Dean is the CTO of Settled.co.uk, a rapidly growing tech start-up in London. They are revolutionising the way people buy and sell homes making the process far more efficient and less of a headache for everyone involved.
He is also the author of 3 books and an avid triathlete which are certainly non-trivial things to complete.
He shares great insights into running and growing a successful team and of course personal insights on being a human and culturing a growth mindset.
SAM’S TAKE HOME TIPS:
1 — Write a Non-fiction Book
A great way to focus and really understand a topic. It doesn’t last forever and can really help build credibility. (Note from Sam — You can start by just writing a blog and answering Quora questions on topics)
2 — Pay it forward
Don’t expect anything for free, just approach things sensibly expecting them to cost you time or money. be nice and genuine to everyone you meet without expecting stuff back. Then anything you do get you can be extra grateful for and will likely end up getting more in the process.
3 — Understand the Role of a CTO over time
In the long-term, a CTO isn’t going to be a coder and needs to have the skills as a manager if he wants to retain that title
Bonus — Test your idea first before building it!
DEAN’S FAVOURITE BOOKS
The Hard Thing About Hard Things — Ben Horowitz
The tale of starting and growing a business to a billion dollars and losing it all and getting back and then nearly losing it and then starting another billion dollar business. Basically, there is no recipe for success and it is defined by what you do when things are going wrong. Such a good read.
The Lean Start Up — Eric Ries
The book that started the whole lean movement. A standard for all cash-strapped entrepreneurs
Design Sprints — Google Ventures
The steps to design the full idea of your business model
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team — Patrick Lencioni
An interesting fictional story used to highlight the main issues that cause teams to become ineffective. The conversations in the book really show how to remedy a bad situation and get buy-in from others.
A fantastic fictional writer who focuses on historical-themed novels across the globe. Whenever travelling I love to read a book by Bernard Cornwell if he has written one in that country. His amazing imagery and storytelling really get you into the mindset of the character and they are always a great ride.
Dean suggests starting with the Saxon series (renamed “Last Kingdom series” since TV adaption…)
READ DEAN’S BOOKS
Building Great Startup Teams
So many insights on hiring decisions, building the culture and getting the best out of everyone. Great read!
Progressive Web Apps
A useful book to get into the world of PWAs. Save time on developing native apps you don’t need when you can deliver a better experience through the web.
Fast ASP.NET Websites
I haven’t read this but the summary sounds good if you are a .net developer
GET IN TOUCH
You can chat to either of us about the topics covered in the episode or anything of interest =]
Dean and Settled:
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