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It's time to tinker
I just announced at Monzo that I’m stepping away from leading Monzo’s product organisation. Now is a good time to do this because Monzo is doing incredibly well.
Just in the past few months we’ve shipped three Zero to One products: Monzo Flex, Monzo Pay and Monzo Trends. These new products are doing great. And we’ve already shipped tons of improvements to these brand new products. All the graphs are going up and to the right. We’ve hired a ton of excellent people. And we just raised a lot of money.
I first got involved with Monzo three years ago when Tom Blomfield asked me if I wanted “a hobby” helping him build Monzo. That conversation led to me spending a day a week at the Monzo offices as an advisor. That day led to two, then three, then four days. By the end of 2019 I was basically doing a job and not just advising, and Tom asked me to officially join full time and accept a title. So I did.
I joined as Chief Product Officer in February of 2020. I started as CPO only a few weeks before the first Lockdown. Like a lot of companies, Covid hit us hard. It was difficult, but we got through it. We rebuilt and came out stronger. And now we’re shipping great products at pace.
Our products make our customers’ lives better. We’ve been taking the single greatest source of anxiety in people’s lives and making it better. Only a third of UK adults say they feel in control of their finances but more than two thirds of Monzo's customers say they feel in control of their finances.
I’m incredibly proud of how we improve customers' lives, the pace at which we're shipping high quality products, and the way our graphs are moving up and to the right. But I want to work across a broader range of industries and I feel free to do so now that Monzo's doing so well.
What I’ll be doing
Helping out as a non-exec director
Tinkering, building and learning
Caroline and I have been investing a lot lately, and we’ve been really enjoying the opportunity to support some great entrepeneurs. We’re really proud of our investments in companies like Practice, incident.io and Multiverse, and we’re hoping to develop relationships with more great entrepreneurs.
We work together as a team. Caroline brings deep marketing experience — she's CMO at Impala, was the sole product marketer on News Feed back in the day, and ran European marketing for both Airbnb and Facebook's consumer business. I bring, well, whatever it is that I do.
Helping out as a non-exec
I recently joined the Board of Trustees at BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity. Our mission is to engage every child with books. This is something near and dear to my heart. I wasn’t very good at school and dropped out early. But my parents and my brother instilled a deep love of reading in me. Books were — and are — an incredibly important part of my life. I feel privileged to help an organisation give more children this gift.
And I’ve been on the board of VidIQ for a while now. It was started by a really good friend of mine — our start-ups competed with each other more than a decade ago — and it’s been a joy to help out.
I think there are also interesting opportunities to advise start-ups and entrepreneurs to help them figure out what to build and how to build those things well. I figure I might do some of this, too.
Tinkering, building and learning
I'm a builder at heart. I’m fascinated by a lot of things, and I have a lot of ideas. I want to learn a lot more about Web3, and quickly.
I have some ideas about how to build healthier, deeper conversational places on the internet. I’m fascinated by the idea that gig economy workers could participate in the financial upside of the networks that they help build. And, maybe most of all, I’m interested in building real, portable identity for the internet.
It took a lot of work to get to this point, and I'm really happy about it. I'm already reaching out to a few people to ask their advice on some things I want to build. And, of course, I'm going to write even more. I can't wait.