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Andrew Thorn: founder of award winning local marketing platform, DigitalMaas.
"Success isn't about acquiring fancy things - it is being happy and healthy, smiling and laughing a lot with friends and family."
Short Cuts is an interview series in which Upside participants and faculty answer eight quick questions about their background, ambitions, and the superpower they’ve always wanted.
While working for another startup company, digital whiz Andrew was first bitten by the startup bug. Watching founders grow a company from nothing to exit inspired him to take a similar journey, and he founded the award-winning DigitalMaas local marketing platform.
A natural problem-solver with an innovative spirit, Andrew gains great satisfaction from finding solutions to challenging problems (which stood him in good stead when his business startup coincided with the purchase of a first home and birth of a first child).
Andrew now lives in Sydney with his wife, two young children, and an English Staffy called Chelsea.
Andrew, who did you look up to when you were younger?
My mum. She raised us as a single mother after my father tragically passed away when I was 8 and my sister was 13. She’s a school teacher, and she’s amazing.
And who do you look up to now?
Mark Kalajzich, one of the founders of Lendi, has been a huge role model for me. He is a strong, fair leader and has a no BS approach. Mark keeps me accountable and knows how to get the best out of me. He has also done a fantastic job with Lendi and helped them succeed.
Tell us about the most valuable life lesson you’ve learned so far.
Since reading Ray Dalio’s book, which helped me so much, I’d have to say that principles are really important in life. I have two; one for life and one for work.
I have struggled with everything under the sun in my life so far, and it’s those guiding principles that bring me back to centre, especially when I am feeling lost.
Describe what success looks like to you.
I used to think it was chasing fancy things (big houses, cars, etc.), and when I acquired those items, I considered it a success. But what the last few years have taught me is that none of that matters anymore.
Success for me is being happy and healthy, smiling and laughing a lot with friends and family. Money makes the world go around. But I feel that if you love what you do and are good at it, money becomes a by-product of success.
Tell us about something that you’re curious about at the moment.
I’m curious about all things decentralised, tokenised, and the rise of cryptocurrencies.
NFT/Metaverse, DeFi, platforms, tools… learning all the tech behind these things and understanding how they will change our world as we know it.
I find these major shifts fascinating: the pieces, the people, and the ways this will all be implemented globally. Who’s behind these changes? How will it happen?
What brings you joy?
Laughing, smiling and being with family and friends. Loving life, preferably somewhere warm like Noosa or Fiji.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I prefer to lead by example. I am a hands on-leader and try to inspire my team as much as I can. I am also calm under pressure.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
We’re all a work in progress.
Upside Founder Programs help founders become the very best leaders for their businesses as they grow from pre Series A to Series B, and beyond. The 2022 program is currently in session. Apply to be part of Upside 2023 now.
Upside Founder Programs are proudly supported by KPMG High Growth Ventures and Microsoft Australia.