Gastón Tourn is the Chief Marketing Officer of Curio, the app to listen to news and insights from the world’s most trusted publications.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I’m the Chief Marketing Officer at Curio, the app to listen to news and insights from the world’s most trusted publications. Before Curio, I worked in marketing at Google across several international markets, from Brazil to the UK. I was also CMO at Badoo Group (now Bumble Group), Emma – The Sleep Company and Appear Here.
I never imagined myself working in marketing. As a child, I wanted to be a journalist or a writer. Marketing also has the power to change the way we see the world through language, so maybe it’s not too surprising I ended up here.
2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
What I love most about working in marketing is that it is the only function in a business that requires both analysis and creativity. That makes the days really varied.
One moment I can be discussing with finance which marketing investments have delivered the highest ROI, and the next I can be brainstorming with our brand team what poem we can write for our next campaign (in fact, during my time at Appear Here we produced this poem to save independent shops).
3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
For me, work-life balance means finding meaning in what I’m doing at the moment, whether it’s helping someone on my team develop their skill set, strategising to better communicate who we are as a brand, or enjoying the sun while reading a book lying on a beach in the Mediterranean. Finding meaning is more important than finding balance.
4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
It’s not a habit I’ve picked up in the last 12 months, but I’ve definitely used it a lot in the last year: emailing myself. It might sound a little creepy, but it’s my number one productivity tip. Your inbox ends up being what others ask of you. Emailing myself encourages me to be intentional about my priorities. So you could say I’ve started talking to myself.
5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
My favourite book is One Hundred Years of Solitude by García Márquez. It’s one of the best novels of the Latin American literary style called magical realism. In his writing, García Márquez can solve the puzzle of Latin America using the fragrance of a rotten fruit. Both in my writing and in my marketing, I hope to challenge the senses that have become numb.
6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
The philosopher Martin Heidegger. The preconception that we can separate time into distinct blocks – or even the idea that life is different from work – corresponds to a simplistic perception of time.
Heidegger wrote a fascinating book called Being and Time that reflects on the concept of ‘Dasein’ or ‘being-in-the-world’. According to his philosophy, time only finds its meaning in death. I think that an interview with Heidegger on work-life balance would deconstruct many preconceptions about the way we organise time in our society.
7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
A quote from Joseph Conrad in Heart of Darkness: “I don’t like work – no man does – but I like what is in the work – the chance to find yourself. Your own reality – for yourself, not for others – what no other man can ever know. They can only see the mere show, and never can tell what it really means.”
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