Why go independent?

Over the past 5 years that I’ve been working for myself, I’ve been asked quite a few times –  “Why did you set up Geoger?”

There are many reasons for that, and I’ll cover some of them here as well as touch on what my vision was for the company.

I started Geoger in August 2013 (5 years ago!!) because I’d been thinking for some time that it would be fun to work for myself and to run my own micro business.  I also saw a gap in the market between those who were doing things in the same way as we had in the sector for the past 10 – 15 years, and those who were coming from outside the sector and disrupting it by analysing and handling data in a very different way. I wanted the freedom to take on projects that I was interested in, reject those that didn’t fit with my personal ethics and business ethos, and diversify my skills into various things that interested me.

To begin with I wanted to prove to myself that I was able to generate some revenue. So I started in the most obvious way and undertook Earth observation consultancy as that was what I knew best. Consultancy will always be an important part of the commercial mix offered by Geoger, in part because I know consultancy and I think I deliver a good service, and in part because this is one of the principle ways that businesses interact with the Earth observation sector in the UK. Looking back over the last 5 years I’ve really enjoyed the projects that I’ve worked on, which have ranged from IT infrastructure and data processing projects to specific investigations into the health of vegetation and changes in land cover and land use. I’ve worked with satellite imagery, aerial data, and more recently through a great business relationship with Skeye I’ve worked with UAV (drone) data. So if you have a requirement to work with any of these data types then please get in touch for a chat.

In addition, I’ve attended lots of different conferences in the last 5 years, many of which have not been related to remote sensing. I am able to do this because I make the decisions and don’t (usually) have to make a business case to myself. If I’m interested in something then I can go and find out more about it. More often than not this then opens up opportunities or suggests areas where remote sensing could be used more effectively.

Working for yourself is incredibly liberating but can also be very nerve wracking at times. I see so many posts online that say things along the lines of ‘jack in your day job and work for yourself’, ‘free yourself from your workplace’. However, working independently like this is not for everyone and if you are thinking of doing so then I highly recommend you think it through first. However, my experience with Geoger has been very positive and I’m really glad I decided to start the company. Indeed, when I stop and think about everything that I’ve done this part of Geoger I realise how I have broadened my skills base. These include technical skills related to computing, coding  and wider data science, as well as softer skills such as presenting, networking and knowledge exchange (indeed, a couple of the things that I am most proud of at the moment are my convening of Rasters Revealed in 2017, and hosting the Scene From Above podcast with Andrew Cutts).

So the future is bright for Geoger and I am looking forward to talking to more people about how I can help them in a variety of ways. Don’t think that Geoger is just another EO consultant – there are a whole host of ways that Geoger can help you, so feel free to drop me a line and ask 🙂