Will Cohen, co-founder and chief executive of Milk Visual Effects, 47, launched the business in 2013 with four other visual effects professionals and has overseen work on TV shows including the BBC’s Sherlock and feature films such as Ex Machina. Milk Visual Effects ranked at No 73 in the 2017 Sunday Times Tech Track 100.
What inspired you to start your business?
It was a now or never decision. Having had a career in visual effects, everyone dreams of starting their own business. The stars aligned and we took the opportunity.
What has been your biggest challenge?
Convincing people we had the skills and pedigree to give us work as a new entity, when we launched. Also, keeping the order book full at the same time as keeping an eye on the jobs we are doing.
What has been your best business decision?
Investing money and energy in branding Milk properly when we set up and taking on the investment from the BGF and deciding to grow the business with a proper strategy. Also ensuring the business was technically scalable; and especially investing in using the cloud.
What has been your worst business decision?
Milk is five years old. I believe we’ve made it this far without any bad business decisions, thanks to a strong leadership team with great checks and balances.
Which leader would you most like to share a meal with, and why?
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, founder of the concept of Stoicism, who said that ‘actions are the only truth’. Or Ed Catmull, author of Creativity, Inc. – I love his insights into making creative businesses work.
What company do you most admire, and why?
Netflix – they’ve disrupted and probably conquered an industry globally.