Panic less, think more: Martin Hosking, CEO at Redbubble

Martin Hosking 2016

To kick off the 2016 series of CEO interviews on Management Disrupted, I’m excited to introduce Martin Hosking from Redbubble.

Redbubble is a global marketplace for independent artists and designers. The company successfully listed on the ASX earlier in 2016, and recently celebrated a great first set of results (beating forecasts across the board).

Martin is a deep thinker on the practice of management for growth companies. Prior to founding Redbubble, Martin spent seven years as Chairman of Aconex and was part of the LookSmart management team.

Some of the highlights of the interview:

  • Why servant leadership must be the model for management of knowledge workers: “It’s not an abrogation of responsibility… there is actually a job which the senior leadership has to do but that job is not to make decisions for people” [see 6:12 in the video]
  • Martin’s views on holacracy: “I think the jury is out” [see 8:24 in the video]
  • The period two or three years ago where there was “too much freedom” at Redbubble, and the actions the management team have taken to bring things back into balance [see 9:20 in the video]
  • Why “It’s all specific”. The risks of taking management advice from “the specific and making it general” [see 13:25 in the video]
  • The worst management mistake Martin ever made [see 17:05 in the video]
  • The importance that Martin places on reflection and consideration: “I think a lot of my role as trying not to panic and panic less/think more.” [see 19:20 in the video]
  • How having long-term purpose makes Redbubble more enduring and less fragile as an organisation (and a great general discussion about the connection between purpose and antifragility) [see 24:24 in the video]

The video:

The transcript:

Steve Pell: I’m Steve Pell. I’m here with Martin Hosking from Redbubble. Today we’re going to talk about Martin’s journey and some of his lessons along the way. Martin, can I just get you to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what you’re doing at Redbubble?

Martin Hosking: Thanks Steve. I’m Martin Hosking. I’m the CEO and cofounder of Redbubble. Redbubble is a marketplace for independent artists and designers. The way in which it works is an artist or designer uploads a work, and image such as this one I’ve got on my t-shirt, then when a customer comes along, we can produce that on 54 different product types, through our outsource partners, and that happens all over the world.

Steve Pell: Fantastic. How big is the organisation today?

Martin Hosking: We’ve been around now for 10 years so we’ve been doing this a while. At this point we’re about 180 people. The offices are here in Melbourne where the majority of people are, about 100. 70-odd people in San Francisco and we now have 10 people in Europe because we’re opening up our presence in Europe right now. The German website launched in February. The French website launched a few weeks ago and Spanish is coming along quickly, and we’re settling on opening our European office as well.

Steve Pell: So a distributed team coming across the world now?

Martin Hosking: Well, it has been all from relatively early on. While we started in Melbourne, we were international pretty soon within six months of launch. Soon after that, we started having our first people globally.

We’ve always been a fairly distributed team and one of the big things we’ve worked around is how do you make a distributed team work.

Steve Pell: Let’s talk about that. What are some of your takeaways for making distributed teams work?

Martin Hosking: I think the first thing I’d say is it’s not easy. I think there’s a little bit of an assumption we’ve got technology so somehow this is going to flow easily.

We’ve worked over time to realise when you can make a distributed team work, when it doesn’t work, and also really what’s required in order to support those teams. That really has been probably the dominant lesson of organisational development over the last 10 years. We’ve realised that some teams it just doesn’t make sense for us to distribute those teams, particularly for the engineering/product development.

A fair bit of design is done here in Melbourne because the teams work very closely together and really it’s very, very hard to capture that moment where you’re talking together, you’re working together, your heads are together.

Just distributing makes if more inefficient, particularly if you’re trying to work in a high velocity, high intensity environment in the way in which Redbubble is. We’ve tried to keep those teams which have those characteristics, very much together, but you then need to take advantage of some things as well.

The thought of launching in Europe without a European team, that’s just impossible. You’ve got to make sure those teams are integrated. One of the first things we said was, “You’ve just got to invest in the technology.” You’re here in our offices and you may have seen some of it Steve. Every single conference room has really high quality video conferencing.

I have people coming in from the big professional services organisations, large organisation, and they just go, “Wow, you really have invested in this so that anybody can go into a meeting and set up the video conferencing. It works seamlessly.” That’s been one of the big areas: setting up cross functional groups, decision groups, so people know how to make decisions, and making sure you’ve invested at the level of the organisation, of those people who are making decision, come together.

I’ll give you an example. Last year we have what we call the ‘Extended Leadership Team’, which is a group of 28 people, came together and did an offsite for a week just outside of Melbourne, and that just establishes those personal connections. That’s the sort of investment which you need to make. You can’t sort of say, “I’m going to have an extended distributed team and that be some sort of cost savings.”

It almost certainly is not going to be. It almost certainly is actually going to be more expensive in some way or other but you’re going to get additional benefits from that. you’re going to be able to draw in their learnings from Europe, make sure that the Australian learnings get translated to the United States, for example, the United States learnings to Australia. All of those learnings are harnessed but in a way which is going to be a cost to the organisation.

Steve Pell: You talked about, in there, an extended leadership team of 28?

Martin Hosking: That’s right. That was a year ago. It’s now larger than that.

Steve Pell: That’s quite heavy for an organisation of your size. How does that work for you?

Martin Hosking: We’ve got a senior leadership team. The thing which Redbubble has been intensely working upon is how do you allow the teams and the individuals within the organisation to have autonomy?

By autonomy, I mean that they can direct the work in which they are working. It doesn’t come descending from on high, “This is a priority. This is exactly how I have to work.” They are empowered to make the decisions which are relevant to their area of work. That’s how we think of autonomy.

But the challenge is how do you get autonomy with alignment with the organisational goals and interests? That’s the hard … and those things are often seen to be in conflict. The way in which we’ve worked about and typically what happens is you have a senior leadership team who destroys autonomy by imposing solutions, by arbitrary decisions, by thinking they know best, by intervening in things which are well right down into the level of features or products or whatever it happens to be.

The way in which we’ve thought about the job of the senior leadership team, which is sort of six or seven people who are working right across the organisation and meet together on a weekly basis, our job is really about empowering other people across the organisation. The key component of that for us has been the extended leadership team but it’s certainly not all of it.

That extended leadership team is the ones who are really translating strategy and vision and mission into action. They’re the ones who are making the interpretations with the actual functional groups which they are working with on a day-to-day basis.

Steve Pell: So very much a believer in servant leadership?

Martin Hosking: I think so, yes. It’s been a while since I’ve heard that expression to be honest. You don’t hear it often but, yes, I think that has to be the model. It’s a little bit probably more … that may be a little bit too humble. It is also the notion of what does remain the responsibility of the senior management team. It’s to make sure that strategy is encapsulated in a coherent way, that resources are allocated in a sensible way, adjustments are made based upon the learnings which are happening in the organisation.

It’s not an abrogation of responsibility, it’s not an abdication. There is actually a job which the senior leadership has to do but that job is not to make decisions for people.

That job is to enable people to make those decisions as effectively and with as much information and with as much resources as possible. Now, typically what happens in large organisations is people think, “Okay, our job is to actually make the decision. Our job is to decide what we actually do on a day-to-day basis,” because that looked like the job. Rather than actually saying, “Our job is to do these things,” and then trust that the right decisions are being made.

When we have new people come into the organisation, often at a senior level they are surprised by how much trust we’re giving people to make decisions that are appropriate to the part of the organisation they are working in. I’ll give you one example: the decision on our European office. In a normal course of events, that would have been a decision which would probably have been exclusively made by me probably.

We have somebody in Europe who is much closer to the competing locations, was weighing up all of those decisions. Yes, she double checked with us to make sure that all the things were being taken into account but ultimately the decision was hers based upon the facts of the matter. Yes, I have a view about whether Amsterdam is better than London or London is better than Berlin or Barcelona or wherever it happens but is that view genuinely informed by the reality on the ground on a day-to-day basis versus somebody who’s based in Paris, who’s really making that call? No, it’s not.

So there is just an element of checking on the process a little bit but ultimately trusting that the right decision is being made by the right person in the organisation.

Steve Pell: While we’re on the topic: holacracy? Believer or disbeliever?

I think the jury is out….The thing which I think though, I think there remains a responsibility for those people who are looking right across the organisation and also looking externally on a day-to-day basis, that they bring that learning into the organisation.

For us as an organisation, two or three years ago, I think we had abrogated our responsibilities to do that and was just a little bit, “Okay, everybody get out and do what you think is best.” That was actually disempowering to people rather than empowering.

It’s a little bit like, “Okay, you’re completely freed and freedom is another word for nothing left to lose.” What that means is that, “Okay, I’m free but where do I start and how am I going to know whether I’m going in the right direction?” We all need that. I need that.

Steve Pell: Let’s talk about that period two or three years ago where there was too much freedom. What led to that and how did you discover the problem?

Martin Hosking: I think it came out of the experience with start-up. The great thing, the wonderful power of a start-up is that you’re all in the same room and decisions are being made by shouting at each other. That’s incredibly powerful because unity and freedom comes from that simple proximity, that simple focus and that simple coherence that exists from the sort of group of people shouting at each other. That just works.

Now, what then happens is the organisation grows. You’ve got to transition that model. You think to yourself, “Well, it has worked. It’s got us to where we are now. Maybe we just need to replicate it. Maybe it’s okay that there’s a group of engineers, that there’s a group of designers, there’s a group of marketing people now and they’re often in separate rooms and they’re often talking quite separate languages, that they are somehow going to make that whole thing work.

The management’s job is relatively undefined because previously my job was to be there working with the designers on exactly what they were to design. Now, when you step back and say, “What is my new job?” We came to the answer, “It wasn’t very much at all.”

It was like, “Okay, these people are all doing these things,” but we hadn’t taken the time and the thought, the really hard thought, to drive through what is this thing all about and why is it going to continue? What’s the underlying strategy? What are the values which we have as an organisation? What are the things that I as a leader are going to take responsibility for in order to give coherence?

I’ll give you an example. I think Twitter is a great organisation. I think they’ve done an enormous job but it’s a well documented reality that people at Twitter don’t really know exactly what the thing is about versus Facebook. In this case, I think Mark Zuckerberg, I don’t know him personally, but I think he’s done a reasonably good job at articulating what Facebook is about and then how your individual work fits within the organisation as a whole.

Whereas, by contrast, the criticism, at least from outside Twitter, I don’t know whether it’s true but it’s what I hear, is that it’s much less coherent in terms of what the definition is. People, rather than feeling empowered then feel disempowered because they don’t know exactly what they are working on. They don’t know exactly where it fits.

For us to transition as an organisation from when we came out of the start-up, a few people shouting in a room, to the next thing where lots of people are shouting at each other but they’re all now in separate rooms, was to then begin to say, “Okay, what is the role of the senior leaders?” I think of this in terms of setting direction but also in terms of management and people leadership. How do we play those three ways in which empowers people rather than disempowers them?

Steve Pell: Fantastic. What a great journey.

Martin Hosking: It was hard. One of the things we introduced at that time was a bi-weekly survey. Everybody in the organisation gets asked a single question every two weeks, different sorts of questions like, “How well do you understand strategy? How happy are you at your work? Would you recommend Redbubble to friends?” This is externally asked and then we’d have a benchmark.

That was one of the things we started. We started participating in ‘A Great Place to Work’ survey as well. To be honest, the first time we did ‘A Great Place to Work’, I was shocked by our result. I thought we were a much happier, much more aligned, much more coherent organisation and it said we were not. The second time we did it was actually worse and we were sort of going through the transition period I think at that stage, this was last year, and now we’ve just done it for the third time and the results are significantly better.

We’ve also seen the improvement by these bi-weekly survey. That’s allowed us to track where the problem areas are and recognising we had to move the organisation … there was not a question of standing there and saying, “There’s going to be a silver bullet here. We fire this one thing and everything is going to be solved.”

Steve Pell: Let’s change track and flash forward 10 years. You’ve written a management book. What have you called it?

Martin Hosking: I’m going to say that I think it would be ‘It’s All specific’ or something like that. The point which I would make is that the problem which most people get with management books is that they draw the lessons from the specific and make it general and then they apply it to their organisation as a whole.

There is an awful lot to learn from management theory. There’s an awful lot to learn from what other people are doing. But it has to go through that really important filter of what is really relevant to you. That is the filter of genuine serious thought. I’ve seen leaders and I know leaders who don’t then put it through that important layer of, “how do I make this relevant for the specifics of my organisation in this time and in this place?” It’s that distillation process which is fundamentally critical.

Let me give you an example. For many years, about 18 months ago, you’ll hear as an organisation, “You have to have a vision. You have to have a big, hairy, audacious goal. You have to have a set of values. That’s management theory 101 that you have to have these things.” I was always a little bit sceptical about this and I think legitimately so. I think that the values of an organisation are going to exist regardless of whether they’re written on the wall. Anyone has to be a bit careful about how one defines those.

Similarly with visions and mission and purposes, and you’ll talk about those three things … will draw them out separately. We had had a purpose for the organisation which everybody had understood and that was, “We stand for artists.” About 18 months ago, and it really took this long, we began to rethink where that would … what the mission and vision of the company would be.

I know, for example, a great Australian company, Atlassian, who is recognised as having outstanding culture but have really struggled with where does the mission and vision for the organisation lie? You would think that, “okay, you must have it clearly articulated.” The answer is, “Not necessarily.”

You have to make it very relevant to what you’re doing. I see organisations, young organisations, who look like they’ve got a few words and they’ve written up, “This is our vision,” and they expect that to work rather than taking real time to make something work through the organisation.

We went through a period of very intense consultation, me talking to a lot of people. I did see it as my responsibility to create the mission. I went through a very interesting exercise looking through top organisations: EBay, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Zappos, all of these organisations I looked at, Lululemon, what do they have as a vision/mission/purpose/values? It was across the board. You would be staggered. There was not one single one of those who had them set out, as how theory 101 should have, clearly articulated, “This is our mission. This is our purpose. This is our vision. These are our values.”

That was not what they had. They had things which were highly crafted for their organisation as a whole. Once I realised that, I had to realise, “Okay, what was most important above all and how would we do it?” We came up with something which did not reflect what Amazon had, did not reflect what Microsoft or IBM had. It was quite relevant for us. I think it is that missing layer.

If I had to write a management book it would be, “This is the management book which you read in order to interpret all other management books to make them relevant for you as an organisation. It would be ‘It’s All Specific’.

Steve Pell: What’s the worst management mistake you think you’ve ever made?

Martin Hosking: I think the greatest lesson I ever made and maybe the worst management was a collective one. It was to do with my original experience out of LookSmart. It was not just for LookSmart but it was also for that era of companies, the original dotcom companies.

Just for your audience, LookSmart was a search technology company that came out of Australia. It was one of the first Australian technology companies to list on the NASDAQ. It went through that entire original dotcom era and then subsequently collapsed. Those companies had technology at the heart and which I think is important but they had no concept of what the customers were. They had no real understanding of where the customers would be and what their interests were.

By very deep contrast, Google started at the same time, almost the same time as LookSmart, 1996, and it was not driven by investor considerations. It was not driven by concerns about who was going to raise the most money and how quickly. It was certainly not driven by how are we going to get liquidity and exits. It was driven by the intense concern over recognition of a customer need to find highly relevant stuff in a very complex environment.

LookSmart never had that customer built at the heart of it and as a result the strategy was always unfocused. There was no coherence to what the organisations as a whole was doing. If you don’t have a view about what the customer is doing, it’s impossible to get that coherence.

The contrast was when I started Redbubble, it was really understanding that we had at least one customer who we were crystal clear about what their needs were and what we were doing for them. In the first instance, that customer was in fact the artists. We always had the artists, which is a bit counter intuitive but is what served us well, and over the years we’ve layered into a deeper understanding of the needs of the consumers and who they are and who are purchasing from the artists.

Steve Pell: And quite literally you have artists here in your office here.

Martin Hosking: Yes, we do have artists. We’ve got the artist-in-resident programme. We do have them in the office and in San Francisco, very much so.

Steve Pell: If we go forward one step. How do you manage yourself?

Martin Hosking: I think that I don’t do it very well. I think it may have come through in this conversation a little bit is I do have an awful lot of … I think a lot of my role as trying not to panic and panic less/think more. That does require just not being super reactive.

I meditate. I go to the gym. I take time to make sure that I’m steady because it’s very easy in a CEO role, maybe even more easy in a CEO role of a listed company, to be highly reactive to what’s happening on a daily basis. It is very, very rare that any daily event is so important that it requires immediate, certainly a panic filled reaction. There is time for consideration. There is time for thoughtful concern. If you do have to respond very quickly, you will only do so if you’ve gone through that previous thinking process.

I’ll give you an example of the latter. When the Charlie Hebdo massacre happened in Paris, now 18 months ago or so, I was at the gym and I knew this was an important topic for Redbubble. I knew it was important because we had already thought through the important role Redbubble plays in allowing art to be provocative.

We already had a number of dialogues, and it’s written up on the web about Redbubble, where we’ve defended controversial content. We already had an approach to that and we already realised that this was not just an attack on Charlie Hebdo. It was also, in a very direct way, an attack on artistic freedom  so we did need to respond to it and we needed to respond to it quickly. But we were able to do so based upon a really deep understanding of where we stood in the world.

It wasn’t just, “Okay, what do we do,” or some inappropriate reaction. I’m not sure you can always do it but if you can have the time to have thought through those things, your responses will come from a basis of values and they’ll come from a basis of what the general vision and mission for the company is rather than from the basis of, “Okay, this is the external noise that I have to respond to.”

If it can come from that deeper place, your responses can be quick but they also have a depth to them. For me, to your original question, a lot of that is about making sure that that personal depth exists, that I’m not being driven by short term considerations. That does actually require time. It requires thought. It does require a balanced lifestyle.

I was genuinely shocked when they were interviewing CEOs, top 500 CEOs in Australia, “What are you doing over Christmas.” The CEOs were saying, “Nothing, I’m not taking any holidays.” I was thinking you’re so response … you feel like your organisation can’t get through the next five days from Christmas to New Years without you actively being involved, I just thought it was … it not only showed an arrogance but it showed that they had not actually created organisation which could live without them. As important, it meant that they didn’t believe they required any downtime in order to put the organisation into perspective.

I take a months’ retreat every year which I go on a retreat, typically silent retreats. I try and take my vacations. I try and make sure that I’m exercising and that’s what I do in order to make the whole thing work. It sounds a little bit self-indulged I suspect.

Steve Pell: But it’s not just you. I mean we walked past a room here where people were going in to meditate. You’re trying to build this more broadly into the organisation?

Martin Hosking: I think so. I think this is perhaps also a bit of a reaction to the Silicon Valley mentality. There’s a bit of a Silicon Valley view that you go into something, you do it as hard as you possibly can, 120% for a short period of time, and you go onto the next thing. That’s very typical. You get your options. You invest in that. You spend your money and you do it all again.

Whereas I think there’s real value in an organisation where people think about, “Okay, I’m going to be here for a long period of time I hope. At least while I’m here, work is going to be important. I’m going to be bringing not just my intellectual life but part of my spiritual and emotional life into my workplace because it actually means something. If all people are thinking about is “these are the 8-10 hours a day where I hate myself, I’m doing something which I don’t like but I think it’s going to pay off in the end”, then that’s just not very enduring.

There has been, at the heat of Redbubble, this notion of creating enduring value, an organisation of enduring value, and for me that means that people do see that it’s playing an important part of their life through the continuum of it. Yes, people take time for meditation, they take time for health, the take time for their families and all their hobbies and all those other things which are important to them in their lives.

Steve Pell: One of the interesting things that you’ve touched on from a few angles is this idea of trying to avoid fragility in the organisation. Is anti-fragility something you’re thinking about within the organisation?

Martin Hosking: I think of it in a slightly different way but I think it’s a nice way of thinking about it. I think about it as enduring value. From my point of view, you’re thinking about the organisation … and why you’re actually here.

I think of organisations being fragile or not having the capacity to renew, if the reason why the organisation exists is for relatively short term objectives… they may be the objectives of the investors or they may be the objectives of the founder or a small leadership team. Those things should be far less important than that the organisation exists for some purpose.

If you say, “Okay, it’s not here for me. It’s not here for my ego,” then you try to think about, “Okay, how do we make sure that there’s genuine depth… so all the organisation understands what the nature of its purpose is, so all of the organisation understands that it shouldn’t be dependent on them individually.

Really good organisations have done this historically. My first job was with Department of Foreign Affairs in Australia. I knew that the Department of Foreign Affairs in Australia would have a diplomatic service long after I was there. It had had one before me and “all” I could do was do my job as well as I can.

That both gave me the freedom to do it well, it recognised that yes I was improving Australia’s diplomatic … I was improving the organisation as a whole but I was actually carrying out its purpose. That is actually liberating for you as an individual because suddenly I’m not … you’re not investing … you are not the organisation.

Certainly I see organisations where you get this excessive identification of a leader or even a group of leaders and then it tends to flow down. Everybody says, “I am the organisation,” and then it’s just like … no, it actually has a purpose which should be larger than the individuals within the organisation and that allows you to actually have the freedom and to actually do your job well.

Steve Pell: That is fascinating. I haven’t heard the connection made so eloquently I think between purpose and fragility. Really interesting. Thank you.

Let’s talk about energy in the organisation. Is energy across the organisation something you’re concerned about, that you actively manage? How do you think about that?

Martin Hosking: I think that it’s an interesting one. yYou can impose energy in a fairly draconian stick like fashion by in the old days you come in and you fill your time clock in. If you’re at a law firm, you account for what you’re doing every seven minutes, whatever the most recent figures are at. You can impose energy through carrot like fashion, through the compensation and rewards.

All of the good research suggests that neither of those work particularly well over the long term. Eventually the carrot is no longer attractive or they put in place perverse behaviours. Eventually people just find a way of avoiding the sticks. Where does energy ultimately have to come from? It has to come from the individual.

The most palpable component of it has to be a self-motivating thing. This requires like how do you help people be self-motivated? Why will somebody do something beyond what they would have otherwise done?

We’ve just had the ‘All Hands’ and somebody was saying, “I saw this [problem] and I was up all night and I thought I could solve that problem.” Nobody is saying to him to do that.The reason why he was doing it was he’s aligned to the purpose but also he sees how he can achieve that purpose. It’s also probably, and in this case I know specifically, some notion of professional pride and responsibility.

I think as an organisation, just to counterbalance the thing about purpose, you also have to recognise that most roles within an organisation, perhaps all roles, also you’ve got to unlock that sense of personal pride in what I’m doing and the craft which I’m pursuing.

People will be really empowered if they celebrate their success in helping to achieve the purpose or personal pride, “I did something which felt good, and it is going to be recognised and celebrated by the people who matter to me within the organisation.” It doesn’t have to be the organisation as a whole. It can be the organisation as a whole if things are warranted.

But it may just be the group of people who are working with him who say, “Redbubble has given me enough time to allow me to do the things which I think are professionally prideful and which will make what I do work.”

I’ll give you another example. We at the senior leadership team and at the board level have spent very little effort focusing on the scalability of the architecture itself because we actually trust the people who are doing that were actually devoting the time and resources into it, and we’ve given more time and resources.

Those people have had a number of major successes which we would celebrate as a whole but they would certainly celebrate within their own peer group and would certainly be a part of their own professional development, “This is what I did. I made sure that this major website, Redbubble, over 12 million visitors, was genuinely scalable, could withstand potential hacking attacks, all of those things.” Those things come from a sense of professional pride and responsibility in what you do. You need to unlock that.

Typically what organisations will do is that they will underestimate the importance of that and they won’t give people the time and freedom.

It can occur within the finance area. You can put people under so much pressure within finances that they’re no longer recognising that they’re doing a good job. You’re an accountant… you have professional responsibilities and creating good effective accounts which are reflective of the organisation does require time and does require a commitment by the organisation to do that. It applies across the organisation.

Steve Pell: So energy comes from personal pride?

Martin Hosking: It comes from personal pride aligned to the purpose and aligned to your own sense of personal responsibility.

People will go above and beyond. You don’t have to tell a doctor that they need to stay up late at night to fix a patient who is sick and dying. Why do they do it? The person is not going to clock out. They do it because they’ve got a sense of pride as a medico and they’ve got a sense of their purpose in terms of that person.

That example sounds extreme but it actually applies in every single role, in every organisation, if you allow it to apply.

Steve Pell: What’s the number one thing that you’ve done at Redbubble to unlock that personal pride?

Martin Hosking: The most important thing which I’ve done is that I’ve held very clearly to the purpose of the company and have not been distracted from that. It’s very easy to get distracted. That purpose ultimately, in talking about the mission, is ‘creating the world’s largest marketplace for independent artists and bringing more creativity into the world’ is the way in which we phrase it, so recognising that creativity is important.

You look around our offices here, if you did, and you’ll see they’re incredibly creative and part of that is serving the needs of independent artists and making sure we hold that … making sure we hold to the ideal of being a marketplace, making sure that we’re also global. It’s quite easy for people to introduce things into that and that may be at the board level. It may be at the investor level.

It may be at … “Oh but you could do and you could make money out of that.” Yes, we could. Yes, we have the technology. Yes, there’s no inherent reason. But the reason why we don’t do it is we don’t need to do any financial evaluation of the opportunity. It’s just not aligned to the mission of the company. Having clarity of that mission and allowing that to be the Occam’s razor, which may be that most things do not require further evaluation because I just know they’re not aligned to that mission, that’s probably been the most important thing that I’ve done, and recruiting people who are aligned to that as well.

Steve Pell: Martin. Thank you so much.

Martin Hosking: You’re very welcome Steve. Thank you.

This transcript has been modified slightly for readability.

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