Dupsy Abiola: Rules To Live By

Dupsy shares five of the rules she lives by and tells the stories behind them at BoS EU 2017. From finding the right advice for you, changing direction, through navigating the sometimes murky world of investors to how to pitch your business effectively to customers, partners, investors you’ll learn some great lessons from her honesty and openness.


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Dupsy Abiola: Ok! Hi everyone! Hope you’re well! I’m really pleased to be here. My name is Dupsy Abiola and am the founder and CEO of a company called Intern Avenue. We’re an award winning platform that helps mainly UK employers connect with entry level talent so that’s what I do in the day job. But before I started Intern Avenue I used to be a barrister of all things so I have a great appreciation and love of rules. I think that they could be very helpful and particularly when all hell is breaking loose, I find going back to the stiff rules that you developed for yourself is never a bad thing. When I was talking to Mark about what I might speak about today, I confessed to him that I keep a dossier of rules that I’ve developed and used for myself which are usually born out of great successes I’ve had whilst doing my business and also the miserable failures of which there have been plenty. So I tend to co-def them as a kind of warning sign and also the positive stuff I like to try and remember because when things look dark or things look too bright it’s very easy to lose track of what’s important. I want this to be kind of interactive in a sense. So my Twitter handle is @DupsyAbiola and there’s a hashtag BoS Rules which is pleasing because it’s about the talk but it’s also cause BoS does rule! I’ve been to Boston, I think Mark has developed a really beautiful community and a space to share lessons and I’m really, really honoured to be asked to speak. So if you agree with what I’m saying or you have rules that you live by, and want to share them, do hashtag it up.

Fortune favours the Bold

My first rule is I’m gonna, I’ve got loads but I’m just gonna focus on a couple of them otherwise we’ll be here all year. But my first rule is fortune favours the bold. It’s the one thing that I think that has been the unifying bond behind every great success that I’ve ever had and it’s something that it’s a really old rule, I think it’s accredited to Virgil in ancient Greece who first coins the phrase. And effectively what it is saying is that before any great endeavour, usually there’s some kind of courageous, bold, audacious act and I often find that even though this is a simple thing in practice, it actually is the only thing that you need. I think whenever I have seen people who do extraordinary and amazing things, often a myth begins to be created around these people. Is there something like magic in their juice or – ? Everybody has advantages and disadvantages but there are some people who manage to do really extraordinary things and once they do them, I think we can all agree there’s this mythology that begins to develop around them.

And one of the things I’ve been really fortunate to have in my life is my family. Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I will talk about my family and I love them. I’m one of 6 kids and we’re very close. But my family is quite unusual in many respects. We have many outliers in our family and people are always asking things like what is the deal? This is James Dasaolu, he’s my cousin, he’s my mom’s brother’s son. He is also one of the fastest human beings ever I think. He’s the fastest Britain in history, and he hasn’t beat Bolt yet, but he will give it a good shot. The thing that’s incredible about him is not just the fact that he can run really fast. He only started running pretty late. He started at university and began picking it up which is ridiculously late to get into the kind of condition that he’s in now and the beginning of his career is the beginning of everybody’s career often. He showed some promise but no one would have thought that he would have ended up being the fastest Brit in history but he did. And one thing that I think my family is really good at is suspending disbelief and understanding that there’s nothing extraordinary about anyone who does a great thing except the fact that they have the courage to think that it’s possible and then just ignore the naysayers, surround yourself with supporting people and just keep going. So he’s a real inspiration to me but he’s not the only person in my family who is just super great!

The man who’s standing here with Nelson Mandela, that’s my father. His name is Chief Abiola. He started from really humble beginnings. He lived in abject poverty in a tiny village in some backwater in Nigeria. There was no reason to think that any good or important thing would come from someone who had the opportunities he had. But he managed through hard work and tenacity to get a scholarship and study here. He became an accountant. He returned home, started building businesses and became a successful entrepreneur. He created jobs for people, he funded universities, he just loved doing this stuff. And he came up against – as he was developing – he became passionate about democracy. We’re about to have an election here and democracy is something we take for granted here but didn’t really exist in Nigeria before the 90s and my father was the person who insisted upon it. Somehow through charisma, he managed to form the social democratic party in the 90s in Nigeria. Convinced the Nigerian government to hold democratic elections and there was a military dictatorship at the time, very dangerous. And he managed to bring democracy to a place where they had previously been a very nasty regime. And he did that by himself. Not alone, but he decided that this was an important thing and there’s democracy in Nigeria today because of my father. Many difficult challenges happened before and after he made this decision but when I think about the achievements that he managed to do, it makes everything and puts everything in context. No matter how difficult things are, you can move forward. I’m often reminded of a quote which goes something like – it’s by Anita, founder of the body shop. She says something along the lines of; anyone who’s ever been in bed or in a room overnight with a mosquito knows that very small things can have a huge impact. So I like to think that behind everything that seems scary all you need is a decision. It doesn’t matter what else you have cause you will find it along the way. And certainly within our business, this underpinning really helped.

This is me with chancellor Merkel. We managed, about 18 months ago, to broker a partnership with the Vodafone foundation. There’s the global CEO of Vodafone there. And we were at the time this tiny spec of a start-up and I remember having this idea saying you know, we really want to achieve mobile. Mobile is leading the world, we’re not crazily funded. How the hell are we gonna do this? My team looked at me and they are like well you know – we’ll just have to do what we can. I was like you know what? I know there’s someone who can help and within not too short a period I was standing on this podium next to the German chancellor. I had no idea that just by having the courage to ask for stuff, you actually can receive something in abundance. So that’s one of the rules that I live by.

Bozo avoidance

Now, if only every bozo was quite so obvious. And when I talk about bozo, I don’t mean it in the derogatory sense that most people talk about it, which are incompetent people who kind of like ruin your business and have negative effects. Typically, and being in a business that’s in the business of connecting and helping people hire and surrounding yourself with people, I found that the people, the processes in your both professional and personal life have a huge effect on your ability to do things. So for me, bozos is actually an acronym. I found that there are often through having suffered through some really awful circumstances where things just weren’t going right. The times when I was the most stressed and I felt there were people around me and processes that we were doing that weren’t working. Often all or one of these symptoms are present so I came up with the acronym to remind me of this.


Put simply, Belligerence without backup. So people who are bullish, hostile and aggressive, probably never have that much of a place in business one might say depending on your culture. But there is a place for passion I believe but sometimes passion has no backup, no factual underpinning and there are people that we have worked with who have been our bosses and in our teams whose voices are really loud so you feel as though they’re contributing and when they’re passionate, you think there must be something to this. Often when there isn’t an underpinning of data or they’re not offering an alternative solution, just shouting stuff out, I find that that is rarely a recipe for good things.


Another thing that often gets my side-eye is opaqueness. I think lack of transparency whether it’s in a good person or good process, people who are really good but nobody really knows why, or people who are really bad and no one knows why, I’m always slightly suspicious of so I use the Donald Drumpf no Bueno when it comes to lack of transparency. A real no no.

Zero progression

I have found that the people who have meant the most to me and have pushed me the most and have had the most positive effect were self-learners. Even if they start not being the best at a thing, it’s like the tortoise and the hare. They very quickly overtake people and they continue doing it. And sometimes when we hire people, they are great initially but are we watching progression at the time or processes? We put a process in place but it doesn’t work. And also I often looked for some of these traits myself. I like to read books, I like to put my hands on certain things and feel like I’m constantly progressing. I’m trying to make sure that people are insisting that I’m progressing as well. If there’s a 90 to 180 day period where I’m not improving I consider that to be really not a source of good things.

On-going energy drain

Another obvious one is ongoing energy drains. Energy and enthusiasm is the life blood of every single company. It’s rare to find really great sales like good innovation, you name it in a place or around a person who is constantly draining energy. So if there is a process or a person, that’s an energy drain, I’m constantly on the lookout for it.

Silent before and after the storm

The last one is the silence before and after the storm. And this is something I’m looking in particular in senior people and also you know stakeholders and important people who can really move my life and my business forward. There are times in the building of my company where storms have just brew up, like something bad would have come from nowhere or seemingly so. I think that there’s often some kind of bread crumb or clue. That tends to be rare. Usually there’s some indication and so the people who I think are the most positive are the watch keepers. The watch keepers who say you know what? Something’s fishy here, I don’t know what the deal is but we should look at that. So people who can identify potential areas of discord before they happen are really good. People who keep silent about them because they don’t want to rock the boat or cause any hassle are either low or not particularly motivated or aren’t honestly trying to contribute to progression to the company. And then, really important is the people who are the builders afterwards. So once we’ve gotten through a difficult point I think the people who are the most special to me team wise and friendship wise are the people who after the sun has come out, often people just go back to business is normal or they’re just like ok that’s over, great let’s keep going; I think it’s a very special and rare individual who insists consistently on going back and shoring up the foundations. So when I find and identify that, I think it’s real positive and when it’s not present it’s a negative. There are many ways to deal with processes and people who kind of have some of these symptoms but these are things I often lookout for because the times when I had the most stress is when I have made a mistake in one of these areas and haven’t rectified it fast enough or haven’t identified it fast enough. I like to read as many things I can about hiring, we’ve helped over 500 employers do our businesses with their hiring processes and I’m intrigued about how we can make things better. I don’t think people are transparent enough about how difficult it is the high great and maintain greatness as we get it.

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Trusting yourself and finding a crew

Now, this is another one and is like super simple and usually I can do it, but occasionally, it’s really, really hard. I met Cheryl Samburg last year and she said something that is really interesting. She said you can’t be what you can’t see. And throughout my life, often I don’t see very many people who are like me, have my background, are doing the same things as me. And when I decided to quit my job, my comfortable city job as a barrister, and start up a tech company, my friends looked at me as if I was a total lunatic. So I felt passionate about the challenges that I wanted to solve but I also had to acknowledge that there would be a lot of things I would have to learn and I don’t look like a lot of the people that I often tend to encounter. And so, when things are going good it’s alot easier to be like yeah I can do this even if you’re courageous, you can keep going but to really trust yourself requires surrounding yourself with great people.

So the people who I found consistently have been the most helpful to me in times of success and failure are my peers, fellow business people. This group of ladies are part of the many founders that I have leaned on in my time trying to grow my company. We all went to San Francisco together. Donna, who spoke yesterday at BoS, is one of them. These women are fantastic! They are the wind behind me when things are going well, kind of doing a fist pump, they are the people who like don’t take that crap from no one when I’m feeling not that great. And finding people who can kind of see you through it who aren’t your team, who aren’t your investors, who don’t have a personal stake in that quite direct way, I think is huge. And is one of my life goals.

Keep your dimensions

Now there’s an * by this one because it’s kind of like I guess a wish. It’s like a bit of a lie. So keeping my dimensions or your dimensions. I am terrible at doing this. I found out – I’ve always been very hardworking, I’m like pretty high energy, I don’t require much sleep on one of those creepy Margaret Thatcher 4 hour types so I’m always skulking around since I was a baby, I’ve always skulked around doing something.

When I started the business, I really, really went at it with gusto. To the point where there was a time where sometimes I would be working 18-19-20 hour days. I’d go to work in the office all day and get home, trying to solve things thinking that that would push me forward. And I used to be, and am, a pretty rounded person. Like I love karaoke and singing for example. I’m a 3-time hip hop karaoke champion. All of that stuff went straight out the window. The longer things went by and anytime though is what appeared to be a crisis in the business, I was first at the pump, last to leave. And that takes its toll. I stopped running, I missed some of my friends destination weddings, I decided that as much as I love them, I’ve gotten from a city salary to ramen noodle start-up life, I can’t afford to do it. So I was either working a ton or I was reserving my energy for working a ton. And it’s just not a great thing to do. I think maintaining dimensions for a person like me is really important and it’s something that I enjoy. I stopped taking holidays, I saw my family who I love to pieces, my siblings but I began to shrink. I found this cartoon, I don’t know if you guys can read what it says. Basically, it’s about an employer – basically, one of the important things when you’re super driven is to remember that business and success is not necessarily life success. Work if you let it, will be all-encompassing and it’s important to maintain dimensions, even if it means that you won’t succeed overall I think – or you go a bit slower – it opens you up to find better solutions and as far as we know we’re only here once. So working oneself to an early grave is not a good thing. Keeping my dimensions is something that I find really hard because I’m slightly a lunatic.

Embracing failure as success tax

This is a big one and like in start-up culture and just in general, everybody knows that when you go to San Francisco, feel the failure, man! All that kind of good stuff. I tried to get some data on this. I looked up one study which did an analysis on 1000 companies and asked their revenue officers about the percentage of people who make quota. And it said that on average year on year, less than 40% of the 1000 companies surveyed, actually made quota. I looked at some of the experiments we’ve done in terms of trying to do new things and typically what we find is that when you try something new, it’s like panning for gold. Maybe you know, 15-20% of stuff you that try actually ends up working out in a meaningful way so a lot of what you do kind of is just tax. And it’s like a heavy and expensive tax and 60-85% is huge! And we all know that this kind of exists, but for some reason, when failure rears its head, not always, rather than embracing it – I mean maybe I look a little bit like this cause I hate failing! I hate it! I know you’re not supposed to say that and be like yeah this is the beautiful but mainly when I fail, I feel more like this and the teams that I’m in, even though logically we know 60-85% of new stuff we do will be the compost for the fertile soil that will come next. We still kind of are a bit more like this, maybe we’re pointing fingers, maybe we’re giving a bit of shade to somebody rather than truly embracing it. This is a rule that I try my hardest to do and I’m always looking for examples of where this is the case.

This guy runs a museum of failure, and there it’s opened in Sweden and he talks in this clip about the amazing companies who have come up with the most ridiculous things. Failure is a universal concept and I’m constantly looking for reassurance in that particular way so I can begin to embrace it. What he has in his hand is an N-Gage which was Nokia sort of phone and you had they called the taco-phone that for some reason was a bit bizarre and you had to talk in an odd way. It failed and they said that Colgate brought out a ready meals, lasagnes’. If anybody knows, Colgate the toothpaste guy decided to diversify in to lasagnes’ which didn’t go that well. To be honest there are many large companies who fail so I try to take the view that I should grasp that dinosaur of failure and really embrace it although it’s something that I still somewhat struggle with.

Aim high

And the final one is to always aim high. No matter what I do, I feel I’ve been super privileged with the people that I’ve managed to meet and the opportunities I’ve been given and I have always been instilled with a great appreciation for education and I want to give back. So my mum always said and my father always said always aim high and I think it’s important. So every year in my business I write down 3-4 things that have to be true in order for it to be worthwhile doing it. I encourage my team to do the same with the projects building, a stop class, so that you know, you can really think about whether this is the biggest thing you could be doing. The best thing that you could be doing with your time.

I found this cartoon which I thought was pretty funny, about shooting for the moon, which is a good kind of analogy of a point like you know, like be aggressive with it. And aim high. So those are the six rules that I wanted to talk to you about today.

I’ve got a little bit of time so I wanted to know whether any of you guys had any rules that you kind of swear by. Anyone? Yeah! Anyone?

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Mark Littlewood: So who’s got rules?

Audience Member: Great speech by the way! Thanks for that! My only rule is enjoy yourself.

Dupsy Abiola: That’s a good one. That’s a really good one. Anyone else?

Audience Member: Well since you asked the question, I have a question but I will answer yours first. In our company, in a tech company, we hire our developers and our support staff and people see that some of them have cots in their offices and they immediately think you guys are one of those companies that do 70-80 hour weeks. Besides the founders, we stick to a 35-37 hour work week. Sean had to step out, but he’s always telling the new hires we want you to cart wheel into work and backflip out. A home life or any life you want is outside the office is very important and we don’t want burnout and that’s something we really strive for. The question I had for you was related to the slides, the company intern avenue. I kind of picked up on a theme and perhaps I’m superimposing it, but I just wanna know your thoughts on, in your company and your life, what would you suggest that we can do to try to increase women in stem field? Getting girls in the stem fields, we’re talking half of the population almost don’t even have an interest in it. Do you have anything, I really would be keen to hear your insight on it cause it’s something that needs to be changed.

Dupsy Abiola: That’s a really good question. I would say that actually I think everyone has an interest in technology, I think that’s the fundamental thing that I would say. When we met with Cheryl she has a very clear view that it’s about encouraging people and making it seem as though it’s an option. Cause right now, the percentage of women who take stem or computer science for example is as low as 10-15%. So we’ve got a problem right at the grass roots so you have to get people when they’re at school and make them excited about the possibility of them doing these things. I think that making it clear that there are women who are succeeding is important. I’ve read and had been subjected to some pretty difficult things working in technology in terms of maybe like I didn’t have a classic technology background but I consider myself to be a techno guru. I taught myself to make the first version of my website, I can’t do the really hardcore stuff, but I can do a lot of stuff. I also can do some pretty detailed things with data. But giving people the understanding who are here now that they can do that, and that they will be supported in doing that is something that’s important.

Then there’s this bro culture that has reared its ugly head. We heard terrible stories about some of these very large technology companies who create toxic environments for the women who are in them. Being really strong about that not being acceptable is really important and other companies making it really clear that technology is a really safe and exciting career for women and it’s important. So I think when people see other people succeeding that they look like them and feel like them, I think it changes hearts and minds. So I think shining a light on people who are doing things but also not bludgeoning people when things don’t go so well. One of the things from the female founders I know is that sometimes, there’s this feeling that they are put on a pedestal until something goes wrong and they are dragged down. I think you can think of examples of people were hailed as the Messiah. Many business fail, start-up, perhaps as much as 90% which sounds a bit high. Failure is real, it’s a tax. Your first business might not succeed but making it feel as though when you succeed, all women feel like they succeed, but when they fail, all women fail. I don’t think that’s fair so creating those environments and making it clear, it’s important. You guys are all business owners. Hire a bunch of women! Anyone else?

Audience Member: Another point about bozos, I’m curious…[inaudible]

Dupsy Abiola: So the question was about the bozos and whether there are any kind of early detection signs for these people. Unfortunately, I have racked my brain about this and I’ve had some really painful hires personally that have like kind of burned my soul. Sometimes I still wake screaming in the night. I can’t believe I did that. Or someone who was a productive person within the team either with the challenges of the business change or just… people are super unpredictable. I think and I’m still reading around this and I’m trying to kind of detect certain things. I think until you’ve worked for someone for about 90 days it’s hard. I mean you can put and do a lot of your due diligence early, you can try to hire for culture but really sophisticated people who are smart and are good sales people will tell you what you want to hear. Let’s be honest! They’re not going to come and be like, I just don’t give a crap about your mission. Or I will look the other way when bad things happen. They are going to sell themselves up. And I think the traditional hiring processes that exist for most companies, how much time do you spend with these individuals? If you use dating as a proxy, would you ever meet a person maybe twice for like an hour or two and invite them into your home for good? So I don’t know that there’s a way. And I am always really frustrated when I see people speak because I don’t think enough people are honest about the kind of bad things that slipped through that. So it’s not the greatest answer but if I find something I will inform Mark.

Mark Littlewood: I was thinking about bozos and it’s a challenge for everybody and with business owners in particular have this – you have a requirement to get them out of the business but there are a couple of conversations I’ve had with people at the conference in the last day who have been beating themselves up on the head because they’ve taken one of these people in and they’ve had a meaningfully bad effect on the company and they’re sitting there thinking I’m such an idiot cause I knew this was happening. And that happens all the time. I hear that a lot and people sort of know, they should get rid of them quickly. There’s always reasons not to. And as an entrepreneur that’s part of the lesson of building and growing I think.

Dupsy Abiola: It’s difficult when it comes to resource when you’re smaller the cost is really real and it will cost you and if you’re lucky and really fast with it which no one is, no one likes to fire people and admit this kind of mistake – it will cost you 3-6 months at least in whatever this person costs you. It will cost you the demotivation of your team potentially and then you have to find someone else. That whole cycle is super costly. I mean the concept of an internship, they are designed to give you time like without firing someone, having them prove themselves upfront because there’s no experience there. Much harder to do with experienced hires who might be leaving a big job and kind of want the security. It’s something that I think is like the key challenge certainly of my kind of 10 year trying to do this, it’s the key challenge. How do you get real with yourself and know that you have a bozo that you need to get rid of and do it quickly? Because they’re not as – some days they don’t seem as bad but they’re there polluting stuff. So it’s a really tricky one.

Audience Member: I was gonna make a comment about which is basically there’s an alternative – to provide a training for them, a bozo rehabilitation program.

Dupsy Abiola: 100% – I think that’s a possibility but it depends on what kind of bozo you’re dealing with. So if they are motivated and you know, they really are a team player but occasionally they have some personal things they don’t deal with that well, training is the key option. It’s not always a question of firing. But sometimes if they aren’t super motivated, I think the ones which are the most insidious are the really clever ones who kind of like stay under the radar which is why the silent one – the silence before and after the storm is the one I look after the most because you can see trouble is happening here and there but you don’t have a watchman and builder and that’s really difficult.

Audience Member: Yeah, I was just gonna comment that we put a lot more energy into the recruitment process and getting a much broader spectrum of the team involved in choosing people over the last couple years and it’s had a huge impact on that outcome.

Dupsy Abiola: Yeah. I think wisdom of the crowds is always good cause sometimes when like I find this to be a real problem for me personally. I really love people, all people, even people who are terrible. I find them interesting, I have friends and they are like why is that person your friend? I think they’re really interesting. So I tend to leave my people love hat at home and be quite objective when I’m looking to hire. But the more eyes and eyeballs you have on the process, it certainly helps, but I don’t know, I think occasionally you’re just gonna, a lot of focus for business owners happens just at the beginning and once they’re through the net it’s like oh well, they’re through. I think you have to be constantly evaluating a bit like a shepherd with the flock, it’s hard.

Audience Member: Couple of observations on bozo detection cause this was the theme in the last minutes. First really difficult one is when each incident in itself is relatively minor but you get this repeated pattern over months that builds into something which is not correcting itself and I think that’s a difficult thing in the moment as a manager to stop what’s going on, there’s this bigger chain of patterns. And the second thing is just being able to build a culture of 360 feedback and high trust within the organisation, it can help to get to the bottom of what the issue is. So people they have the feeling something is not right but can’t quite put their finger on it, sort of building that culture when people can discuss these issues and then you can figure out what you can do next, is there remedial action we can introduce here or is this game over?

Dupsy Abiola: Yeah, I think it’s a good one but maintaining the balance between that and having the kind of witch hunt sort of thing. You don’t want that within your organisation either. And I think personalities can be like really difficult to judge so I’ve been trying to codify some things and I think I reserved the kind of real looking at the symptoms for when there are bigger issues but like you said, these can be bubbling along for a bit. I think one of the things that’s really helpful is to watch the processes not just the people. Because often when you have better processes in place, the people who had these tendencies really display themselves. So the sales person who doesn’t update the CRM when there’s a very clear process around doing that, it’s clear they’re being opaque. And if you have certain ways in which you handle your meetings that insist upon people bringing facts or data upfront or providing that information to make sure it’s the most efficient, that can highlight people who are belligerent but have no back up so they’re allowed without having any preparation.

Audience Member: As a business owner, what happens if you’re the bozo?

Dupsy Abiola: Yeah. 100%! So one of the things I said during this is something that I watch for in myself because I like to think that I’m not a bozo, but I think there’s definitely been times where I 100% have been. I love a theoretical debate and I’m a debater, I was a champion when I was at university. So I like getting around stuff so I can – I don’t debate typically without some factual underpinning but I know that where those people exist, I can spend a lot of my energy arguing with them which isn’t a good thing or trying to make them see reason. And yeah, so I think this is a watch post that’s internal as well as external. I think we’ve all been in a meeting where we’ve been a bit of a drain on energy and there are all these kind of things like the fish head that rots from the head down which technically I think isn’t true. Sometimes we’ve been in a meeting where we’re low energy or don’t know what we’re doing and maybe pooh poohing stuff so it’s a check that I definitely use for myself. Am I inspiring energy and making things better or am I just making people like be afraid or draining people’s energy? One thing – there’s a couple things that I know that I definitely don’t do, I’m rarely silent in general. Before, during or after anything.

Mark Littlewood: Ok. Should we have a last question? Someone with a Cartman tattoo anybody?

Audience Member: That’s Stan. Learn your Southpark.

Mark Littlewood: It’s an awesome tattoo!

Audience Member: Thank you, sir! To Peldi there’s a BOS from 2013 by Mikey Trafton about learning to love the hiring process. It changed our company, our life. Look up the video for Mikey I believe was his name, how I learned to love hiring and not loathe it. And we based that and added an extra element which is the gauntlet interview where we actually, that person if they make it to that point, they come in our office and spend 4-5 hours. There’s multiple, they meet the developers and testers, depending on whatever the job is for we suss out their technical knowledge and then the cultural. Even down to the point does this person chew with their mouth open and will be a drain on people because they don’t want to eat next to them? We have our lunches catered and if people don’t want to be around this person cause he’s a disgusting slob, that’s a problem. But Mikey, please look up that video. It’s a game changer!

Dupsy Abiola: Sounds great! I like the idea of a gauntlet, it sounds like it’s nice. Ok.

Mark Littlewood: Anymore? Look, that is a great way to wrap up. Dupsy, thank you very much indeed!

Dupsy Abiola
Dupsy Abiola

Dupsy Abiola

We first met Dupsy at our Lean Startup event with Eric Ries where, not exactly backward about coming forward, she was first in line to pitch a question to Eric.

After graduating from Oxford University Dupsy worked as a barrister for a leading law firm before leaving to create Intern Avenue in late 2010. Intern Avenue connects students and graduates with paid internship opportunities. She’s passionate about promoting diversity, open access, and reducing youth unemployment. Dupsy’s work resulted in her inclusion on the Thomson Reuters Power List as one of Britain’s most influential black people under 40 and she is listed on the Silicon 60 top tech stars to watch. She has also pitched her business successfully on BBC’s Dragons’ Den.

More from Dupsy.

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BoS USA 2023

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23-25 Sept 2024 at Raleigh, NC

Learn how great software companies are built to help you build long-term, profitable, sustainable businesses.

The Road to Exit 🌐

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05 June 2024 2PM BST
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with Matt Lerner via Zoom

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