This website uses 'cookies' to enhance your experience and for basic functionality. Using this website means you're happy with this. To find out more about cookies on this website, see our privacy policy.

IGNITING THE SPARK with Louise Rice, Amphio

Amphio is a culture tech studio specialising in creating products at the intersection of software development and media production.

Louise Rice
Louise Rice

The moment that ignited the spark in me to start a business was…

I was working for a company called Touchpress and we made apps. I loved working with the team there, and they were one of the main drivers that inspired me to take the renamed Amphio team forward into a new business model around video services and digital transformation in the cultural sector.

The key thing for me is that I feel passionate about the team I work with, and I feel very lucky to be leading them now. So, I’m a bit different to many entrepreneurs, in the sense that Amphio was an evolution rather than a clean slate.

The thing that’s most surprised me since I made that move is…

The thing that’s most surprised me actually, is how hard it is. What’s hard is not the day-to-day work that I can do, and we all do well, but it’s setting our vision and being able to articulate that vision. Looking back, in some ways we had too many choices, and that then makes it about focus.

We’re now at a stage where we’re clear about what we want, and we know where we’re heading and what we’re doing, but it’s taken longer than I thought to get there.

The toughest challenge I’ve faced is…

The business we evolved from had - and today we do have - investors behind us, but we haven’t yet gone out for fresh investment as we’ve been relying, to a large extent, on delivering revenues via our agency work. On the one hand this places a constraint on us, but on the other it imposes a sense of discipline, which I believe to be positive. The toughest thing has been the dilemma between worrying about cash, and at the same time ensuring that we’re building the business we want to build.

My biggest success has been…

My biggest success is our team. I’m a big fan of Seth Godin, who is an American author, entrepreneur and marketer. In his February blog he uses the phrase ‘culture beats strategy’, and I feel hugely cheered by that, because I believe that my biggest achievement has been guiding our team through a really tough period.

Our business was known for making apps, but we deliberately sold off two-thirds of our app portfolio. It’s not where we want to be in the long term, and although the team felt directionless and concerned about our business, we stuck together through thick and thin. Now, we enjoy every day, we’re all learning and we’re all challenged and challenging each other, and I take great pride in that.

I’m very good at…

Working with others, and bringing out the best in them. I worked in publishing for thirty years where I ran publishing companies, and I had a start-up at the end of the nineties when the internet was relatively new. Through that journey I’ve learned that my strengths are in managing teams, and in bringing people along with me. I’ve tried running two start-ups on my own and found that I don’t work well in isolation. I work well with others, so I believe that is my core strength.

The type of person I look to recruit into my organisation is…

The reason I took on the challenge of starting Amphio was because of the team I had behind me. They are an exceptional group because they are all incredibly intelligent, dynamic, young but well-rounded, tech savvy, and their talents range from classical music to heavy duty mathematics. They all have a breadth about them that I find refreshing and inspiring, and they all want to learn and challenge themselves. We look for self-starters.

The part of my day I most look forward to is…

I relish meetings with our clients as it gives me real confidence in our abilities. It’s fantastic to see the response of clients and to see how much respect they have for the kind of thinking, technology and content creation we deliver. That’s the thing I enjoy the most – when we go out into the market place or clients come to us and I see recognition in their faces; this place, and this team have something special. It’s brilliant.

If I could give my 18-year old self one piece of advice it would be…

At 18 I feel like I was so young… I would say just trust in yourself and have an adventure. Be fearless.

Outside of work I can be found…

I spend my weekends in the Northamptonshire countryside, where we have a little cottage. I designed the interiors myself and have become pathetically passionate about curtain fabric! I’m now starting on the garden, so you will likely find me in my wellies, with the Scottie dog, digging.

My philosophy on life is…

I am an optimist, and like to assume that most people are pretty decent. My parents always taught me not to worry about what the other person is thinking because they are probably far too busy worrying about what you’re thinking about them. Essentially, I believe that if you treat people well, the good karma will come back to you.

If I was asking the questions, I would want to know…

How do you know when it’s time to change direction? How do you know when one idea isn’t going to work and it’s time to move onto the next one? And how do you manage that and feel good about it without feeling like you’ve failed?

What I like about working with Ignition Law…

Well that’s easy! I feel like Ignition are such an ally. It’s that thing where you don’t speak to them for weeks on end and then suddenly they will be there for you when you have a crisis. Not only are they on my side, but they have an absolutely refreshing pragmatism. They are realistic, they don’t try and tie me up in endless legal knots, they watch my back, and importantly, they recognise that we don’t have a lot of money to spend on legal fees. I feel hugely grateful to them.

You may also like...

all posts