All posts in CEO interviews

  • Managing with marginal utility: Paul McCarney, CEO at Data Republic

    Paul McCarney

    Paul McCarney is the founder and CEO of Data Republic.

    Data Republic is a data exchange ecosystem and technology platform where organisations can exchange and collaborate with data. Open data is a big business opportunity, with companies looking for new ways to combine their data to get a better picture of their customers and prospects.

    Paul has been founding and running his own businesses for over 20 years, starting when he was 19. As well as founding and running his own businesses, Paul is an active non-executive director – TradeMe and iiNet are two notable appointments over recent years.

    As a CEO, Paul is heavily focused on marginal utility, and many of the interesting points in this interview build on this:

    • What Paul has learned from being on the board of other organisations: “Think about empowering people and making sure that you don’t get too operational” (Video from 3:52)
    • Managing with marginal utility: “As much as people have a say, there’s one steering wheel. You’ve got it, if you’re the CEO.” (Video from 7:36)
    • Saying no and aligning decisions to company vision: “Strategy is more about what to say no to than what to say yes to.” (Video from 15:00)
    • What Paul wishes he knew on day one when he was 19: “I’m much more centred now and as much as I’m passionate about what we do, I’m not the outcome.” (Video from 18:47)

    The video:

    The interview:

    Steve Pell: I’m Steve Pell from Management Disrupted. I’m here with Paul McCarney from Data Republic, founder and CEO. Paul, could you just tell us a little bit about what the business does?

    Paul McCarney: We’re a trust framework to help companies exchange data. So basically creating a data exchange and infrastructure to enable companies to exchange data.

    A lot of organisations have strategies which are surrounded in the construct of personalisation. Often the views that they have of their customers are somewhat limited to the amount of time that customer spends with their company, 1, 2, 3 percent of that customer’s life spent with that company.

    Most of the time the customer is doing something else. To really understand and offer the right products to the right customer at the right time is challenging. They just don’t have the information.

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  • Make yourself redundant: Steve Shelley, Executive Chairman at Deputy

    Copy of Management.Disrupted. (1)

    Steve Shelley has a fascinating career as an entrepreneur, manager and racing car driver.

    Steve’s current business, Deputy, started life as the in-house rostering software at Aerocare (Steve’s first business, which he grew to employ over 1400 people).

    Deputy has now become a standalone product and company, employing over 100 people and recently securing US$25m to attack the US market.

    Some of the highlights of the interview include:

    • Pivoting from a services company to a software company: “we were able to grow and scale the business was because of this beautiful systems that we were inventing on the way.” (Video from 01:01)
    • The biggest lesson Steve learned in management: “People love to be trusted and have an autonomous approach to achieving goals.” (Video from 4:11)
    • Making yourself redundant to grow both yourself and your business: “to be successful you need to make yourself redundant to move onwards and upwards.” (Video from 5:09)
    • The differences in managing businesses of different sizes throughout Steve’s career: “[If] the people are approachable, and they are friendly, and they are respect to each other I don’t see why you need to have a different style when your business grows.” (Video from 10:01)
    • Seeing Deputy as a family: “You instantly consider trust and respect, loyalty, responsibility, these are traits that you would have for people that you do genuinely care about.” (Video from 12:43)

    The video:

    The interview:

    Steve Pell: I’m Steve Pell from Management Disrupted. I’m here today with Steve Shelley from Deputy. Thanks for joining us today. Could you start and tell us a little bit about your background and the company?

    Steve Shelley: My background is soft drinks of all things, I was born into a soft drink manufacturing family. I did that for 12 years before I stepped out of that and went into the wide world of aviation ground handling services.

    That was a bit of an unusual step I had no idea what I was doing, but I saw a great opportunity. Before I knew it I was an employer in an industry I had no idea about. That was in 1992.

    So, it took me a few years before I started to find my feet and develop some business processes and employ people and scale the business. It was a really exciting time, there was nobody doing anything like that in aviation. There was no such thing as contractors or outsourced labour solutions at all.

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  • Simplification, Superheroes and Schumacher: Tim Fung, Founder and CEO at Airtasker

    airtasker

    Tim Fung is CEO and Founder at Airtasker.

    Airtasker is a online job outsourcing marketplace where anyone can outsource tasks to local people looking to earn money and ready to work. From founding in 2012, the company has built scale quickly, now creating over $6m of work each month. The company recently hit the accelerator with a $22 million series B round, led by Seven West Media.

    Some of the highlights of the interview with Tim:

    • Why Michael Schumacher is a management idol for Tim “He was able to surround himself with the best people” (Video from 4:10)
    • Why the values of Airtasker are represented through Superheroes: “for get more done we’ve got Nick Cage because he never turns down a movie script. He’s always getting more done. He makes a lot of movies.” (Video from 10:30)
    • Why Tim is so focused on simplifying management decisions: “The priority is speed and the priority is moving forward” (Video from 12:30)
    • How Tim filters management advice: “you should just hear lots of anecdotal evidence about how people have managed certain situations and then try and frame that into your own situation and apply it” (Video from 22:08)

    The video:

    The transcript:

    Steve Pell: Hi, I’m Steve Pell from Management Disrupted. I’m here with Tim Fung from Airtasker, who is CEO and Founder. If you can start off by telling us a little bit about your business and where it’s come from?

    Tim Fung: Sure, thanks Steve. Airtasker is an online and mobile marketplace. We connect people and small businesses, and now big companies too, with a workforce of over 650,000 people across Australia who can help you with tasks. They can be anything from simple things like cleaning and gardening and handyman jobs to small businesses that need help with photography, website design, office administration. We go all the way up to bigger companies who want to get a scalable workforce that they can have on demand.

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