Business Action | October / November 2019


October / November 2019 issue of the independent North Devon-based business magazine covering news about business and enterprise in Barnstaple, Bideford, Braunton, Chulmleigh, Combe Martin, Holsworthy, Ilfracombe, Lynmouth, Lynton, South Molton, Torrington, Woolacombe and more.

This issue includes the event guide for the BBxpo business exhibition and networking event in Bideford on Thursday 24 October 2019.

Business Action Plan and magazine subscribers receive priority access of new issues of Business Action on publication. Subscribe at


Mike Matthews of Lineal Software

1. What was your first job?

When I was five, my first job

was stacking pinions, ready for

assembly in my father’s small

factory which made motors

and precision gearboxes. It

kept me out of mischief, and

I got given two pence. It’s still

a point of argument that my

sister got a shilling!

2. What is the best

business advice you’ve

ever received?

Two lessons have stuck with

me: If you want something,

save up for it – don’t go

completely mad with credit

because it’s not really a

shortcut. Most importantly, do

everything you can to make

sure your customers succeed:

their fate is tied to yours and if

they’re winning, so will you.

3. What do you enjoy most

about business?

The joys have changed since

the start. From the beginning

it was simply the moments of

seeing a valued client succeed

that were always the most

heartening, because you know

you’ve made a real contribution

beyond just your own business.

After 35 years, the same applies

to seeing your own staff make

progress and develop as people.

4. What essential

technology could your

business never be without?

A MacBook – but really any

computer! Lineal is a sophisticated

technology business

now, but I bought my first

Apple ‘Personal Computer’ in

1982. From that I learned to

program robotics, learnt stock

management, and accounting,

Each issue we put a North Devon business personality in the hot seat

and ask them 10 questions. This issue we asked Mike Matthews of

Lineal Software

and then built the first version

of our SQLWorks business

management software, and on

and on and on. We owe everything

to the tool that makes

learning and skills development


5. Describe your business

management / style

Give the staff the ability to do it

for themselves on your behalf.

As you go forward your role in

leading a business isn’t to do

acrobatics anymore, it’s simply

to stand underneath with a

big safety net (and enjoy the


6. How do you go about

personal development?

Read and read and read. I’ve

found too that you need to

encourage a culture of testing

and experimentation and wait

for the ‘lightbulb’ moment of

inspiration when it comes.

Unfortunately, the more

advanced in years you become,

the rarer those moments are,

so you increasingly need to

practise cultivating good ideas

from others.

7. Is there anything about

yourself that you would like

to change?

Although caution is wise, I

wish I’d been a little more

ambitious earlier! Pick the

right team and your firm can

be something entirely different

Lineal Software Solutions is a

multi-disciplinary IT solutions

provider based in Barnstaple.

We exist to be your trusted

technology partner. Every day,

our team provide accessible

expertise, solve emerging business

challenges, and deliver

exceptional IT solutions.

We offer business to

business (B2B) IT support,

hardware, technical upgrades

and repairs, network infrastructure,


cloud-based and telephony

five or ten years from now, in a

way that would surprise you. I

wish I had the perfect foresight

to see a person’s full potential,

because that’s what will drive

the future success of a business.

8. Social media: yes or no?

Preferred network?

Yes – I find LinkedIn helpful

for work, but each platform

is useful in its own way.

Facebook feels more fun for

photography because it pulls in

the wider community. There’s

no substitute for real-world

interaction in my opinion, but

these networks are an important

part of many people’s

lives now – so when Lineal

publishes educational content,

like cybersecurity guidance, it’s

great to see people engaging

with it voluntarily. Communicate

with people via a medium

they enjoy and they’ll come

back for more.

9. How do you wind down

when not working?

Reading and photography

(including for Barnstaple Gig

Pilot Gig Club.) Gardening too

because it’s ‘off the grid’ – nontechnology

time is important!

10. Do you have a motto or

favourite quotation?

Several really: “You snooze,

you lose” and “If our clients

succeed, we succeed” are

common refrains in our offices,

but my favourite is Isaac

Asimov’s “Violence is the last

resort of the incompetent” –

one for the computing buffs

out there! Oh, and “Mind the

paint!” of course.


services, in addition to

software development – to a

diverse range of public and

private sector clients.

With over 30 years in the

industry, and as one of Devon’s

only certified Microsoft Gold

Partners, our priority is to

provide specialist IT support,

ERP software development,

and technology services with

an honest, professional and

approachable manner.

■■Details 01271 375999 or

20 business action | October / November 2019 |

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines