Chief Strategy Officer
Hyperjar Ltd (Fintech)

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My name is Chris.

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I work in a business called Hyperjar, which is a financial technology

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business, a fintech. We build apps.

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My job there is CSO – chief strategy officer,

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which is a kind of jack of all trades, master of none job.

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It means I’m involved in business planning.

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So investor outreach, hiring, resourcing

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work with the product team on a sequence for the roadmap but heavily involved in brand and marketing.

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Thinking back to school – I was lucky.

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I had a good education, went to a grammar school in Manchester.

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My thing was languages at school.

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So did languages at A-level took that through to university,

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but never thought too much when I was there

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about what I was going to do with it, what my work would involve.

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I spent about a year after graduating just finding my feet, really.

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I started about 20 years of working in an area of consultancy where you’re doing

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social research and cultural analysis.

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I thought we could we could build this company up,

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and then it suddenly got shut down by the owners,

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really not through any fault of that team.

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I realized that I didn’t ever want to work for a company again

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where I didn’t personally know the owner or was the owner.

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I became very cynical about

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large ownership organizations

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and realizing that you’re just you’re just a financial revenue line

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to those guys and then at that point,

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a friend of mine had this idea

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for a fintech, which is what I’m doing now.

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And he said, Look, come and talk to us about this.

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We need some – there are only three of us at the moment.

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We’re all bankers or engineers.

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We need someone from a consumer marketing background

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because we’re thinking about what this business is going to become.

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My favourite

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part of it is it’s a very focused, operational business.

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My previous career was in consulting lots of diversity, but no real output,

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whereas with this we’re building something I can see things change every day

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in product terms, users, relationships we have with merchants.

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The frustration, if I have one, is that it’s very single minded.

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So you just thinking about one thing all the time

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obsessively, you’re working with obsessive people.

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So, yeah,

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weirdly, they’re probably the same thing, the great things and the bad things.

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You’ve got to be very adaptable.

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You can’t be the kind of person who needs a routine, is very rigid.

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You’ve got to be OK with surprises, sometimes good, sometimes bad.

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I think you need to be resilient.

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There are more ups and downs

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than you would get in a typical salaried job or in a larger company.

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So don’t get too worried when you have a bad week

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and don’t get super excited when things are going great

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because those things are both generally exaggerations.

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Looking back to when I was 18, 19, whenever, I think,

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don’t worry too much about money,

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it’s important and it’s really useful, and it can solve lots of problems.

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But I think the key thing is to find something that you’re good at

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that you really like doing and where you can make a living, doing it,

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there’s some sort of opportunity or market for it.

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It’s that mix of like what

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you really like, what can you do and what is there a job market for?


“Don’t get too worried when you have a bad week and don’t get super excited when things are going great because those things are both generally exaggerations.” Chris works in a Fintech – a financial technology company – and enjoys the pace of change.

After a languages degree, he went on to work in social research and cultural analysis. When the company he worked for shut down, an opportunity arose to join a friend working in a start-up.

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