Robert Keane, the chief executive of Cimpress and the founder of Vistaprint, was the first keynote speaker at the inaugural PrintWeek Live! event in London. His address included valuable food-for-thought and inspiration for attendees no matter what the shape or size of their own businesses. Excerpts from his speech:
He outlined four key perspectives. Firstly, specialisation. He said: “In this vast market, being a generalist is a very difficult if not an impossible task. I believe you need to be laser focused on some component of the market, understanding those needs better than anyone else, and then really focus on delivering.” As an example, he cited the needs of a classic Cimpress customer, a small business with less than 10 employees. Secondly, he believes in the power of focusing on things that won’t change. “If you want to build a successful business, don’t ask yourself what will change in the next 10 years, instead ask yourself what won’t change,” Keane explained. “For us, we believe small customers needing small order sizes won’t go away.” Thirdly, the future will be very much won by companies that embrace partnering.
Finally, Keane spoke about embracing customer-focused competition. “We all have a natural inclination to consider competition as harmful. Speaking from experience, without the competition we’ve had, we would never have driven ourselves to improve as we did.”

Shilpa Jasani is the editor of PrintWeek MEA magazine.