Accelerator: Q&A - Simon Nixon, Founder of moneysupermarket.com and accelerator editorial board member

WHY DID YOU SET UP YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

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Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

I can't be good at things I don't believe in, and I like control over my own destiny. After dropping out of university, I started selling mortgages, and found there was no tool to help brokers find the best deals. So I set up a magazine, and later a computer programme, for brokers to match mortgages to customers' needs. That idea evolved into moneysupermarket.com, but with consumers comparing products themselves.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

There's so much opportunity here, and the question is whether we can take that opportunity, find solutions and deliver - and make money. This business can be massive and there's a real curiosity around how far we can take it. Then there's personal curiosity: can I grow fast enough as a person to keep up with the business?

WHAT DO YOU HATE ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?

As the business gets bigger, things take longer. That's a frustration. In the old days, we'd come up with an idea, develop it really quickly and stick it straight online. Now, we have to think twice before we do things. The wrong move can have an impact on the brand, and thus on revenue, staff and customers.

WHAT'S THE BIGGEST LESSON YOU'VE LEARNT?

Don't be scared to try things. We launched a business six years ago that didn't work out. But we later incorporated it into moneysuper-market.com and it's now very successful. Don't throw ideas out - one day you might be able to dust them off and use them again.

WHAT'S YOUR ADVICE FOR BUDDING ENTREPRENEURS?

It's better to be really good at some things than OK at lots of things. Surround yourself with talented people who want your job. They will stretch you, whereas yes-people provide no stimulation. You have to pay for high-calibre staff.

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