Kawana Ventures — Advisor, consultant and angel investor
I provide deep functional expertise around all aspects of building a new product and business. My favorite insights relate to creating products that delight customers, building highly effective teams, sequencing for success and how to raise money in the Silicon Valley (where much of my network is). I’m also a firm believer in the 80/20 rule as it applies to startups – that is with 100% of your time you can do the job of 5 people at 80%!
Also actively exploring several startup ideas in the health, genomics and retail space.
Lebara Limited — Chief Product Officer
Founded 15 years ago Lebara is the leading provider of telecommunication products to migrants and is one of the world’s leading migrant brands. I was brought on to lead the company’s efforts to further digital its business and to launch new digital products that appeal to the needs of our core migrant customers.
During the course of 1.5 years I build from scratch the company’s product management and design team. We launched Lebara Play (a live TV and VOD service for migrants who want to want content from their homes while living abroad), Lebara Talk (a VOIP service to call family member on their fixed line and mobile phones) and Lebara Money (a innovative mobile and web based money transfer service).
Along the way I put in place a much more agile way of working and AARRR metrics to track progress towards a viable product that can be scaled up.
Zap — Founder and CEO
Zaptravel was a semantic search company, with an initial focus on travel. Eric Schmidt recently stated that Google hasn’t even begun to solve search because it can answer a question like “i want to go away this weekend to snorkel someplace warm for under 300 euros”. Well, that’s what Zaptravel did! It was a Kayak for people who don’t know the “where” or the “when” and who just want to be delighted by trips that match their interests. We have a long road ahead of us, and are fueled by a core belief that travel needs to be way more customer-centric and personalized than it is today.
ZapTravel was sold to Lebara in February 2015 and will live on as Lebara Travel, a migrant-focused travel product for getting home to visit your family and for family to visit you while you live abroad.
Disney — Senior Vice President, Mobile
I joined Disney after they acquired Tapulous in June 2010. Our remit was to drive a mobile agenda for the Walt Disney Group and to manage the delivery of mobile entertainment and gaming applications across their studios. Some highlights:
- Worked with other management to define a mobile strategy by combining the overall entertainment roadmap of the Disney group with what we had learned from our years in mobile.
- Defined a new mobile category that we coined “instant games” and then hired people to deliver titles against this, leading to the launch and commercially successful series of “Where’s My Water” titles.
- Transformed the mobile organization by bringing in new leadership and overhauling many of the system and processes that were getting in the way of creativity, on-time delivery and monetization of our titles.
- Managed budgets and the monetization strategy of our titles.
Tapulous — Co-founder and COO
Co-founded this company when we saw the incredible groundswell of interest in apps on the iPhone even before Steve Jobs announced that he would open the platform. Built out our product portfolio and grew to a profitable business that we sold to Disney 2.5 years later. Highlights include:
– Convincing investors to invest in ‘iPhone” mobile at a time when everyone thought we were crazy to not be launching titles on Nokia and Blackberry. Then convincing those investors to stick with us through the financial crisis.
– Running revenue strategy and optimization and pioneering the vast majority of revenue streams that underpin mobile economics today (advertising, in-app commerce, incentivized app installs, affiliate revenue, sponsored apps, free-premium strategy)
– Making stuff happen (a.k.a keeping up to the hype about our company) on a day-to-day basis by becoming an expert in “context-switching” between strategy, operations and execution.
McKinsey & Company — Consultant
Led McKinsey and client teams in problem solving, analytics, formulating recommendations, making senior presentations, implementing change programs.
(1) Business building and venture capital
* Business design and launch of an online personal wealth business, a $300m e-procurement hub and an online Indian agricultural trading portal
* Advice to telco and banking clients on technological and business-system changes to improve enterprise-wide collaboration
* Design and launch of a US$220m corporate venture fund
* Advice to clients on potential acquisitions particularly in the media, entertainment and tourism sectors
* Authorship of documents on technology venture design and nanotechnology
(2) Revenue optimization and commercial strategy
* Implement an online price optimization system at a large multinational company
* Realization of over $1b revenue at 3 global banks, through pricing changes and product enhancements to improve average revenue per customer and through improving sales coverage to go after new clients.
* Pioneered a new “local market” pricing approach which took a local market competitive context in account in order to set prices and develop client lists. Implemented this is a range of product/service industries.
* Optimized pricing tiers and introduced new seat classes at a newly merged international airline.
* Developed and priced new wealth management products and insurance products at a large Australian bank and insurance company.
Note: I spent a total of 5 years at McKinsey – with a 3 year break in the middle to undertake a MBA at Stanford and a secondment with the Australian government.
CSIRO — Product manager
During a 9 month secondment from McKinsey I was responsible for identifying and commercializing scientific research which meant talking to hundreds of scientists and then trying to figure out if and how their research could lead to commercial applications. I enjoyed it immensely and instilled in me the believe that there is a huge market failure in bringing scientific research to the the market. In the process I also developed an electronic sales and legal system from scratch to support scientists execute licensing and research agreement that would drive over $1 billion in annual sales of R&D services.