

I initially came to SpacePortX on my own, having developed a product, started a business and acquired seed funding, but the biggest challenge was that it was still just me, sat at my own at a desk with no real ability to up-scale my processes in order to penetrate the market. In the end, my initial idea didn’t work out and instead I am now part of a successful and growing start-up that consists of a small team of very hardworking, dedicated and talented founders – and it is so much more fun and a lot more rewarding to be part of a team who are all working towards the same goal.

Your biggest failure as a startup?

Before I tried to launch a previous business, listening to my friends when they said “That’s a great idea, you should do it”.

When someone thinks of an idea for a business, they usually bounce the idea off a family member or close friend first. Most of these people will respond with an inspirational “You can totally do this / OMG that’s an amazing idea” type pep talk. However, it is important to remember that they are biased because they love you, and they might not know that much about the market environment.

If you want to consider a startup, make your first stop somebody who would actually buy your product, and not someone who you already know. Only then will you get the honest feedback you need. In my case, this came about 1 year too late.

Advice for new startups?

Feel the fear and do it anyway, because even if it doesn’t work out, your experience will open up new opportunities and challenges, and it will give you an some excellent experience for your future career. By accessing the right community, you are likely to meet future business partners, advisors and customers. 

Don’t assume that your current project will be your big success, but expect that the 5th company that you start will be.

And there you have it. Rick's great insights into startup life, the highs and lows of setting up a company completely on your own and what you can expect. 

Any questions about startup life? Come along to one of our mentoring sessions.

Written on: Friday, 24th April 2015