Quick Questions with Hadleigh: Founder and CEO
When he's not sipping on his daily coffee, telling (true) stories of bygone sailing days and dreaming of adventures canoeing down a river, Hadleigh is the reason SwipedOn exists. As founder and CEO, he's kind of a big deal. We caught up with Hadleigh for a quick-fire round of questions to learn more about him.
What does a day in the life of you at SwipedOn look like?
It's all pretty varied, but a daily coffee would be the one constant! As the founder of the business, I do end up being involved in all areas. Which keeps things incredibly interesting and varied. However, it's also very rewarding letting go of facets of the business and seeing the areas flourish under specialist care and curation.
What do you like about working at SwipedOn?
It's pretty cliché, but it has to be the people - both staff and customers. We've got a great bunch here and I know I’ll look fondly back on the team and dynamic during our growth phase.
Our customers are awesome and many of them I know on a first name basis. Especially from back in the day when I was personally responding to them - often hundreds in a day. I always get a kick out of speaking to people across time zones or in great areas of the world. Especially as we now have users in over 60 countries.
Oh and we have a pretty sweet waterfront view from the office, I like that!
What do you particularly like about what we’re doing with SwipedOn?
Ah, where to start?
The fact we're operating a global business from a relatively small beach town (Tauranga) in New Zealand is pretty special.
We're lucky to have a great lifestyle outside of work and I believe this downtime filters through to enjoyment to the time we do spend at work. We're generally a happy bunch and I think the environment plays a large part in that.
Speaking of the actual environment, this is something we care deeply about as a business. It's all well and good working towards a profit at the end of the year, but we also get great satisfaction out of charities we support or the close to 4,000 native trees we've planted through our 1:1 reforestation project with Trees That Count. I'm keen to see that number tick through to 10,000 as soon as possible!
What three words would you use to describe your role?
What is your SwipedOn screensaver?
The default ones. I'm a bit vanilla with that, but did help pick them originally! So you all have to suffer my choices : )
What did you do in your previous working life?
I worked at sea from the age of 17 and trained to be a Ships Captain. I spent years on container ships, cruise ships and superyachts. In 2012 I came 'ashore' and was a Harbour Pilot, piloting vessels of up to 260m (850ft) in and out of a small port here in New Zealand.
What do you do in your free time?
What is this free time you speak of, I'm confused by the term? Seriously though, we've got three young kids at home, so I spend a lot of time with them and we like to get out and about as often as possible.
What are three things still left on your bucket list?
- Camp and canoe down a large river for a few days. That sounds super fun (the type of river that doesn't have forks leading to deadly waterfalls though).
- Ride a segway.
- Heckle somebody riding a segway.
What’s on your SwipedOn playlist?
I like a varied range of music and it changes often. I'm not going to commit to one here. As reflecting on my MySpace days, trending musical tastes and the Internet tend to age poorly!
If you were stuck on a desert island and you could choose one person from the SwipedOn team to come with you, who would you take and why?
Mauro, our Sales Associate from South Africa. He could use the time to learn proper BBQ techniques from a New Zealander. Mauro is also a competent builder and I'm pretty sure that between us, we could build a stable, seagoing raft. Not to mention, I did study years of naval architecture, celestial navigation and sea survival! Time to put that to use.
Let’s end this with a weird fact about you…
When I worked on superyachts, I also a trained as a submarine pilot, with a small 2-3 person submarine rated to depths of 380m (1250 ft). And yes, it was yellow.