Ben Gidley

I am, at heart, someone who likes to make things happen, more often than not, that's taking a business problem, some technology and combining them to provide something people want and will pay for. I take ideas (sometimes my own, more often with others) and turn them into a real product that can deliver and scale in a market, working with a team, iterating often and learning along the way. I'm not afraid to challenge pre-conceptions (both my own and of others) and am very wary about 'lessons learnt' - as often the environment they were learnt in is changing and the same idea in a different environment can be a winner.

Skills

  • Innovation - I work on new ideas, or rehashing old ideas looking for market value. Typically, I look to understand the value proposition, ensure the benefits vastly outweigh any downsides and then define a proposition/solution. I work to find and fit technology to meet the needs in an efficient and timely manner
  • Value Propositions Turning customer needs into a value proposition and architecting components for a solution while paying attention to what to build vs buy (or preferably get for free). Designing just enough of the solution to set a direction and ensure sustainability, while leaving enough freedom for the developers to take ownership as the product needs to iterate.
  • Building a tech team around the common goal - ggiving them focused short term items to achieve, while ensure they balance what's needed 'now' with having what we'll need next week and next month. I'm a firm advocate of Continuous Integration/Deployment - nothing is 'done' until the customers are using it, and I drive teams to focus on customers as the goal and not internal milestones.
  • Budgeting - In my roles I've planned and managed substantial budgets (7 figures) for the products I've been managing. Balancing investments against sales forecasts and using this as input to product design to ensure our product costs fit the market.
  • Sales & Marketing - I've been a spokesman for the products I work on, for several years presenting the products to Trade Shows, Journalists and Customers on a regular basis. I find such activity both beneficial for my understanding (as I hear unfiltered perceptions from customers) and for sales (as I can refine the value proposition in real time with the customer).
  • Technology - - I am a technology generalist. I've worked with a huge range of technology becoming expert in some (Enterprise Java, Internet Video Delivery, Client Side Security) and rapidly learning others as needed. I maintain a technical skill set, mainly though smaller side projects that I manage my time around.
  • Distributed Teams - I've worked with distributed teams most of my career and am comfortable getting the best out of them. Typically, this requires a combination of good discipline, empathy and occasional in person meetings to build relationships. I believe distributed teams can compare well to co-located ones in many situations as they benefit from the breath of skills and world views they bring.

Roles

  • Irdeto Cloaked.JS - Irdeto are world leaders in whitebox Cryptography, which is a technique for doing cryptography on untrusted devices (typically consumers devices such as phones, tablets & set top boxes). In 2015 while working on Irdeto Multiscreen I heard we’d got a prototype working in JavaScript - and saw this could be a revolutionary development in web security. Working as a new business initiative in Irdeto we built initially a small POC, and then as we refined the value proposition a commercial solution for API Protection which we took to general market. I built our initial team and led our initial client deployments, and in 2017 have been product managing the product line as we expand it to add a self service portal and native variants. This product has now evolved to be part of our industry focused efforts in Automotive and IoT.
  • Irdeto Multiscreen - Joining Irdeto in 2011 they had a small multiscreen business delivering internet TV based on a number of acquisitions. I led the efforts to define a product assembling this into an end-end solution that we could offer to small and larger operators. The market was very challenging, with us facing strong competition from (at one end) large SI’s and bespoke developments, and at the other end very well funded startups selling at low prices to grow their market. In 2015, after many iterations on the end-end concept, we pivoted to focus back in on the security solutions elements only, focusing where we had a stronger differentiated value proposition.
  • ioko SeeSaw/Project Kangaroo - In 2007 I joined ioko and went into working as an architect on Project Kangaroo - a joint venture between BBC, ITV & Channel 4 to build the ultimate internet TV site for the UK. Working closely with the business team we designed and built a world leading solution, only to have it banned from launching by the competition authorities. The solution was sold on to relaunch as an independent company SeeSaw. SeeSaw was not well funded and I worked with them for 2 years ensuring they could innovate their business model, trying to find one that was sustainable. We introduced the first experiments around paying to remove advertising and some of the first mobile device support for UK internet TV. Ultimately SeeSaw could not find a sustainable business model that covered their content costs.

Employment History

September 2011 - PresentIrdeto

Directory Technology

Director Multiscreen Solutions

Senior Solution Architect

London Business School Market Driving Strategies

London Business School High Performance People Skills

June 2007 - September 2011ioko / Kit DigitalSenior Technical Architect
August 2006 - Jun 2007Macrovision UKTechnical Architect
March 2000 - August 2006Anite - Secure Information Solutions

Junior Programmer

Programmer

Analyst

Project Engineer

Senior Technical Architect

Qualifications

CurrentBritish Computer SocietyMBCS Chartered IT Professional
2009Scrum AllianceCertified Scrum Master
1996University of YorkBsc 2:1 Mathematics and Philosophy