Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Will and I was born and raised in Cork, Ireland. I grew up in the countryside, moved to the city at the age of 18, and back to the country at 38!
My childhood was spent working with my hands, whether that was fixing electronics, butchering woodwork projects, working on cars or driving machinery (I learned how to drive when I was 9 years old). I was always fascinated by how things worked, asking questions and solving problems.
I played an Irish sport called hurling and played a lot of music, both traditional Irish and modern.
Now in my downtime, it’s all about spending time with family and friends, getting to the occasional gig, running, listening to podcasts and infrequent DIY.
What inspired you to pursue a career in your field?
In University I initially studied mechanical engineering (as my brother had studied before me) and quickly came to the realisation that it was not for me. I pivoted to Business Information Systems which was a combination of multiple business disciplines as well as the principles of software development, project management and entrepreneurship.
I remember hearing about cyber security early on in University and wondering how I could work there.
In my 3rd year of University I had the opportunity to intern at Trend Micro and was lucky enough to be offered a job there once I completed my degree. I have spent most of the last two decades working across multiple functions. I started in data management, customer service, moving to sales support, sales, digital marketing and ecommerce, channel marketing, lead gen and much more across the business.
My goal was always to get as much exposure to as many parts of a business as possible so that I could understand the dependencies and motivations of other teams as well as my own.
I believe the people behind the technology are key to the success of every business. I am fascinated with creating the right culture and environment to foster peoples talents, improve on their perceived weaknesses and seeing their surprise when they exceed their own expectations.
I believe in transparency, honesty, and providing value to customers. That has led me to Spider AF. We say what we do and show you how we do it! The technology is fantastic, our people are hugely driven, passionate and talented, and we are solving a growing problem for the whole digital marketing industry.
Can you share a proud moment or accomplishment in Spider AF so far?
I am currently 3 months into my tenure here and am amazed by the integrity of all of the people here and the culture it creates. The vision and drive of our leadership team are very motivating and of course, my own team amazes me with their talents every day.
Seeing our fast progress within global markets is very motivating as well as hearing directly from customers how they are using our solutions to maximise their ROI.
What’s a fun fact about you that many people may not know?
I have ran a minimum of 5km every day for over 370 days in 2021/2022. The fun fact is that I’m not a fan of running, but I am a fan of Guinness and poor food choices. They tend to balance each other out.
How do you like to spend your weekends or time off?
Weekends are spent with my family, usually with other parents at the playground (also known as “where dreams go to die”. I am joking, however you do get a waft of regret from some parents). If I can get out to meet friends or go to a gig with my wife then it's a bonus. (a very rare bonus).
I used to ride motorbikes however since the kids have come along its gathering dust.
How would you describe the culture at Spider AF?
Spider AF is a beautiful trifecta of 3 office locations (soon to be 4) Japan, Portugal, and Ireland. We have many similarities (capacity for work and drinking) and many differences that complement each other.
This drives diversity of thought and decision-making. It is a fantastic culture where people and their families are valued. We have high ambitions, watch this space.
Where is the best place you have visited?
New Zealand was tops for me. For landscape, culture, and things to do. I haven’t been to Japan yet but I definitely have high hopes for there too.
What is the best career lesson you have learned so far?
The right thing is always the right thing to do. Seek guidance. Be humble, you don’t know what you don’t know. Your blind spots are your blind spots for a reason, ask others for feedback. You should never stop learning.