Douglas has worked on Advent’s investments in Medius, Nexi, Planet, Shift Technology, Unit4, Xplor Technologies, and Zenoti.
Technology innovation is the single most powerful driver of human progress.
My interest in technology is rooted in my years as an economics student. I increasingly focused my studies on economic development and how we can improve the human condition, and became convinced that technological progress at scale is the critical component. I admire maverick founders who set out bold visions and embark on risky pursuits, but I also admire the teams of scientists and engineers behind them who break technology barriers, and the teams of go-to-market executives who bring great technology to market at-scale. Technology is inherently progressive, and I feel lucky to get to play a small role at this profoundly impactful time for our sector.
People and culture are the most important success factors in business.
It’s a cliché, but it’s so often overlooked by investors. Great talent working together as a strong team with a healthy culture is an unstoppable recipe for success. Great people hire other great people. Talented engineers build better code. Happy success managers create happy customers. Creative product managers help move the game forward. Smart, savvy salespeople unlock the big wins. It’s a virtuous cycle and it often starts with great governance and a trustful, energising board. In good times, the board challenges the leadership team to push harder and do better, and in tough times the board rallies behind the team, seeks truthful debate, and helps the business return to strength.
I’ve worn a few different hats in my career.
I co-founded a marketing tech start-up (the best thing to come out of that was the company merch), I worked in an enterprise software business, I did some consulting, and I invested across growth-stage and buyout technology companies. I have been fortunate to see and learn about the tech industry and its business models from different perspectives. In a way, my career has embodied the idea that tech is one ecosystem – one with shared underlying science and transient talent pools that's inherently co-opetitive. What I try to bring from my experiences to the companies I’m involved with today is a commitment to truth-seeking discussion, people-centricity, a bit of strategy, and a love of winning.