'Men are better at using their network to get stuff done' - Zella King

Meet the co-founder of Personal Boardroom at Inspiring Women in London on November 19.

Last Updated: 12 Feb 2016

Who has inspired you in business?

Loads of very practical inspiration has come from the idea of a Minimal Viable Product, made popular by Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Steve Blank and Eric Reis in their books. The idea is that when developing a product or service you don't worry about building it right’, until you've worked out whether you are ‘building the right ‘it’’. You invest just enough to find out whether your users or clients want and use your thing.

This has been our approach from the beginning of our company and, apart from saving a ton of money that would otherwise have been spent on building the wrong thing, it's made the idea of setting up a company seem doable at all. It's much easier to get started if all you have to do is invest a little to learn.

What has been your biggest setback and how did you overcome it?

Our biggest setback has been an evidence gap. We need to demonstrate that people use and love what we do, but it's so difficult to get people's attention either via email, online or on apps that we have at times struggled to collect this evidence. And without the evidence, it's hard to justify taking the next step to invest more and grow. We're still working out how to overcome this.

What is the biggest challenge still facing women in business today and how should it be solved?

We hear about the pay gap and the leadership gap, but I think there is a network gap - especially in large companies where most of the senior leadership is male. Research shows that, on average, men are better than women at building relationships with people at the centre of power, telling people in their network about their achievements, and using their network to get stuff done and get on in their careers.  We can solve this by giving women practical tools to make sure they are talking to the right people about the right things.

What piece of advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?

Live adventurously.

Hear more from Zella King at MT's Inspiring Women conference in London on November 19. See all the amazing speakers and discussions we've got lined up in the programme here.

Book now and get a 20% discount with the code IW20.

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