Piers Linney, the keynote speaker of New Relic’s FutureStack London event on Wednesday, 24 May, 2017, brings multiple areas of insight and expertise to our user conference. Best known as a former ‘Dragon’ on the popular BBC 2 television series Dragons’ Den, he’s a consummate public speaker and business celebrity. But as the former co-CEO of cloud-based IT business Outsourcery, Linney is also an accomplished technology executive, entrepreneur, and cloud expert, making him perfectly qualified to address the conference’s theme of ‘Digital Intelligence at Cloud Scale’.
We caught up with the star to learn more about his background, the UK tech industry, his participation in FutureStack: London, and the perspective he plans to share with attendees.
New Relic: What are some of the top issues that UK enterprises face today?
Piers Linney: Uncertainty can depress growth and reduce access to capital for entrepreneurs. As we leave the European Union via Brexit, the entrepreneurial ethic will be critical and needs to be supported.
New Relic: Can you tell us something about what you plan to cover in your talk at FutureStack: London?
Linney: Rather than inflict another talk laden with statistics about cloud-based technologies and the benefits, I want to provide some context on how the story about the development of new technologies, the pushback from those fearing disruption, and the eventual new technology adoption is as old as man.
New Relic: FutureStack: London will have hundreds of technical practitioners and business leaders in the audience. What are the big takeaways you want them to walk away with after your session?
Linney: I want attendees to remember that innovation and the adoption of new technologies is fundamental to sustained competitive advantage. And that even very large enterprises can miss the boat and be left playing catch-up to innovators empowered by technology such as New Relic’s.
New Relic: What are you personally most looking forward to at FutureStack: London?
Linney: Hearing the variety of perspectives offered by a great lineup of speakers.
New Relic: You are best known for your time on Dragons’ Den. Looking back, are there any big lessons you learned from your experience on the show?
Linney: It is about your belief in the founder or the team standing in front of you, and whether you can work with them and believe that they will be able to navigate the often difficult path to business success.
New Relic: You have been named by Power List as one of the ‘Top 100 Most Influential Black Britons’, and have written and spoken about the need for organisations to ‘truly embrace’ diversity. What do you think UK companies should to be doing to support diversity in the workforce?
Linney: Simply connect talent with opportunity without barriers. People don’t know that I was a comprehensive school kid from a mill town in Lancashire who qualified as a lawyer in the City and became an investment banker at Credit Suisse. My story shouldn’t be so rare.
New Relic: Finally, you are involved in a great many things, including multiple businesses and charitable organisations. What do you do enjoy doing outside of work?
Linney: When I find the time, I am an avid downhill mountain biker, which combines a lot of suspension with gravity and body armour.
FutureStack: London is almost here!
Check out a recap from last year’s FutureStack: London event.
Note: Event dates, speakers, and schedules are subject to change without notice.