I’m a guy from the UK, who grew up abroad and whose initial passion took him touring around the UK and Europe playing music. When that period of life came to an end, I created a website and wrote freelance articles for music and tech websites, building up my portfolio over a couple of years – really using the skills I learnt at university as well as what I was learning online.
As a challenge and a new experience I took myself to China to work in Shanghai, I soon became an Editor and worked on a short-term contract, building a website again and this time creating a social media and content strategy for a startup.
Through a combination of my writing and editorial skills, tech knowledge and ability to travel and work with other cultures, I was noticed by Sony Mobile when I applied for a role in their Developer Relations department. The only thing was, it was in Sweden. So, I went to Sweden for 6 months as a consultant and ran a project to develop and launch a B2B web portal on sonymobile.com – it launched on time and I then worked on marketing the service. Over the next 2 years, B2B sales increased by 2000% and my cross-functional team won the Sony Presidents Award for best growth.
After that, I was taken on full-time at Sony and my manager and team were based in Sweden, the US and Japan. I was the only one from the team in the UK. This posed a few challenges and I ended up travelling twice a month over a 5-year period to all parts of the world.
During that time I successfully managed the launch of Sony’s first Audio Control API, building web pages to host tutorials and content to market the API to developers, in order for Sony to be able to compete in the IoT smart home market. I also managed the launch and continuous marketing of various other developer software tools using a Kanban framework.
A personal highlight was a project I managed between Sony and Google whereby Sony was the first OEM to have access to an early version of Android for developers to test their apps. Again, I built web pages this time with some great Sony designers onboard, I wrote copy and worked out how to reach our audience.
After an amazing 5 years at Sony where I learnt a huge amount, I was ready for the next challenge which came in the form of exiting the business with some colleagues to work on our own blockchain startup. Exciting as it seemed for 6 months, the market fell quickly by 95% and we had to pick ourselves up and move on – lesson learnt.
I decided to focus on another technology that I had worked with at Sony, which was IoT. I found Navico, the world’s largest specialist in marine electronics (eventually acquired by Brunswick for $1.05 billion) and I took on a role to deliver an IoT smart boat project using agile and waterfall methodologies. That was a challenge with the business restructuring at the same time, however after 6 months the product launched into the US market into 200+ stores with Android and iOS apps. The knowledge I gained about cloud, connectivity, hardware and mobile apps added a big string to my bow, and the product launch compounded my knowledge about websites, marketing strategies and the challenges faced when going to market.
I exited the business to focus on myself and what I love doing to reset – travelling!
During that time I received a nice call from my ex-manager at Navico, asking if I’d work for them again for 6 months on a consultancy basis on the IoT smart boat service we launched. I was extremely keen and went back and worked as Product Growth Manager, focused on data and paid acquisition.
I then took on another contract and worked for 9 months covering maternity at a start-up called EasyPeasy, which had a parenting app full of expert and peer advice, helping to give all children the best start in life. I managed the development of the app, which included lots of features such as a recommendation engine, search, share, like and events to help us trigger emails at the right point in the user journey.
That leads me to BBC Maestro, who I was approached by and ultimately saw a great opportunity to further myself as their only Product Manager (at the time, this changed after a year of company growth). I worked with them to rapidly grow their market, and expand into 19 new markets and they successfully went through a series A investment round.