Shaper: Alex Chesterman OBE

Show aired on 9th March 2019

Alex Chesterman is one of the UK’s leading digital entrepreneurs. Currently he is the Founder & CEO of Cazoo, a new venture aimed at transforming the used car market in the UK. Previously Alex was the Founder & CEO of ZPG Plc, which owns some of the UK’s best-known digital brands including Zoopla, uSwitch, Prime Location and and which was acquired for £2.2bn in 2018. Prior to that, Alex co-founded LoveFilm, which was successfully sold to Amazon in 2010. He has won numerous awards, including Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and is also one of the UK’s most active angel investors, having backed dozens of early stage digital start-ups. He has been awarded an OBE for his services to digital entrepreneurship.

“Success in terms of entrepreneurialism comes from taking risks.”

“You’ve got to believe more than anybody else that you’re right because there’s plenty of people who will tell you that you’re not.”

“I’ve really made my career out of…solving problems that don’t exist.”

“I think – if you’re looking to do something innovative or disruptive – the less you know the better.”

“It’s an advantage to attack some of these sectors with very little knowledge and very little baggage.”

“The worst decision is not making a decision.”

“As long as you are moving forward, making a lot of decisions and getting most of them right, that’s the secret to the success.”

“I’m very, very clear in what I’m setting out to try to achieve – what problem we’re looking to solve. Fixing the problem is what drives me.”

“Emotion and business don’t mix very well.”

“Everything for me is outcome driven and working backwards from that.”

“Entrepreneurs are resilient, they’re thick skinned, they have a lot of confidence or self-belief and they’re risk takers.”

“You’ve got to be resilient because business is never a straight line.”

“The advice I would give to a younger version of myself is, never give up. If you believe in it, go for it.” 

“I love being able to give back both advice and money by investing.”

“The two passions in my life are business and my family.”