1. Hi Mylo, thank you for taking the time to talk to us today. We see with great interest that you have successfully gained a number of business and tech related qualifications, including studying Web Development for one year, and one term of Business Enterprise at Manchester Metropolitan University. How planned out was your tech career journey from the get-go, and how close are you now to where you wanted to be when you first left University?
University was a struggle for me; I think because I don't like being taught and I found myself learning more outside of University than I did inside. My natural inquisitive nature meant I would discover a topic at University and do my own research, which meant sometimes, at any given point, I would know more on the subject than some of my lecturers! I love technology, and I love how fast paced it is, so what I learned in my time at University meant I keep ahead of what was happening before most of the other students.
When deciding to leave my course, I knew I wanted to take my skills from the web course I learnt and apply that to the modest amount of business knowledge I had, at that time. It was more about doing and learning on my own as I found that doing something, failing, learning and doing it better the second time around was exciting to me!
Due to the nature of technology, when I was at University, there were no such things as smart watches or even Virtual Reality. That was exhilarating to me; I then knew I wanted to be in tech I just didn't know what was coming! Present day, years later I spend a lot of my time researching future tech to enable me to plan it into my business.
2. We see that you and your app development agency Dreamr in Manchester have been nominated and shortlisted for a number of heavyweight awards including Best App and the Entrepreneur Award 2016. What is the one award you are most proud of, to date, and why?
We’re lucky to have been shortlisted for six awards to date, which since we were founded in 2014, is a huge achievement. Winning the Skills for Business Award (won last year by UK Fast) is the one I’m most proud of, as this is the work we do on a daily basis in development by our team, which includes everyone in the company. I place great significance on my teams’ ongoing development, so every Wednesday we have dedicated time to learn and develop new skills.
The ongoing development of our teams’ skills is close to my heart, as this is crucial to their long-term advancement both personally, and professionally.
3. We have seen you described many times as a ‘passionate, loyal, supportive’ CEO. How would you describe the passion you seek within the developers you are hungry to have on your team?
Passion is an interesting word and emotion, as I think it comes from the heart and therefore has the ability to drive people to do great things. When we interview people to join Dreamr, we look for that spark that gets someone out of bed in the morning; that deep-rooted passion where they’re so hungry to achieve that their desire to succeed is stronger than anything.
I believe that when I find that ‘special’ person, I feel it deep down inside that they're the right fit. This comes across clear as day to me in how they describe their life, or how they express what they do we’ve interviewed hundreds of potential Dreamr’s in the past two years, and I’ve seen that one defining characteristic, passion, in each and every one that works with us today.
4. We also see that you are very actively involved with a number of amazing volunteering programmes and organisations both at home and abroad, including Change4Good and beat-bullying. What key things do you take from your volunteering experiences and use within any given working day at C-level?
When volunteering, you have to ask yourself, “why am I doing this?” because I believe a lot of time, the real reason that a lot of people volunteer is to make themselves feel better because they've helped someone in need.
Actually for me it’s the other way around; I do it to help others, and in turn, this gives me great satisfaction when I can see I've made even the smallest difference to someone else’s life.
When volunteering with Change4Good, the homeless charity of Mancunian Way, I get to meet homeless people on the streets of the city of Manchester who come from all walks of life, and I get to experience a life that for some is so astonishing in so many ways that it can make you treasure your life in ways you never thought you would.
Being able to put yourself in someone else's shoes, and truly experience other people’s lives from the other side of the fence, is an invaluable skill that I use every day at Dreamr.
5. Are there any words that strike fear into the very hearts of your Mobile, iOS and Android developers, if so, what are they?
Each of our team has learned that every challenge is an opportunity to grow and discover. I wouldn't say there is something that necessarily strikes fear into them, as they're a pretty open book sort of team.
6. In tech, would you rather be known as an evangelist, a visionary or a leader?
I’m a visionary as I think about the future every day in all my interactions. I’m always thinking how an action today can change the future, tomorrow. Having what you could probably describe as an over-active imagination means I am always ‘seeing’ the future and what it can hold for Dreamr.
It sometimes has its downfalls, as occasionally I implement a process or a way of doing something that's too ahead of its time!
I’m excited about the future, especially in our industry and what tech can do for people and businesses. The tech we have today has only just touched the surface of its capabilities.
7. Describe Dreamr’s culture in 4 words
It's tough to describe our culture in just four words, as most of the time culture is an intangible way of life for Dreamr.
However, if I had to describe it in only four words, I would say:
Passion: That feeling when you’re doing something you love and that every day makes you feel fulfilled and excited.
Trust: Being able to rely on your team to excel in everything they do, and being hungry to learn.
Change: Being open to it, but also challenging the status quo. We pride ourselves on being very open to new ideas.
Authentic: Being yourself and following your heart is critical to us all here at Dreamr.
8. What do you think are the 3 major no no’s when it comes to recruiting into your team?
When someone clearly doesn't know what they want, then that's a big no-no for me. We like people who have a clear vision for what they want to do in life and how they want to do it.
Individuals who don’t listen, or spend most of their time talking gets alarm bells ringing with me. We’re an inclusive company, where everyone has a voice and is entitled to be heard.
My ultimate no-no is those who don’t stay ahead of the curve in their field. If you’re an iOS developer, I would expect you know the latest languages to use and what's coming up in the pipeline. You should know your field inside out; this is also linked to passion, I feel.
9. Virtual Reality (VR) is evolving at a rapid pace, do you prefer keeping up or would you rather be ahead of the curve?
Technology is rapidly evolving in ways that sometimes it's hard to keep up, even for us! We pride ourselves in being ahead of the curve, as this is the most exciting place to be!
Clients love to know that we’re experimenting with technology that no one else is, and there is nothing better to see than when they visit our office they get to try the latest Virtual Reality experience and they are literally blown away.
Virtual Reality will become bigger and will hugely evolve in years to come, and I believe those who embrace it now will be the pioneers of the future. That's definitely exciting to me and a key reason why Dreamr has VR in its future.
10. Describe your career journey with Dreamr so far, as the title of a movie.
ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND.
11. What is the app you and your team have designed and launched that you are proudest of to date, and why?
We worked with Manchester University to create an app for University students attending their careers fair. This app enables students to find specific companies exhibiting, and connects them with potential employers.
The purpose of the app is to forge careers and create futures for students. I believe when tech can change the lives of people who use it for the better, it's a beautiful thing.
I’m very proud of what the Dreamr team have created with this app, coupled with the fact that it will go on to be used by hundreds and thousands of students in the years to come.
12. If you were to design an app for yourself and like-minded people, what would it be and why?
I get asked this all the time, and I always have trouble answering it!
The team we have created, the skills we have in-house and the way we work has resulted in an energetic, dedicated and passionate team who I believe can achieve anything.
So when I think about the response to the question, I reflect on all the ideas I’ve had over the years and it makes me realise that if Dreamr ever created an app, it would be something that would be huge and mind-blowing, and likely eclipse what we have built and accomplished to date.
The entire team gets great satisfaction from working with many different ideas, for a large variety of clients, and ultimately seeing those ideas come to life: I wouldn't want to change this one bit.