Nick Glynn is the co-founder of QuickaPay, an Australian FinTech company on a mission to solve cash flow stress for small business owners.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
I started my career in the tech industry back home in the UK working with Intel as part of their digital marketing/events team and really enjoyed blending the tech with the people side of things.
I’ve worked with some real deep tech people and some real great marketers so sitting between them that early in my career was awesome.
Since then I’ve held roles in physical products (building a bluetooth enabled horseshoe, a GPS tracked ice-cream machine and then training and consulting for Intel (again), Qualcomm, Hewlett Packard and other big hitters in the tech world.
I moved from the UK a few years ago and got the business and product bug after starting an online coffee company in NZ and since then have worked at building products for Spaceship (Voyager), Campaign Monitor, Freelancer.com and more.
This was before jumping into the first Australian Antler cohort where my business partner and I worked on QuickaPay to bring buy now, pay later to life in a way that wasn’t done before and a way that’s seeing us grow and partner with some incredible companies.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Today is my first day back from a holiday — the first one in two years since starting QuickaPay so it’s been a bit of a mad one. I head up digital growth, product and technology so it’s an incredibly varied role but I absolutely love it and wouldn’t change it for the world.
First thing today was to catch up with the product team – see where we’re at with the build, customer interviews, new UI designs and check our support channel to see if there’s any new insights.
After that, I spent some 1:1 time with the team members to do a deeper dive on how things are going and how I can unblock them – my goal since getting back has been to focus on guiding the direction of the product and the business rather than being bogged down and to let them execute on what they’re good at.
I caught up with my cofounder for our daily sync to see how it’s all going, checked in on sales/operations and then a bit of a dive into how the marketing campaigns are going and set up meetings for the rest of the week and then finished the day with customer interviews around the UX and product as we take steps to launch our longer terms and platform refresh.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
From the get go, my co-founder Nath and I have wanted to build a distributed company and to that end we’ve succeeded pretty well with our team spread across Victoria, Perth, Queensland and NSW.
We’re pretty flexible with how we work – working hard is a part of the early stages of every startup but we lean heavily on autonomy and purpose for our team and try not to bog them down with micromanagement or too many meetings.
It’s been a while but we normally aim for a “tick-tock” cadence to the weeks where we focus intently and grind to get the product shipped and then we “tock” for a week listening for customer feedback, doing passion pieces and fixing the bugs on the low hanging branches.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I’m working towards it – I don’t think I’ve quite got it yet and the whole Covid thing has certainly made it harder than it could be.
One thing I do is to block out an hour block every morning to go to the gym and lift weights — it sounds cliché and a bit “tech bro” but the way I see it is that, if I put 100% into my work, I can – and will – have days where I absolutely fail and feel terrible and there’s nothing I can do about it.
By putting focus and effort into the gym, I’m totally responsible for the results and progress. That psychological lift has a huge effect on my outlook and puts me back in the driver’s seat.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I’ve literally just stopped day to day development much to the cheers of the team! Being a blocker because of having to jump into a sales call, fundraise or manage the rest of the team has been something I wanted to remove so that’s been hard to let go of but fundamental to our continued successes.
I’ve got a few other side projects I work on including tagmail.io, Jogly and a few others that keep my skills sharp in case I need to dive back in but I mainly use those to refine my tech as well as marketing/sales skills and it all feeds back into the business anyway – plus hey, one of those could become another $1m+ idea that would change my life!
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
The last book I read was The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz which is a must read just to see how the greats in “The Valley” work.
I’d recommend Drive by Dan Pink. It’s a great book about how to motivate people and teams to care and do the right thing by focusing on their intrinsic motivation by keying it into the 3 aspects of Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.
Podcasts-wise, The Gargle and The Bugle are incredibly amusing but pretty much the only ones I consume. I struggle to listen to business podcasts as they seem like grandstanding nonsense in many cases — I wonder if Clubhouse will struggle for the same reason?
Newsletters – I enjoy Making Connections by Jackie Vullinghs of Airtree (write more!), the Indie Hackers to see how lean you can go, Lennys (Rachitsky) Newsletter for product and growth, Julian Shapiro (growth legend) and Harry’s Marketing for copywriting, marketing, conversions and all the things that drive people to be curious and compelled by your product.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
As a remote first company, we depend on a combination of Slack, Trello, Google Meet/Zoom, Figma and Pop to allow us to work as closely as possible without actually being in the same room – combined with my Sony cans and a moleskine I can work from anywhere. Those things are the cornerstones of our company.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Bizarrely, I’d love to hear about the work-life balance of the teams behind the COVID vaccines – how they went from inception through to commercialisation, delivery and the potentially overwhelming feeling of doing so much good and the different people they must now encounter across the spectrum who range from grateful to deranged and how they balance the work, how their life has changed and everything in between.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
I’m not going to claim to be a fount of wisdom but one thing I do is to set aside an hour in the middle of the week to get my zen on.
No screens, no notifications or distractions and just try and do a deep think about how the week has gone so far, where it could go and where it needs to go to finish and then write that plan down. My very own midweek (self) check in.
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