Your background, how did you get into what you do now?
I’ve worked on 3 tech companies that started small and became big leaders for their category and helped them get to their first $100 M in revenue. Leading retail ecommerce player in Canada, eBay, the global marketplace, and PayPal. Experienced a ton of business , operational and personal growth. There was a fantastic opportunity to leverage all of those 3 areas of strengths to scale BitGold , to a leading global fintech platform, a strong business model and an amazing team of operational excellence.
— BitGold (@bitgoldinc) October 16, 2015
BitGold, the 1 min pitch, what do you do?
BitGold is advancing the fintech and digital payments revolution by helping people securely acquire, store, and now spend gold with unprecedented simplicity. Users can purchase physical gold instantly, then make and receive digital payments in any currency using Gold as the payment rail for only 1%. In 150 days since launch BitGold has over 350,000 users on the platform, making it one of the fastest growing fintech startups of 2015.
What are you excited by at the moment?
The rapid adoption of the BitGold platform from users around the world. Incredibly validating to see people who understand gold, and those who are new to gold, both embrace the platform and excited what it can do for them both to optimize personal savings, payments and global commerce.
Any of these that will help in your day to day work also / what sort innovations are you looking to introduce?
We’ve reinvented the utility for one of the world’s oldest asset classes and best performing currencies, Gold, by being able to connect physical gold to a digital ledger and modern day payment rails. Making it one of the most effective currencies for global commerce, as users are able to send money or accept payments for 1%
How was the last 12 months for you?
1) Left running the PayPal business for Canada – big company, very successful, but time for a change after many years.
2) Sat on the board of 4 new startups, got funding for 2, and helped sell another to Square as their new technology set.
3) Went back into operating mode becoming the CEO of BitGold, one of the fastest growing fintech start ups globally.
What are you most happy about?
The healthy and rewarding balance of raising a business from a baby to walking and off and running….and raising two children doing the same thing (very different but there’s some great lessons from both to leverage in a weird way).
— BitGold (@bitgoldinc) October 16, 2015
Anything you would do differently if you could?
You should be constantly learning, being aware of the moment, and being able to capitalize different when the opportunity presents itself. You have to learn and adapt. What I’d do differently in retrospect…probably accept failures faster. Nobody’s perfect. We all have to at some point have to forgive ourselves, accept when you’ve made a mistake, learn from it, and make the right decisions moving forward….both in life and business, that’s a key skill.
Where do you hope to be in next 1 – 3 years?
Grow an organization that shows leadership in everything it does from its technology, for its users and the industry……solving the problem of enabling global commerce to happen more effectively with a proper global currency.
Have you been to the Dublin Web Summit before?
No, this is our first time and we are very excited as we feel we have something very innovative that a lot of the attendees are going to be excited to try out.
What will you be speaking about when you attend this year / who might it appeal to?
Disruption of savings and commerce using Gold as the optimal global currency
What tech do you wish was already invented and available to make your life easier?
There has to be a better way to onboard / off board though airports…..the experience is screaming to be disrupted and optimized. Technology that links identity / Geo location, and airline booking mgmt somehow needs to totally change and be a more streamlined marketplace ….please!
Life / work, online / offline, what are your strategies for managing it?
It’s not about balance…that’s old thinking. IT’s about integrating work into your life and vice versa. Integrated work ethic is more flexible, and accountable. You maintain a clear set of goals and accountability for all of it. and enable people to execute and grow personally and professionally.
— BitGold (@bitgoldinc) October 17, 2015
How / where do you create time for yourself to be a dreamer and a thinker?
This is so crucial. Its a completely different side of your brain that is easy to turn off, but triggers some amazing clarity and thought process. Being in a fast paced leadership role, you are always surrounded by people, opinions needed or decision requests. Reflection is a very powerful tool that provides a different elevation on situations. Enables you to ask probably some of the most important questions you should be asking. I very intentionally start and end each week alone to have that reflection time to process what’s happening and what could be happening. Making that investment in time (both meditation , and simple reflection allows for a lot more clarity and creativity throughout the rest of the week)
Anything else we should have asked you / you’d like to add?
At a conference like this….I find it fascinating to see the difference between the innovation and iterations. To me there’s a substantive difference. Solutions that are iterating have there place, but there’s a lot of “me to” type products out there…..Every once in a while though you see a company that is doing something that’s a leapfrog in innovation. Usually that’s not creating a market, but looking at an existing market, seeing what friction and white space exists there , and flipping things on there head to transform how that industry operates. Paypal in payments, AirBnB in real estate, Uber in transportation, We believe we are doing that for currency. And I look forward to seeing what other innovations will be at Web Summit.
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