11 Apr Meet Mike, modum’s Marketing Director
Mike was one of the first few members to join the modum team after moving into Technopark in 2017. Initially brought on to create content and build our website, he has since spearheaded modum’s evolving marketing and communication activities through our token sale and into product development. As modum builds a more robust business development and product marketing functions, Mike’s incredible breadth of experience and skills will continue to benefit the team.
Born in Toronto, Mike earned his bachelor’s degree from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University, after which he held account management roles with Xerox and a macro-economic consulting firm. He then completed a Master of Architecture at the University of British Columbia, working for high-profile firms such as Bjarke Ingels Group in Copenhagen and Büro Ole Scheeren in Beijing. He has since combined his skills in strategy and design in consulting roles in Seattle and Zurich and as an MBA candidate at The University of Cambridge Judge Business School.
Mike, your first job was with Xerox, one of the oldest tech companies. How does it feel to work with such a young company, dealing with such young technologies now?
Not many people still think of Xerox as a pioneering technology company; most don’t know or have forgotten everything that the Palo Alto Research Centre invented in the 70’s. But of course, it never felt nearly as cutting edge as working with modum! What Xerox has stayed legendary for is their sales team. Learning to work through a B2B sales cycles that prioritised solutions over commodities and using my ears instead of my mouth has been invaluable for every position I have held. Here at modum, as we bring a completely new solution into the marketplace, maintaining a client-centered approach is a really important part of our value system.
Working as an Architect must have been a completely different experience though? Did you move into this field to scratch a creative itch that business school didn’t relieve?
I get this question a lot! I think people outside of design — and even in design — only see the profession conventionally: drafting, going to construction sites, and raising a building. The problems and projects I tackled as an Architect were similar to the case studies I worked on in business school. They focused on solving wicked problems by thinking laterally and forecasting the needs of both the client and the end users. So, whether I was working on an integrated tower complex or future urban mobility research, the focus was always on the organisation and community groups. Design thinking has been really trendy over the past few years, it’s a good entry point to understanding how an architect’s approach is valuable in solving complex, strategic problems.
So how has all this transferred to your role at modum?
When modum was just a handful of people, the “non-technical” team member was my catch-all job description! I took on anything and everything from communications and design to pitches to space planning. The breadth of experience I had benefitted the team in sometimes unexpected ways. As we have grown I have focused more on marketing. Here, my hard skills in design and communications have really helped me to add value. We are currently putting a lot of energy into growing the team and I am very eager to support a CMO and interface with a product team. The environment here is very dynamic; it’s the best part of working with a company like modum.