Data privacy laws are top of mind for executives in any industry. With the legislation like the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act) going into effect in January 2020, more and more companies are turning to industry experts to make sure their algorithms are up to code – and quickly. For consultants like John Cook, business is booming.
John is an applied mathematics consultant. His business, Singular Value Consulting is often tasked with analyzing data and developing fast, reliable software implementations of algorithms. His client list includes everything from massive enterprises like Amazon, Google and Microsoft (among others) to small businesses and startups. We sat down with John to learn about how he built his business, and what advice he has for the next wave of experts entering the field.
What inspired you to start Singular Value Consulting?
I like knowing that my work has value. When a client hires our company to do a project, we know that they find that particular project valuable, and we even have some idea just how valuable they find it. You don’t always have that confidence as an employee.
What’s your favorite thing about owning your own business?
Seeing a direct return on my work. When I work harder or smarter, I make more money. When something is not productive, I simply stop doing it.
What’s the most helpful lesson you’ve learned along the way?
Finding work is work. A lot of people go out on their own because they have strong technical skills. But technical skills alone will not keep your business afloat for very long, no matter how strong they are.
What sets Singular Value Consulting apart from others in your industry?
Agility. We can finish a project in the time it takes large companies to approve a proposal. Hardly any effort goes into overhead. It all goes into getting things done.
What does the future hold for Singular Value Consulting?
We’ll see! The biggest area of growth recently has been helping businesses comply with privacy laws such as HIPAA. New privacy laws, such as California’s CCPA, could mean new opportunities.
How has Bunker helped you build your business?
Obtaining business insurance was remarkably fast and simple.
What advice would you give to consultants just getting started?
A consultant is worth far more per hour to a company than an employee, even with the same skills, because the consultant is only paid to get something done. You’re not paid to wait on input, to socialize, to go on vacation, etc. And the moment you’re done, they stop paying. Charge accordingly.
You can learn more about Singular Value Consulting, data privacy, and the latest in applied mathematics at www.johndcook.com.
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