Tim Richards is the CEO of Hoptroff, a technology scale-up that provides a modern enterprise solution for precision timing (see box). With overall responsibility for the global expansion of the timing solutions provider, Richards leads Hoptroff at an operational and strategic level, including developing partnerships with other companies, notably BT Radianz and hardware provider Orolia, and guiding R&D projects with Innovate UK. A technologist with more than 30 years of global media experience, Richards has launched and run media and technology businesses all over the world in markets as diverse as Saudi Arabia, Poland, Japan, India and South America. This has given him a deep understanding of the complex workflows, systems, technologies and practices required to run and scale the technology companies of today. Here, he picks five things he couldn’t do his job without.
1 IWC watch
The irony isn’t lost on me, I can assure you, but I still rely on my analogue IWC watch to tell the time. My watch helps me navigate through the day and sometimes reminds me to slow down. The pace of change in the market we work in is so fast, and I really appreciate the small reprieve from constantly working with digital time that it gives me – though I am not sure it is as accurate as our own timing solution…
Slack is essential for how I communicate with my colleagues. It allows me to remain in constant contact with our global and growing team and communicate with colleagues instantly via a tablet, smartphone or laptop. I rely on Slack to send important messages to colleagues whether in a group or individually almost on an hourly basis.
The value I place on the team at Hoptroff cannot be overstated. The hard work everyone puts in for the collective benefit of the business is so important in helping us to grow and expand. We are a global business with global customers, a global solution and a diverse and inclusive team based around the world that I am proud to be a part of.
I spend a lot of time on my motorcycle, a BMW 1200GS, which I use both for commuting and for long rides at the weekends. It’s a time when I can completely focus on what’s ahead of me, which I feel also improves my concentration for work. Riding a motorcycle is physically very demanding, so as well as clearing my mind to face the day ahead, it helps me stay fit. On top of that, a motorcycle is a lot more practical than a car; I rarely get stuck in traffic and it’s a lot easier to find a parking space in London!
The most important thing I need for work is my family. As the CEO of a fast growing tech start-up, I need to be fully dedicated to the needs of the business, so there isn’t always time to relax during the day. Knowing that I have the full support of my wife and my children despite the long hours, the endless calls and the erratic schedule involved in leading a tech company scale-up is a huge benefit. Time with my family also helps me to switch off after work and recharge and get ready for the next day.
Hoptroff provides a resilient, scaleable and easy to deploy precision timing solution delivered viaw secure network technology. Its software works with a customer’s own on-prem systems and most third party cloud providers, synchronising local clocks and monitoring and verifying time with microsecond precision, without the need for any clocks, hardware or GPS installation. The solution has applications wherever precise and accurate time sources and time stamping are required, for example in the global financial markets, media and broadcast, gaming, e-commerce and blockchain and distributed ledger technology.