CTO

Toby Oliver

CEO at Bravo Studio

Q&A

Your favorite content and why

Blitzscaling by Reid Hoffman, as he interviews some very interesting entrepreneurs who have great stories.

Your favorite working app

Notion an incredibly flexible tool that allows you to use it the way you want to most other tools are very prescriptive in how they make you work.

Your reference leader, why and what you learnt

General Mattis – although he his nickname is “Mad Dog” Mattis is considered a compassionate leader who empowers subordinates and tries to make them equals. Some good quotes:
“Everyone fills sandbags in this unit.”

“If a marine or a unit is screwing up, hug them more.”
“By reading, you learn through others’ experiences, generally a better way to do business.”

The #1 skill a tech leader needs to succeed

Being able to appropriately apply your knowledge and experience.

What you like most of being a CTO?

Being involved in the latest changes in technology and applying that to creating and implementing products.

Which is the biggest challenge you have faced as a leader?

When one of the developers in Typeform accidentally deleted thousands of users results.

What is the takeaway from that experience?

Keep calm and make sure you have all the information you need before you making a decision on the action you take.

The one single tip for aspiring CTOs

Build a great team and let them get on with the work.

How can I balance the needs of Product with the Tech development that needs to be done?

I frequently see tension between product and tech concerning prioritizing work: product tends to prioritize based on user value and its really hard to create user value numbers for a large refactor. I think the best approach to this is to make sure there is trust between the leads of product and tech and that there is a  time for them to come together regularly to make sure both product and the technical needs are being met.

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