All posts in CEO interviews

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

    Read more

  • Culture First: Didier Elzinga, CEO at Culture Amp

    Didier Elzinga

    Didier Elzinga is CEO and co-founder at Culture Amp. A software engineer by training, before founding Culture Amp he previously worked in Hollywood as CEO of visual effects company Rising Sun Pictures.

    If you haven’t heard of Culture Amp already, it’s likely to be just a matter of time. Culture Amp is set to be one of the next big Australian technology success stories, as one of the leading global player in culture and engagement surveys.

    The company has doubled in size over the past year, recently passing 100 employees. As part of this growth story, they’ve just raised US$10m. That comes in addition to support from the Victorian State Government to grow the company’s global HQ in Melbourne.

    Some of the highlights of the interview:

    • Why Hollywood is not the future of work: Every year there’s an article that comes out that says, “The future of work is Hollywood,” and every year I groan and say, “It didn’t work in Hollywood and it’s not going to work anywhere else.” (Video from 2:25)
    • Didier’s “world’s most naive business plan”: “I wanted to build a business where tens of thousands of companies would spend tens of thousands of dollars and year with us and we’d have hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.” (Video from 3:52)
    • Didier’s culture first management approach: “The macro view of why culture first is this idea that back in 1938 Henry Ford said, ‘Why is it when all I want is a pair of hands, I get a brain attached?'” (Video from 7:05)
    • How to get employees to dream with you: “A big part of this is how do you get somebody to dream with you? How do you get them to say, ‘This might not work but if it did, wow, this could be amazing.'” (Video from 17:46)
    • The importance of tolerating ambiguity: “The sort of people that become good entrepreneurs, the people that start and hopefully build great businesses, and often senior leaders, there’s a willingness to tolerate ambiguity and a willingness to understand that there are multiple ways that this could play out.” (Video from 27:05)

    The video: 

    The transcript:

    Steve Pell: I’m Steve Pell from Management Disrupted. I’m here with Didier Elzinga from Culture Amp. Didier, can I get you to introduce yourself and talk about what the company does?

    Didier Elzinga: Sure. Thanks Steve. I’m Didier Elzinga and I’m the CEO and founder of Culture Amp. What is Culture Amp? Culture Amp is a software company and what we do is help people use data to put culture first. We have a unified employee feedback and analytics platform that’s used by some of the fastest growing companies all over the world.

    Read more

  • Optimising for regular explosions: Jason Wyatt, CEO at Marketplacer

    Jason Wyatt

    Jason Wyatt is the co-founder and Managing Director of Marketplacer.

    Marketplacer are a software business that’s grown from running marketplaces (including BikeExchange, House of Home, TiniTrader, Outdoria and TIXSTAR), to delivering marketplace specific software that helps industry leaders to quickly deploy and run an online marketplace.

    For a sense of scale, the business now employs around 150 people globally across the range of business lines.

    Jason is a growth focused CEO, and that’s the focus of many of the interesting points of this interview:

    • The importance of consistency – to both customers and employees “I think the most important skill behind any leader in any business is consistency” (Video from 10:08)
    • Why “one strategic decision is worth a thousand operational ones.” (Video from 14:38)
    • Jason’s approach to scaling: “I’d much prefer to create an explosion with a revenue line that needs to be fixed than overinvest… We create a problem and then we actually bring people in to fix it and help build those processes as we scale.” (Video from 16:13)
    • The way Jason manages himself and his own performance in “exactly the same way we manage the organisation.” (Video from 21:24)

    The video:


    The interview:

    Steve Pell: Hi, I’m Steve Pell. I’m here with Jason Wyatt from Marketplacer. We’re going to talk about your journey and your business. Perhaps before we get started, could you tell us what the business does, where you’ve come from?

    Jason Wyatt: At Marketplacer we help people globally create marketplaces. Predominately we’re a technology business that enables people to create big marketplaces faster around the world.

    We also own and operate our own marketplaces. We own BikeExchange, House of Home, TiniTrader, Outdoria, TIXSTAR in Australia. BikeExchange also has a global presence in the USA, England, Ireland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Germany.

    Read more