Getting to know you: Ed Molyneux, founder and CEO of FreeAgent

The company is run by founders Olly Headey, Roan Lavery and Ed Molyneux (pictured l-r above) who – originally freelancers themselves – needed a finance tool that would give them a clear picture of their business accounts.
What do you currently do?
I’m the Founder and CEO of online accounting pioneers FreeAgent. We want to democratise accounting for freelancers and small businesses by helping to put them in control of their finances.  The service we provide enables people to send invoices, track time and expenses, import bank statements and build real-time accounts.
We’ve been growing rapidly over the four years since the company was founded, and now have a very active community of users. We listen to their feedback and regularly add new features to meet their needs.
What is your inspiration in business?
The feeling that our hard work will make a positive, meaningful difference to people and what they feel they can do with the businesses they run. One of our early customers said to us ‘FreeAgent makes me feel smart – not stupid – about my company finances’. I’m really motivated to make many more thousands of people feel like that.
Who do you admire?
Other entrepreneurs with a bold vision and the intellect and tenacity to achieve it.
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
I think we probably needed to make all of the mistakes we made for us to be where we are today. So I’d rather not wish I hadn’t made any particular one of them, in case the effect on the future would actually have been detrimental!
What defines your way of doing business?
Building astonishingly good software that our customers love makes nearly every other aspect of business much easier, so that endeavour is at the core of what we do.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Passion is everything – if you don’t in your heart of hearts believe in what you’re doing I don’t think you can enjoy building a business around that idea. And if you’re not enjoying it (at least some of the time!), what’s the point?