A Week in My Life: Mark Slade, CEO at Location Sciences
Location Sciences is a global, independent, third-party data intelligence company that verifies the accuracy and quality of location data used in proximity-targeted advertising.
Verify, Location Sciences’ proprietary verification platform, provides independent, media-agnostic analysis and authentication of the accuracy and quality of location-targeted advertising data.
CEO Mark Slade shares what a week in his working life is really like...
No two days are the same. Recently, I have been spending about half of my week in New York, where Location Sciences just launched a new team, and the rest in the UK.
I usually leave the UK on the 1:30 Virgin from Heathrow – our offices are in Paddington, so I get to spend the morning with the London team before flying across the pond. The flight is the most productive eight hours of my week, as I get to plan what is needed across the various divisions we have while in relative peace and quiet. I have Wi-Fi onboard, so am on Slack all the way across the Atlantic. I land around 4pm-ish in JFK, where I’m greeted to a massive queue and angry looking customs officers.
My Monday night is catching up for a meal with the U.S. team and a debriefing on the core accounts we are working on.
My typical day in New York starts around 4am, so I can call teams based in the UK. I then spend most of the day running around Manhattan from meeting to meeting, showing our product to potential buyers. The food in New York is incredible, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to eat at some great places with our U.S. clients.
I’m usually exhausted by early evening and in bed by 8pm. That way, when I come back to the UK later in the week, I’m nearly in the same time zone mentally.
The first thing I do in NYC is go for a run along the river – my weird body clock means it’s super early and in the summer, it’s a great time to run!
At the start of every working day, I check Slack. I can’t imagine not having access to the team and wider groups without it! Regardless of which side of the pond I am on, I will always have a stream of Slack messages from my colleagues on the other side of the world.
I also speak to the key management team early every day to discuss what’s most pressing on their agendas. This is a chance to address any issues before they develop.
When I have some (rare) free time in New York, I’m usually at a bar or restaurant in Tribeca/SoHo. I love this bit of Manhattan and have enough mates who have business out there that there is likely someone in town.
When I’m back in the UK, my son wakes up the entire family at around 6 am… it’s useful having your own personal alarm clock. My morning routine before work always starts out with a cup of coffee. Then I start by organizing my day. This is usually by working my way through priority emails and pinning them to the top of my inbox.
My day can finish quite late speaking with our U.S. team. We’ve recently launched Verify – our proprietary platform – in the U.S., which provides transparency to location data, while also allowing brands and their agencies to access the best data and drive better performance. We are always working on exciting projects (we work in cycles of two-week sprints in the tech team) in terms of the product. Although very tech orientated, I find it amazing to be able to train our machine learning tools to spot different ad fraud.
Two things I love most about my job are spending time with customers and refining the product strategy. We are building a really cool piece of tech with big data and AI, and I love the satisfaction of seeing the finished product. I’m not gifted at coding, but luckily we have an incredible engineering team that turn the ideas into reality!
On days when I’m not travelling, I work from home so I can take the kids to school and remind them they have a father.
In fact, the entire business has that option to work from home on Fridays if they want – in this day and age, why not offer it?
I also like to meet with clients for lunch as much as possible. It is a more relaxed way to meet and can be far more productive. I encourage everyone on our team to step away from their desks and have a breather. If everyone is energised that is when the best work happens.
At the end of the week, I usually like to wind down with a glass of nice red wine and a sci-fi film. Out of work, I play tennis or golf once a week. My golf is the definition of insanity… repeatedly doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome!