Adrian Lloyd is Founding Partner at Episode 1, a dynamic venture team helping daring entrepreneurs from Seed to Series A.
I studied Chinese studies at Oxford as I saw the Chinese economy was growing fast long before it happened. I then went on to work for a multinational company operating in European and Asian markets, and I eventually ended up living in China to set up an office there within confines of a large company. After a while, I discovered working in big companies wasn’t my thing and I enrolled at Stanford which stimulated my interest in the power of software. After graduating I was advised to start operating before investing so I could learn how businesses functioned. I worked on my own startups and started running them. Then one day at a networking event I met my managing partner, Simon Murdoch, and he told me about his new venture Episode 1. We hit it off and he brought me in to handle the operational side of the business.
I’d attribute my success to my personality and desire to understand how businesses work inside and out. When I met Simon, I didn’t have lots of operating experience but my approach and empathy as an entrepreneur helped me get ahead.
I think persuading the multinational company to let me go off with a budget and prove myself. I also think the decision to go to Stanford was really powerful. The fact that I didn’t take the generic route most graduates take of going to work for the likes of Google, was smart because I decided to go and do something for myself.
The advice I’d give to my kids is it’s important to enjoy the job you’re doing. Don’t ever do something that’s fashionable or what others want you to do, otherwise you’ll be competing with people who do love what they do and you can’t compete with that. I also think working for a startup is the best business education you can get.
You need to open up communications as much as possible so everyone can share how they feel, be listened to and feel accepted. There’s a lot of value in people sharing their thoughts. Also, having a very clear vision that is inspirational and meaningful to the person who created it and people you hire – which goes back to my point about being passionate about what you do. And lastly, cultural fit is totally critical. It’s incredibly important to like, respect and have fun with people you work with.
I judge recruitment companies by my network, so if my CEOs are telling me Kommol is great and they’re repeatedly using them then that’s a good sign for me!