Martha Lane Fox is the founder of Lastminute.com. A period in her life which she describes as ‘total chaos’.
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At 25 years old, with co-founder Brent Hoberman, Martha embarked on a very exciting journey creating one of the first European startups combining e-commerce and travel.
However, when you’re the first to do something, there’s always a lot of naysayers. People thought Lastminute.com would fail. They didn’t believe individuals would share their credit card information over the internet. Now our 16-digit card numbers are saved online, ready for our next purchase.
As a result, Martha was motivated. In 2005, they sold Lastminute.com for £577 million.
Life after Lastminute.com
Martha took what she had built with Lastminute.com to create GDS (Government Digital Service). This is a section inside the Cabinet Office of the British government responsible for improving access to online public services. She recalls the process being challenging. Being a great salesperson was key to persuading people in power.
Whether it’s building one of Europe’s most successful tech businesses, mingling in the House of Commons or sitting on the board of Twitter, Martha is always looking for something new to inspire her.
Martha’s other interests are explored in this interview. This includes technology, mass internet distribution, women and venture capital. As well as Martha’s vision for Dot Everyone, her most recent venture.
We’ll leave you with this thought-provoking statement from Martha:
“Are businesses really solving the problems that they are going to look back in 10 years and say, yes that was incredibly important? If we hadn’t done that by 2030 then we were going to have no shot at the next 50 years”.
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