Episode #17: Sara Stephens, CTO, Rest Less

Podcast Details

Series 2 of the One Zero One podcast continues with an energetic and candid (pre-quarantine) discussion with Sara Stephens, CTO at Rest Less and our host Peter Gothard.

Sara Stephens is a technology leader with a 10-year history in software development and technology leadership, with multiple years spent working in the financial services industry in New York City before returning home to the UK.

Upon her return to the UK, Sara changed direction from the corporate world and tapped into her entrepreneurial spirit, co-founding a pop-up cocktail service startup in Southampton, successfully expanding to Manchester, and becoming the #1 TripAdvisor nightlife experience in Southampton.

In 2018, Sara joined Rest Less, the UK’s fastest-growing site for the over 50s as the startup’s Chief Technology Officer. Rest Less is a digital service launched to inspire today’s generation of over 50s and 60s to get the most from life – focusing on workfinancial wellbeinglearningvolunteeringlifestyle and more. The aim is to help people to get more from the retirement they’ve worked hard to earn, providing a unique opportunity to choose a new path and to keep doing what they want for as long as they can.

With a unique viewpoint of leading teams and projects in both the corporate world and the startup world, Sara brought great insights to the One Zero One podcast. From discussing the challenges associated with the ‘freedom’ and lack of corporate processes in a startup to demonstrating how critical the timing of hiring for your team can be in a small team compared to a corporate organisation, Sara offers candid advice to our listeners who may be considering a change in either direction in their next role.

Download or stream this episode for a lively and interesting discussion around the Agile nature of startups, pitching your ideas, the ‘build versus buy debate’ and some of the tech stack ‘compromises’ that have to be made when balancing priorities and customer demands in the startup world


There are similarities between the corporate and startup worlds. You might go into a startup thinking that you don’t report to anyone or that you’re your own boss, but there is rarely a case that you don’t report to anyone, whether that be your boss at corporate, or your investors and customers when you’re doing a startup. You are answering to yourself as well.
- Sara Stephens, CTO, Rest Less

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