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Marcus Simmons: Optimism, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

By Garry Miller

Entrepreneurs tend to sweep through mainstay business environments as they race toward the top. So Marcus Simmons and I got to know one another at a regular networking event.

Every week at 7 am, Marcus would listen to my pitch about design, and I would listen to his about accommodation.

As it was a BNI event, the format was always the same. We would use our 60 seconds to explain what we did, why we did it, why it was beneficial (to others) and what we were looking for. This last bit was particularly important as it often featured the nature of the lead we were looking for.

Marcus co-founded iknow-uk, a regional accommodation platform, an online business that preceded Airbnb and grew rapidly. Marcus and his business were shooting stars, and they raced to the top at light speed.

I enjoyed working with Marcus as the iknow-uk team refined the platform’s user experience.

Marcus became an award-winning entrepreneur, and iknow-uk attracted accolades for assisting accommodation providers in marketing their establishments better and for making it easier for the public to find that great place to stay.

Catching up with Marcus recently, I asked him why he was optimistic and how he saw optimism working with innovation. Marcus shared:

“I’m always optimistic because I have often seen people improve themselves or situations around them at home or work: People are great problem solvers.”

“When people’s natural problem-solving capabilities are unleashed at work, in a creative and supportive environment, then great innovations will almost always follow.”

Like so many .com successes, Marcus sold iknow-uk and these days invests his time inspiring entrepreneurship; who better to learn from than an award-winning digital entrepreneur?

Thank you, Marcus, for continuing to shine brightly!

Garry Miller is Head of Advocacy and Research, Optimism and Innovation, The Centre for Optimism

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