30.7.16

Helping Entrepreneurs to Thrive and Sellers to Sell

Since I was old enough to understand them, I have been fascinated by marketplaces. Buy and sell. Supply and demand. When people can buy and sell as they please, they create opportunity for one another. In particular, I have always enjoyed helping sellers and suppliers create opportunities for themselves and others around them. I love seeing entrepreneurs overcome the odds and thrive.

My career started as an English teacher in Northern Japan. As a “seller” of education to an often unwilling pool of “buyers” (teenagers!) I enjoyed thinking of ways to engage students and keep them motivated. During a brief stint as a marketeer at Accenture in the UK, I loved devising creative ways to help our senior executives sell their consulting services to large corporations.

Over the last 9 years at Google, I have had an incredible opportunity to learn how advertisers and publishers buy and sell advertising real estate at mind-boggling scale. The last 4 years in Singapore have been spent building a superstar team who advise executives around building digital businesses for the next billion people coming online. I have loved collaborating with my team to enable our partners to build revenue streams. These revenues are used to finance the creation and distribution of localised content and services for South-East Asian internet users.

During my recent paternity leave, I had some time to pause, reflect and think about what I should do next. I made the difficult decision to leave Google so I could go and learn about a new type of marketplace. In September I will start an adventure with Airbnb in the Asia Pacific region. Airbnb provides millions of people around the world with an opportunity to be rewarded for providing hospitality. I am very excited to help hosts (the sellers of hospitality) across Asia to become as successful as possible in providing unique and memorable experiences for travellers.

The last 9 years at Google helped me to identify and develop my passion for coaching entrepreneurs and building strong teams. I was extremely fortunate to work with and learn from some very talented colleagues and partners. I realised that I am at my happiest and most content when I have the opportunity to help people build and execute a plan to be the most successful version of themselves and to realise their entrepreneurial instincts.

I am excited for the next adventure and grateful to be alive in an era where:
- Technology allows me to earn a living and provide for my family by doing something I love
- Entrepreneurs are able to build and scale great companies with cultures that encourage collaboration and learning
- 2 guys at Stanford gave me a job and created a service where I can type “monkey salesman” into a search bar and be watching a video of it within seconds ;)

Thank You Google :)