What did you do before the factory?
Before joining the Factory, I was Head of Platform for HERE, formerly Nokia Maps, in charge of this global door-to-door routing platform used by Microsoft, Amazon, Yahoo, and Garmin. As a part of HERE’s precursor startup, Gate5, I helped build Nokia’s Maps and Transit applications, putting mobile navigation in the hand of hundreds of millions of users every year. I started life as a C++ front end software engineer in the financial services sector.
What do you do at the factory?
I facilitate the creation of twelve new startups every year, two in each of our corporate-backed sectors, by running a process of concepting, product build, and spin out. I manage our product managers and designers, and help set up the teams for our startups once they are spun out of the Factory. I provide coaching and mentorship on product and design best practices for all our accelerated and incubated companies.
What makes you a good founder?
Having grown up on a farm, where each year was a delicate balance of revenue, expenditure, investment, and chance, I thought about business from an early age. I created a company with my father in junior high which sucessfully bid and won contracts to install computer networks into all the schools in rural Southwest Nebraska. Later, going to university in Silicon Valley in the '90's was an inspiration in thinking big, but also in thinking sustainably about running your business, with a focus on adding real value for real customers.