Here’s my story and work history
Here’s a quick overview of who I am, how I ended up working around the world for Sony and my passion for all things digital and technology. Ultimately this story is about how I ended up as a Product Manager. If you like what you read, feel free to contact me and see how I can help.
I am a guy from the UK, who grew up abroad and whose initial passion took him touring around the UK and Europe playing music. When that period of life came to an end, I created a website and wrote freelance articles for music and tech websites, building up my portfolio over a couple of years – really using the web and journalism skills I learnt at university, as well as what I was learning online.
As a challenge and a new experience I took myself to China to work in Shanghai, I soon became an Editor and worked on a short-term contract, building a website again and this time creating a social media and content strategy for a startup. The business focus was on music in China, so I also got to interview international artists as they came through Shanghai on tour.
Through a combination of my writing and editorial skills, tech knowledge and ability to travel and work with other cultures, I was selected by Sony Mobile when I applied for a role in their Developer Relations department. The only thing was, the role was in Sweden. So, I went to Sweden for 6 months as a consultant and ran a project to develop and launch a B2B web portal on sonymobile.com – it launched on time. I then worked on marketing the service and over the next 2 years B2B sales increased by 2000% and my cross-functional team won the Sony Presidents Award for best sales growth.
After that, I was taken on full-time at Sony and my manager and team were based in Sweden, US and Japan. I was the only one in the UK. This posed a few challenges and I ended up travelling twice a month over a 5 year period to all parts of the world.
A personal highlight was a project I managed between Sony and Google whereby Sony was the first OEM to have access to an early version of Android for developers to test their apps. Again, I built web pages this time with some great Sony designers on board, I wrote copy and worked out how to reach our audience
I was also lucky to work at events all around the world, including Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, IFA in Berlin, Droidcon in London and Vision Summit in Los Angeles. Sometimes I got to enjoy amazing perks like going to the PlayStation office in San Francisco to check out the latest VR products.
After a great 5 years at Sony where I learnt a huge amount, I was ready for the next challenge which came in the form of exiting the business with some colleagues to work on our own blockchain startup. Exciting as it seemed for 6 months, the market fell quickly by 95% and we had to pick ourselves up and move on – lesson learnt.
I decided to focus on another technology that I had worked with at Sony, that was IoT (Internet of Things). I found Navico, the world’s largest specialist in marine electronics and I took on a role to help push the development of an existing IoT project over the line. That was a challenge as the business was restructuring at the same time, however after 6 months, the product called BoatConnect, launched into the US market into 200+ stores, together with Android and iOS apps in the app stores.
The knowledge I gained about the cloud, connectivity, hardware and mobile apps added a big string to my bow, and the product launch compounded my knowledge about websites, marketing strategies and the challenges faced when going to market.
After a short break to fulfil my need to travel, I received a nice call from my ex-manager at Navico. He asked if I’d work for them again for a few months on a consultancy basis, with a focus on the IoT smart boat product we launched.