A Week in My Life: Daniel Mathew, VP of Uberall
Daniel Mathew launched and heads up the London office of Uberall, adding to the firm's existing presence in Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Cape Town, and San Francisco.
Uberall helps businesses maximise their online presence in order to drive online traffic in store, and its technology is particularly relevant in the UK, where high street retailers and other bricks-and-mortar businesses are facing significant challenges.
Here, Daniel tells us what a week in his working life is like...
The week starts as usual with the 6:55am train into London Bridge. It’s 40 minutes on the fast train, most of which is spent catching up on emails and Slack. I know Slack has its detractors, but it really does help bridge time zones and distance with our offices further afield, like Berlin and San Francisco, because it’s informal and instant and encourages the kind of water-cooler talk that doesn’t happen over email.
Off the train and it’s a brisk walk across Tower Bridge to the office. It’s one of London’s most iconic skyline views, and I never tire of it. Especially on a sunny day, it feels like a real privilege to cross over it to the office at St Katharine’s Docks.
I get myself up-to-date for the day before heading into our daily ‘stand-up’ meeting at 10:00am. As the name implies, we all stand up for the meeting, but it’s much more than just a change in verticality. We have these informal meetings every morning, and find that standing up keeps the meetings short and to the point.
They’re also an agile way for the whole London team to speak about their progress and issues they’re facing. The meetings only last 10-15 minutes, but have helped us better calibrate our goals and efforts as a team.
This week we’re preparing for an e-commerce conference for next month where we have a speaking slot on customer engagement and retail tech innovation. Putting together a case study presentation that summarises, in 30 minutes, how Uberall helps businesses refine and amplify their digital footprint by managing online listings and reviews to drive footfall in store takes a lot of thought and preparation, so it’s all hands-on deck.
Tuesday and Wednesday this week are spent in Berlin at Uberall HQ for our monthly business development meeting. Tuesday starts dead-early, with a red-eye flight out of City Airport into Berlin. I catch up on emails (and some sleep) on the plane and then head straight into the office, grabbing a coffee at Flying Roasters on the way.
I manage a team that’s based both in Berlin and London, so this monthly meeting is essential to making sure our team is cohesive across both locations. The day is full of meetings, aligning and updating everyone in the Berlin-based part of my team, as well as building relationships with the rest of the company.
These meetings go a long way to attuning business development and marketing between London and Berlin, as well as the company as a whole, which can be tricky at times, with five other Uberall offices in San Francisco, Amsterdam, London, Paris and Cape Town. More often than not, my Paris counterpart, Dominique, will time his monthly trip to Berlin to coincide with mine, which is extremely helpful because the Paris and London offices opened around the same time and share many of the same goals and challenges.
Once the work day is done, it’s always fun to go out for dinner or a casual beer in the evening. Berlin is one of the coolest tech hubs, with a very international assortment of tech companies, and it’s a great backdrop for getting to know the team better. It’s early to bed though, for another busy day tomorrow.
I get up early and go for a run around the city. It’s a great way to explore Berlin before it wakes up, running along the jogging path on the Spree River and passing by the amazing Brandenburg Gate at dawn, before the tourists and morning traffic gets going.
After breakfast, it’s straight back into meetings. We further discuss the upcoming conference, and which customer we are going to approach to co-present with us. We have one who is primarily using Uberall to manage the online listings of its multiple locations, and another who is looking to optimise the SEO of each of its locations, as well as proactively engage with its customers across all online and social platforms through reputation management. Uberall research has shown that reviews have a direct impact on influencing sales at a local level, so this is a key strategy for us, and one that could be interesting to attendees of the conference.
We like to always be there for our customers and prospective customers, and getting them involved in events that we can do together is key to relationship building.
When I’m done for the day and business concluded, it’s straight to the airport for an evening flight back to London.
I get to the office early to prepare for the four interviews I have today.
The first two are for the team in the Berlin office. I take these over Google Hangouts, one after the other. The other two are for here in London. Uberall has been growing rapidly, and after the acquisition of location management specialist Navads last September, has grown to cover nearly 1,000,000 locations for over 1,500 customers worldwide. This has meant hiring is a top priority, so we’re always on the lookout for bright, highly motivated people who are independent thinkers but still team players.
As VP, I come on later in the hiring process. HR gets the candidates on board, and I helm the second interview stage. This year looks to be big as Uberall continues to grow globally.
At 4pm, it’s time for our weekly office beer, out on the balcony (weather permitting) with fantastic views out over the Thames and the Tower of London. We all work hard, but it’s important to make time to relax. Not a bad way to finish the day, though I must admit I still do check emails and return some calls, as needed.
We tend to have a customer lunch once a week, normally to talk shop and continue building relationships. The customer this week is one who signed in Q3 last year, and like most of our customers, its locations weren’t being found online in the competitive London market. We meet around the corner from their offices in Mayfair and a nice couple of hours are spent at lunch. Then it’s back to the grind before an early finish to the day.
I’m looking forward to the weekend, although I’m currently training to compete in a triathlon at the end of June so weekends currently consist of long swims and plenty of gym time. We are entering an Uberall team and it’s been the talk of the office for the last month – the rest of the group are 20 years younger than me, so the pressure is on.
There’ll inevitably be some family admin as well. Having two teenagers means many weekend hours standing around cold sports pitches and rediscovering physics GCSE assignments.
When I do get some downtime, I always try to get a piano session in. It’s the ultimate relaxation tool, especially classical music, but also when I’m attempting to replicate a cheesy 80’s hit from my youth! It’s a chance to switch off and reset before the week begins all over again.