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Start-up for ten – Bubble Protocol

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Q & A with Wiltshire-based Privacy Software Start-up Bubble Protocol (formerly Datona Labs).

David Potter, founder and CTO of Bubble Protocol explains how attending a SETsquared Entrepreneurs Workout has helped him redefine the company’s strategy.

  1. What does Bubble Protocol do?

We develop privacy software to reduce the risk of abuse and misuse of personal information. We use an open, decentralised platform designed to encourage self-sovereign identity and data ownership. It allows any form of digital information, held on any home, enterprise, or cloud server in the world, to be shared in a controlled way with other individuals or organisations using a technology we call Smart Data Access.

  1. What’s the most exciting thing about what you’re doing?

Privacy is extremely important; we have become accustomed to sharing our information without considering or understanding the consequences. Very few of us have a clear picture of how far our digital information and identity is spread around the world and we’ve seen a huge erosion of privacy over the last few decades. At Bubble Protocol, we are building software at the cutting edge of the blockchain space, which is helping to transition the world towards web 3.0, and what’s going on in that space is incredibly exciting.

  1. What are you most proud of so far?

Thus far, we’ve spent much of our time conducting R&D. Over the last few years, we’ve developed solutions to some difficult technical issues in this new and upcoming space. Developing these trustworthy and reliable solutions has given us the most pride.

  1. What have you found most challenging about setting up and running Bubble Protocol?

Developing a robust business strategy has been the most challenging area for us. We have struggled to create a narrative that best describes what we are trying to do, in what is an extraordinarily complex technical space. We are three engineers who have had careers in large engineering companies, and a start-up requires a vastly different approach.

  1. You recently took part in SETsquared’s Entrepreneurs Programme – how did it help you?

SETsquared has helped us to understand our core principles and the lean start-up process. We now have a foundational understanding of our business model and value proposition canvases. The support was delivered in a way that we found very invigorating and inspiring.

  1. What will you do differently going forwards as a result of it?

We have struggled to identify our customer segments, SETsquared have helped us understand the lean start-up approach which we hope to use to narrow this down, and by talking to those customers produce a stronger narrative. For a long time, we have been focused on the product and the solution to the problem as we see it, but now we realise we need to test our assumptions in the market.

We have overhauled our whole business strategy. It’s been great to have the opportunity to say – let’s throw away what we’ve done so far and start again with these guiding principles.

  1. Would you recommend it to other founders?

I would recommend this course to others, it gives an excellent overview of the lean start-up approach, and it allows you to test your ideas in front of a panel of experienced entrepreneurs and experts with different skill sets to your own.

  1. What’s the best thing about being based in Wiltshire?

Being an online business, essentially we could be located anywhere but being in Wiltshire has enabled us to access this support from SETsquared which has been really positive. There’s lots of other support in the area as well and online projects which are full of people of all sorts of experience who can help start-ups.

  1. What advice would you give to other start-up founders?

Don’t be shy. Get out of the building and test your ideas with customers.

  1. Where do you think Bubble Protocol will be in 10 years’ time?

Within 5-10 years, I hope Bubble Protocol will be one of a small number of companies at the forefront of digital identity and privacy in the world.

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