Speaker Insight Series - Andrew White

Andrew White, CEO FundApps

Here's part two of getting to know our speakers ahead of Adminovate next week. We’ve borrowed the format from Tim Ferriss’s new book ‘Tribe of Mentors’. You can read about the book here and buy it directly here.

Throughout the book, Tim poses 11 questions to his interviewees with the request to respond to 3 to 5 questions.. or more, if the spirit moves them. Below Andrew White steps up with his answers:

What is the book (or books) you’ve given most as a gift, and why? Or what are one to three books that have greatly influenced your life?

"The four-hour work week" by Tim Ferris, made me rethink work in general (although Mr. Ferris definitely no longer practises what he preaches). "Rework" by David Heinemeier Hansson is the book that pushed me over the edge to start my own business. Finally, I think no entrepreneur’s book list would be complete without “The Lean Startup” by Eric Ries.

What purchase of $100 or less has most positively impacted your life in the last six months (or in recent memory)? My readers love specifics like brand and model, where you found it, etc.

£2.35 on a Tesco Chicken Salad sandwich which I gave to a homeless person on Kingsland Road last week.

If you could have a gigantic billboard anywhere with anything on it — metaphorically speaking, getting a message out to millions or billions — what would it say and why? It could be a few words or a paragraph. (If helpful, it can be someone else’s quote: Are there any quotes you think of often or live your life by?)

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.” Helen Keller

What is one of the best or most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made? (Could be an investment of money, time, energy, etc.)

I regularly donate on Kiva and seeing the success stories of the individual entrepreneurs is extremely rewarding.

In the last five years, what new belief, behaviour, or habit has most improved your life?

Getting off Facebook.

What advice would you give to a smart, driven college student about to enter the “real world”? What advice should they ignore?

It seems most students aspire to work for a tech start-up, but it honestly isn’t for everyone. Dealing with ambiguity and handling a lack of structure is tough (esp. coming from a structured environment such as university. Have a read of this article first: https://qz.com/817783/working-for-a-startup-right-out-of-school-is-a-great-idea-but-its-not-for-everyone/

What are bad recommendations you hear in your profession or area of expertise?

To quote the song "Sunscreen" by Baz Luhrmann "Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth". LinkedIn and social media are full of lists and "top 10s" and just because the person who wrote it believes it, doesn’t mean it will work for you. Find out who you are first before relying on the words of strangers.

In the last five years, what have you become better at saying no to (distractions, invitations, etc.)? What new realizations and/or approaches helped? Any other tips?

"No" has always been one of my favourite words. Ever since I was a child apparently. As a product manager it was one of the most vital things I did - saying no to ideas that defocused the product or didn't build on our value proposition. As a CEO you must constantly balance encouraging people to come up with and suggest new ideas, but to take the time to explain why, if you say no to them.

When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, or have lost your focus temporarily, what do you do? (If helpful: What questions do you ask yourself?)

Stand up, go for a walk, have a chat with yourself.

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