I have spoken to a lot of you either on the phone or over emails so I thought it would be nice if you all got to know a little more about me, so you can put a face to name…
I’m 33 years old, originally from New Zealand but have been living here in Ireland for the last 16 years. My family and I moved over here back in the early 90’s as my Dad was coaching rugby in Ireland. We moved around quite a bit, even going back to NZ for two years during this time as well.
Eight years ago they decided to move back in NZ for good but I decided to stay on as I had met a girl while at college, whom I have since married and we now have a two-year-old son Ryan, plus I was starting up a business as well filming rugby and other events.
(update 2013: Since the beginning of March I’m now based out of New Zealand so we are able to help and support our customer around the clock. You can read more about this move in another post here )
Over the next few years the filming was going well apart from one major problem I ran into which was that customers only wanted me to do the work, and they didn’t want other people I hired in to help with the load, as my experience with rugby meant I filmed the game really well and understood more about what they were looking for. This meant it was impossible for my business to expand in any way which was not a great outcome.
I met Dan a few years before while playing rugby back with a team while in our twenties. We didn’t really have much to do with each other until I moved my office into the same building as himself and Peter were already working in. The three of us would then often meet in the coffee shop below and chat and share ideas. In fact, we probably drank more coffee than we did actual work. Then in 2004 the three of us acted on one of the ideas and opened an Internet gaming cafe called AREA51. We were the first dedicated PC gaming café in Ireland open 24 hours a day. I gave up my other business to focus on this and Dan and Peter were able to continue in Digital Crew while working part time in A51.
Over the next five years we experienced both amazing highs and some soul crushing lows. The main advantage we had over our competition in Cork city was our customer management. We worked really hard to build customer loyalty, simple things like remembering customers names, talking and joking with customers, employing staff that knew and loved games. Then every Tuesday night the three of us would stay late and play against our customers joining in on all the banter and smack talk, this all helped us to build a really loyal customer base.
Joining the Crew
By 2007 the third founding member of Digital Crew had decided to leave and head over to Australia to persure other work. Dan and Peter then asked me if I would like to come on board and help pick up the sales role with Digital Crew. I accepted.
I have always had an interest in technology, web sites and web apps so it didn’t take me too long to get up to speed with what the guys had to offer. Sales went really well and business picked up. This was also the start of TeamworkPM being developed. So as consultancy sales picked up, it put more pressure on the guys to keep up with the extra workload on top of developing TeamworkPM, but they managed. The increase in sales also gave us the ability to hire in more staff so we could begin to focus on TeamworkPM fulltime.
As TeamworkPM got bigger and required more staff, I began to move into a customer support role helping customers out with a variety of issues from billing, to payments to general ‘how do I do this?’ questions. The other role which I have now moved into is marketing.
Once Ryan wakes up we’re all up (anywhere from 6:30am – 8:00am) The first thing I do is check sales on my phone from the night before.
I get Ryan dressed and sort him and myself out for breakfast. Then my wife Emma takes over so I get dressed and check emails.
EDIT: Since I wrote this post a while ago thing have become slightly more manic in the mornings. I now have a daughter, Zoe added to the mix as well so this really makes mornings pretty full on
Once everyone is feed and watered and I have managed to shower and get out the door, I then get in the car and head to work. Normally I listen to Mixergy podcasts while I drive in. I love the show and it’s given me loads of ideas over the years. If you love business, startups and being inspired then you have got to listen to this show.
I drive to Costa coffee where I grab my morning coffee and go about answering all the feedback from the night before as well as direct emails that have come in.
Once my laptop runs out of power I head up the road to the office where I spend the day answering more emails that come in, feedback from our support tool and the occasional skype or phone call. A fair chunk of my day involves online meeting and demonstrations to people interested in learning the more advanced aspects of Teamwork.
I also look after all payment related issues such as failed payments or users that need to be invoiced instead of paying online as well.
I also try to set time aside for getting the TeamworkPM name out there. I read through blogs and post comments where and when it’s appropriate. I look for opportunities in which we can advertize as well as organize any sponsoring of events that we can do.
Being the only one on the team who is not a developer has it’s ups and downs. I try to give my ideas and feedback on new features from a “normal” users point of view. One of the big advantages I feel we have over competition is the speed at which Dan, Peter and the rest of the development team can roll out updates. This also makes my job a lot easier and also allows me to deliver good news to customers often.
There is nothing better than getting feedback from a user about something they feel is missing in the app. If I think the user is making a valid point that needs attention on our part I bring this up with either Dan or Peter and they make the change either that day or during the week. I then go back to the customer and they are amazed at how fast we rolled it out and delighted that we do actually listen and make the appropriate changes.
What I use in work.
- MacBook Pro Retina with 27 inchThunderbolt display
- iPhone 4
- TeamworkPM – Obviously
- Hipchat – office communication
- Dropbox – all my files are saved here so I can access them from anywhere
- Woopra – tracking people live on the website
- SEO MOZ – tracking SEO and rankings in search engines across countries
- Tweet Deck - tracking search terms across twitter, posting tweets
- Twitter – on the iPhone and iPad
- FireFox – browser of choice
- Screen Flow – making screen recording
- Google alerts – tracking what is being said about us as well as others online
- Google analytics – tracking users to the site
- Adroll – loving this new company. Really easy to set up retargeting ads
Well that’s all I guess, I hope this gives you a small insight into who I am and what I do at TeamworkPM.