What got you passionate about Tech?
I’ve always liked tech of all kinds and used to rebuild car motors even before I could drive. My brother lent me a computer and I started to program for it. It was like building motors except a lot faster – and cleaner! I did a Windows startup with him, and then joined a Mac startup in NYC and later got recruited by Microsoft.
What was your most memorable project?
My first big project was Microsoft Excel where I later lead the whole team and then Office too. My buddy Paul Davis was working on Word. It was amazing to build something that half a billion people would use. I learned so much – like how important it is to make things easy to use. Later I ran the Entertainment group, where I got to go to the Grammys and hang out with the artists, but overall music is such a hard business.
Two common threads in my career are I like to be in the early adoption phase of a market and I like to work on products that regular people can use. To me, crypto is a lot like the early days of the web. It’s growing but collectively we have a lot of work ahead of us. That’s the upside!
What area are you focused on?
I oversee the product and development and I collaborate with Knut, our CSO, on the tech, and with Toby on the overall business. If we ship late or make a bad product, that’s my fault!
What does success look like?
People vote with their feet. You know if you are doing something right when people use it.. Success will be seeing our stuff used by millions of people. It’s early days, but we’ll get there.
What’s something about you that is surprising?
Hmm, hard to say. I was a philosophy major before I switched to computers. I used to be a DJ and raced cars professionally. I was a data engineer at the Indy 500. Does that count? People are surprised that I used to run the Excel team but I don’t have it installed on my Mac. Or that I love to travel but I hate to pack.