Last updated: January 24, 2019
I grew up on a farm in Ireland. All I ever wanted to do was farm, but my parents made me finish school and then go to university and somewhere along the way I got hooked on building things.
My first experience of code was VBA (yep, in Excel!) when I automated a purchase order system during my college internship because I hated the monotony of getting signatures and punching data into a spreadsheet day in, day out. After graduating I worked in financial consulting with PwC, where I built out financial models to help companies figure out where to cut costs during the 2009 financial crisis. I quickly learned this wasn’t for me, self taught myself programming - PHP :) - and built my first website, livefortheweek.com, in the process. I quit ~6 months later, 30 days prior (the notice period) to the date I set.
Immediately after quitting, I felt like I was on cloud 9! I walked out of the office with my head held high, greeting everyone as I passed them. Unfortunately, most people didn’t make eye contact…and so Dublin Says Hello was born. It was a one day event where everybody was encouraged to say hello to anyone they passed in Dublin city, raising awareness for mental health. You never know how much a smile or “hello” can help someone’s day.
I spent the next 6 months starting a number of small businesses (including a mobile drive-in cinema) until I all but ran out of money. Coming to the realisation that I needed to go work for someone again, I was determined to work for a startup. In a crazy exchange with one of the founders (including a Red Bull fuelled all nighter prepping for an interview!), I joined Datahug as a Product Analyst. Over the next few years I learned everything there was about product management and SaaS, working my way to their head of product.
From there I went travelling with my then girlfriend (now fiancée), Jane. We covered South East Asia over three months during which I built and launched a number of workout apps for Android/iOS (which grew to 300,000+ downloads). After a brief visit home for Christmas, we moved to Vancouver, Canada where I spent 9 months working on my own failed SaaS startup for physiotherapists before joining Unbounce.
Almost 3 years later we left to make our way back to Europe. After a brief stint in Ireland, we’re now in Spain. I now work for Clearbit (remotely) in growth marketing and contract for a few startups as a growth/technical marketer.