John BeckettCo-founder & CEO - ChannelSight
John Beckett can trace his entrepreneurial roots and passion back to his first venture – publishing ‘Jokes and Puzzles’ magazine at age 7. Due to distribution problems (not being allowed to cross the road), he decided to pivot and focus on building his technical skills from the confines of his bedroom.
After other ventures achieved varying degrees of success, while still in school in 2000 John beat competition from several international agencies to secure the contract to build the first Ryanair.com ecommerce booking website, an achievement he still manages to dine out on to this day due to the comically low amount he charged, coupled with the relative success of the project.
John went on to build his business organically with his self-hired development team in Malaysia, which would eventually reach almost 50 people, giving him an excuse to spend some time in warmer climes during winter. John also established or contributed to other small businesses over the next few years, including BuyIreland.com, which enables members of the Irish diaspora to own a small part of the homeland for under $50 and which has been profiled in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.
In 2006 John was awarded the All-Ireland Entrepreneur of the Year award after the Discovery Channel discovered his biometric technology and told the world all about it. The Data Protection Commissioner took issue with the idea however, and the hockey-stick growth that the business was beginning to achieve was smashed to splinters when the technology was incorrectly declared illegal and funding dried up before the business could defend itself and recover.
Motivated not least by the large personal guarantee he had provided to the bank, John co-founded Eirtight with Kieran Dundon in 2008. The duo set out to provide world-beating software engineering services to large organisations. Eirtight secured contracts with blue chip companies such as Dell, Fujitsu, Rabobank and many others, and scaled the business by focusing on sales-led growth and using lean startup principles to grow profitably. Eirtight now has offices in Dublin, London, Greece and Romania.
John co-founded and became CEO of ChannelSight in 2013, with the aim of helping large brands to maximise ecommerce conversion rates and gain insight into the real performance of their marketing campaigns. By again focusing on sales-led growth, ChannelSight won global contracts with Fortune 100 companies within months of being established and went on to form partnerships with leading global technology platforms and agencies.
As well as writing for various online/offline publications, updating his blog on johnbeckett.com and speaking at technology events such as the Web Summit and Digital Shoreditch, John was the resident technology expert for 2 years on TV3 in Ireland, and has appeared regularly on Newstalk 106FM to discuss startup and technology issues. John has also invested in and mentors early stage tech companies via a number of national and international organisations such as the National Digital Research Centre and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland.
John is a board member of the Irish International Business Network, sits on the Advisory Council of European Movement Ireland and has provided high-level technology consultancy to the governments of Jordan, Oman and Saudi Arabia. He was included on a list of Most Influential Irish Tech Entrepreneurs Under 40 in 2012.
John likes competitive sailing, long-distance running and great food and wine. Not usually at the same time though.