CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Matthew Lim, Co-Founder & CEO at Snackr

Matthew Lim is the co-founder & CEO at Snackr, a mobile ordering platform designed to keep fans in the action & out of the queues.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role? 

My name is Matthew Lim, I am currently CEO and Co-Founder of Snackr, a mobile ordering platform designed to keep fans in the action and out of the queues at live events.

I studied law and ended up working in corporate finance and consulting for about four years before founding Snackr. I’ve always been passionate about sport and tech and Snackr was the perfect way to combine those two loves!

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

It’s difficult to document a typical day, but today I started with a discovery call with a couple of other tech startups who are keen to integrate with us, then I had a sprint planning and retro with our dev team in the morning.

In the afternoon I had an internal strategy meeting, went for a site visit to a new venue we’re onboarding and then picked up some equipment we needed (takeaway bags). We interviewed a couple of engineers in the afternoon, then a quick run and dinner.

I would say the main consistent theme in my days at the moment is that we do some really fun stuff, and then a lot of grind (which is basically mundane stuff that we need to do).

3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine? 

All of our team works hard but we are very flexible. We’re split across multiple time zones and do most of our meetings via Zoom so everyone has the opportunity to do the other things in life they love doing!

For us, as co-founders, we are aware of the importance of balance, rest and our well-being, but it’s difficult to reconcile when it’s busy and things are moving quickly. I think we can do better with giving ourselves a break sometimes.

4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

To me, it means being able to do the things you love while continuing to be excellent at what you do. The most important thing for me is regular exercise and the best way for me to keep that up is by setting goals and following a routine.

Probably next is to be able to find restful things that bring me joy. For me, I love to be able to follow and watch sports so I try to carve out time around those events so I can watch games live.

5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life? 

Constantly. I love to try new routines and gimmicks to try and improve my life and myself and my partner often set little challenges to improve our lives.

The most effective ones to date have been regular exercise (and expanding my range to yoga, pilates and swimming), meditation and mindfulness and removing phones from the bedroom or generally reducing screen time. The enthusiasm for these habits waxes and wanes but it makes all the difference when I do it well.

6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

Honestly, I mostly read page turning fantasy books and listen to American sport podcasts about the NFL and NBA so I don’t typically give recommendations!

If I had to though, I prefer reading for the love of reading so I would recommend Song of Achilles by Madeleine Miller, anything written by Joe Abercrombie, Moneyball (book and movie) and I recently listened to the Harry Potter series narrated by Stephen Fry and that is an absolute treat.

In terms of content related to my work, I would recommend Shoe Dog by Phil Knight or How I Built This, a podcast about startup stories by Guy Raz. 

7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?

Bluetooth headphones would be my number one. I have a battered pair of Sony noise cancelling headphones for work/travel and then a pair of Jabra Sports for exercise and I use both prolifically.

With apps, aside from the standard set (banking, email, travel etc.) I would say my most used apps are Kayo to stream sport, Sportsbet, Reddit and the only games I have on my phone; Catan and chess.

8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

Probably someone like Lebron James. He must be so disciplined to balance so many different aspects of his life, while continuing to be one of the most successful and durable athletes on the planet and staying connected to his family and oldest friends.

9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

I think people often like to give the impression that they’re either super busy or they’re really chilled and in my experience those people are seldom either.

It’s so difficult to get work life balance right and in my experience, one will typically suffer at some point or another and it’s mostly about making sure the people in your life, whether at work or in your life, can be flexible enough to support you when you need some give either way.

I’m fortunate to be cushioned by a terrific support network in my personal and professional life that I absolutely would not have survived without.

Also, although work life balance is super important, I have and will continue to sacrifice that balance to scale Snackr in the next couple of years and am completely aware of the cost of doing that.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.