‘All leaders find the same things hard,’ says Start-Up Director of the Year 2019

IoD Director of the Year Awards Tom Hacquoil

Every day in the approach to Christmas, we’ll speak to winners from the recent finals of IoD Director of the Year Awards. Today it’s Tom Hacquoil, founder and CEO of Pinpoint, who won the Start-Up category

After leaving school at 16, Hacquoil set up Roll On Media, which became a precursor to the Infuse Group, which he still runs today. He founded recruitment software company Pinpoint in 2018, having served as chief digital officer for Calligo, the Channel Islands’ only dedicated cloud service provider.

What has been the toughest challenge you have surmounted? “I started my first business when I was 16. Everything went really well – until it didn’t. I wasn’t disciplined enough financially and ended up in a big hole, taking on personal debt to ensure that my suppliers, clients and team were looked after.

I dealt with it by eating a large slice of humble pie, realising that I wasn’t the visionary leader I’d thought I was. I got a ’real job’ for a number of years to pay my debts and I focused on my personal development.”

How do you ensure good governance at a fast-growing company? “By ensuring full transparency. We work hard across the organisation to document everything we do in a lot of detail and have invested significantly in tools to make this process as seamless as possible.”

The best business book you’ve read?The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz. Its key message is that all leaders – even those building the world’s greatest organisations – find the same things hard.”


Entries are now open for the 2020 IoD Director of the Year Awards – click here for more info and to nominate


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Director magazine

Director magazine

Director is the magazine for business leaders. Free to IoD members and available to purchase through subscription, each edition is full of insightful interviews with entrepreneurs and company directors.

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