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6 career lessons I wish I'd learned younger: John Tyrrell of Rubicoin

Tyrrell launched the fintech startup that went on to raise millions and launch in 140 countries.

Tyrrell with his Rubicoin co-founder Emmet Savage.
Tyrrell with his Rubicoin co-founder Emmet Savage.
Image: Rubicoin

RUBICOIN IS A Dublin-based fintech business whose mission, COO John Tyrrell tells us, is to get the world investing successfully.

Founded by John and chief investor Emmet Savage when the two were working for Vodafone 17 years ago, Rubicoin’s apps (‘Learn’ and ‘Invest’) aim to demystify the stock market and make it accessible to everyone.

As a veteran of the tech business, we asked John: What would you tell your younger self if you were starting over?

1. Don’t be afraid of jumping in

“If I were to tell my younger self one thing, it would be don’t hesitate to start. Making the jump from a good job into the scary world of startups will be the most exciting and invigorating thing you’ll ever do. You will be busier than you used to be, but it will be far more enjoyable. Once you make the jump and get across the line you’ll never, ever, ever look back. When it comes to investing, too, don’t be afraid to start. You’re far better off investing €100 or €50 a month than waiting two years and putting in €500. Start small and just let it grow and grow.”

2. Remember to pay yourself

“Pay yourself first. You should be making a conscious decision to pay your future self. Any money you put into an investment portfolio now, over the fullness of time will grow.”

3. Learn to filter, not ignore

“There will be a huge amount of content being tossed at you every day in and it will be hard to filter the good from the bad, but take every opportunity you have to consume content that will bring you further on. When you find yourself in a leadership role, and someone asks you for support with education or courses, always say yes, because business is better if people are smarter and learning more.”

Source: Rubicoin

4. Never underestimate the power of culture

“Focus on the culture of your business and find great people. It’s so important. If you have a clear and consistent culture in business your retention will start to be great, engagement will be high and motivation will be high. If you don’t surround yourself with great people it won’t work.”

5. Fix problems now

“Don’t allow things to fester. You won’t realise that sitting there could be a dodgy piece of code or it could be a cultural thing that you’re letting go… it’ll always come back to bite you. If you feel it’s wrong, call it out and fix it.”

6. Always put the end user first

“Finally, remember that user experience is so important for the tech industry. I’ve seen a lot of businesses who develop a product, build it and sell it. Then they say, ‘How do I make this user-friendly?’ That’s the wrong way around.”

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