Periodically something makes me stop, look back and think about what has had an impact on my thinking.
I was fortunate enough to be part of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Ireland CEO retreat in Austin and New York a few weeks ago. It was great to get away from the day-to-day routine, to think more broadly about Texthelp and learn from a fantastic community of changemakers. The optimism was just infectious and it was at the retreat that I stopped in my tracks and took some time to reflect.
Every day I write down a few things that I am grateful for in a private journal. As we are fast approaching Thanksgiving in the US, now seems like the ideal time to voice my gratitude. This is my letter to you all.
I am grateful to you, our customers - particularly the teachers who go in to bat for the students who can benefit most from the tools we provide. It is a tough time in K12 currently - we are still going through a post-pandemic teacher shortage and we know that teachers are busy people doing an incredibly valuable job.
And of course to our customers in the workplace. We’re seeing many organizations making great strides towards becoming more neuro-inclusive. Companies, large and small, are taking action to truly listen to and understand their people. We love being part of their story as they work hard to make the experience at work better for everyone.
Together we can help all people to believe in their own ability and help them to thrive in their own unique way.
Our fabulous Texthelp team. There are over 350 Texthelpers who all deserve more credit than I do. I would not be on the EY Entrepreneur of the Year program without them. Every Texthelper shares our mission - I am blown away by what they do daily.
I have a great team at home too - I’m fortunate to have a very supportive family who have supported me when my ideas sounded crazy. It was because of my family that I actually started making assistive technology in the first place. My wife kept the wheels turning at home when I was traveling to the US every month for 2 decades. My kids are an inspiration to me.
A network of great friends and colleagues - including new ones who I got to know at the EY CEO Retreat in Austin - who help broaden my perspective. I realize my own experience is limited, but I have a brilliant network of experienced friends, current and former colleagues who help me make decisions. (You know who you are - thank you!)
Over the years people have put their money where my mouth is - and I’m incredibly thankful for their faith in me and the team at Texthelp... Most recently Five Arrows Principal Investments have been an incredible accelerant both professionally and personally. Thank you.
We’re a social impact company. We’re here to make a difference and that’s important to me and the whole team. At least 8% of the population have dyslexia - my daughter (a 3rd year dentist - proud dad) is among that group. Dyslexia is not an intelligence thing - with the right tools people with dyslexia can really thrive - and often make the rest of us look flat footed in our thinking.
We need to drive real change among employers. When dyslexic students leave school, they do not leave their dyslexia behind. We want to see more major employers supporting employees with dyslexia in the way that EY do.
And lastly, I am grateful for the future we are going to build together. We want to help everyone to understand and be understood. I really do believe that we can help advance the literacy and understanding of one billion people by 2030. We can only do that through growing our networks and talking.
Globally 200 million people have used Texthelp technology over the last 10 years - and we’re ready to help millions more.
Here’s to future conversations, connections and working towards our moonshot.