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The Deer Is Stronger In The Herd: What I've Learned During Upstream's Two Years at C4DI

I’m currently sat on an early train to London. It’s one of those perfect mornings; cold, bright, fresh and full of optimism. Out of the window, I can see a deer navigating the soggy Lincolnshire fields, hesitantly placing one foot in front of the other to test the ground. It’s a great time to reflect on my journey over the last couple of years, the life of a startup and how maybe we’ve got a few things in common with that deer.

Two and a half years ago, I had the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy (VR). I loved the teams I was working with and our clients but was increasingly frustrated by my lack of ability to make a larger impact on society. I was a cog in a much larger machine. A machine focused on margin and mergers, and not in a position to really respond to what the market needs.

In contrast to the area of healthcare tech I love, which involves building solutions that can keep our friends and loved ones well.

I’d managed multi-million-pound programmes, with thousands of resources involved, but could see that bigger was not always better. For healthcare, the ability to start small and quick, apply an agile mindset and get close to your users is more important than ever. I couldn’t do that anymore in my job, so I grabbed the opportunity for