Andre Dean Smith is the Co-Founder & CEO at ScreenApp, a company on a mission to make video the universal language for business communication
Let’s start with your background! Can you share with us your career journey and what you’re currently up to?
I’m Andre, a startup founder based in Sydney with a passion for video technology. My career journey began as an intern at a small startup in Latvia that eventually exited to Prezi, a well-known company in the presentation software space.
Following that, I focused on video technology while working at Australian-based myInterview, which allowed me to hone my skills and deepen my understanding of the industry. Currently, I’m working on an innovative video startup called ScreenApp with my co-founder Buddhika.
Our mission is to revolutionise the process of creating, unifying, and searching video content, making it more accessible and efficient for users worldwide. We met through the Antler program last year and have been tirelessly working on growing our venture ever since.
We’d love to know what a typical day is like for you. Could you describe a recent workday?
A typical workday for me starts with waking up early and brewing a morning coffee using my home setup. This ritual has become an essential part of my routine, helping me find balance and collect my thoughts before diving into the day’s tasks.
Once I’ve enjoyed my coffee, I head to the city to find a quiet desk, where I can focus on my work without distractions. My day is often filled with phone calls and virtual meetings with clients, investors, team members, and advisors. I’ve come to realise that the most important skill I’ve cultivated throughout my career is the ability to listen actively and empathetically, as it allows me to better understand the needs and concerns of those I work with.
Can you define work-life balance for yourself and share with us your approach in maintaining it?
Work-life balance is crucial to my overall well-being, and I’ve found that it becomes easier to achieve the more I enjoy my work and find it impactful. In the past, working remotely blurred the lines between work and life, leading to late nights and an unhealthy imbalance.
Recognizing this, I made a conscious effort to stop working late hours, focusing instead on maximising productivity during the day when my team and customers need me most. I’ve learned that it’s far more effective to excel in a focused, timely manner than to spread oneself too thin.
We’re always on the lookout for new resources! Can you recommend any books, podcasts, or newsletters that have helped you in your journey towards balance?
I’m a tech podcast enthusiast and always eager to expand my knowledge. I particularly enjoy shows that delve into the ‘why’ of technology, exploring the ideas and motivations behind various innovations.
My favourites include Another Podcast with Benedict Evans and Toni Cowan-Brown, Stratechery’s Exponent with Ben Thompson and James Allworth, and the Accidental Tech Podcast. These shows not only keep me informed about the latest trends and developments but also provide a light-hearted and engaging approach to understanding the tech world.
Before we wrap up, do you have any final words of wisdom or insights on work, life, or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
To conclude, I’d like to share some words of wisdom that have guided me throughout my journey: Find your passion and let it be the driving force behind your work. When you truly love what you do, striking a balance between work and life becomes easier, as your career becomes an extension of your personal interests and values.
Always be ready to adapt, learn, and grow, but don’t forget to make time for yourself and the things that truly matter. Embrace change and challenges, for they often lead to personal and professional growth.
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