Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. It is not easy running a company, especially in a fast-paced, ever-changing business world. Technology advances, new hiring strategies, and now, political changes coming with the new administration, all add to the existing business challenges that entrepreneurs, business owners, and executives have to deal with.
Maximizing profits, minimizing expenses and finding talented staff to keep things moving seem to be top challenges for both SMBs and large corporations. We have been interviewing companies from around the world to discover what challenges they are facing in their businesses. We also asked each company to share business advice they would give to a younger version of themselves.
Below is our interview with Vincent Delaroche, Chairman and CEO at CAST:
What does your company do?
CAST brings the truth about software, more precisely, the truth about what’s inside custom software. We are pioneering Software Intelligence, which is all about delivering analytics, insights and knowledge about the inner-structure of complex software systems through the structural analysis of software. It’s much like an x-ray or MRI, but for software rather than people. We have invested more than $150 million in R&D to develop unique system-level analysis capabilities that detect the most dangerous structural software flaws. The output of this analysis is fact-based Software Intelligence to support smart decision making, proactive identification of potential software risks and the prevention of IT-related operational disruptions that can damage consumer confidence and rack up millions in lost profits. Our users, or “consumers” should I say, are business and IT executives willing to figure out their exposure to software risk, and whoever is building, buying or selling software. I like to say that, at CAST we are making the invisible visible.
What is your role? What do you enjoy most about your role?
I currently serve as Chairman and CEO of CAST. One of the things I enjoy most about my role is that we are defining and building a new market, a new category, Software Intelligence. It’s challenging because not everyone likes the idea of shedding light into the structural quality and risk of software systems, especially when they have just spent $50 million to build it. On the other hand, CEOs and CIOs who want to know their risk exposure or want to stop guessing about the software that supports their digital transformation…these people love us. The other thing I love about my job is the opportunity to work with super smart people. Building a market and introducing disruptive change requires brilliant minds. In fact, that is the inspiration for our name – a CAST of characters in a movie or play, where many talented individuals come together around a common goal.
What are the biggest challenges in your business right now?
When you market a change agent that disrupts the industry, there are always companies and individuals who will do their very best to fight against you to protect their interests today, even if they know it won’t be good for them tomorrow. There are still too many executives who prefer not to know the truth, keeping their head buried in the sand, with only hope as a strategy. Our many hundreds of customers are led by innovative and brave CxOs. This is the beginning of the next tectonic shift, but we need to cross the chasm and accelerate.
If you could go back in time, what business advice would you give to a younger version of yourself?
For disrupters? Surround yourself with type A folks. People who make things happen, not people who manage things once they have happened, are the ones who will help build a successful business.