Meet our head honcho, Cameron.
He started up StarNow 15 years ago with his friends Jamie and Nigel, and the rest is history! Here, Cameron gives us an insight in to some StarNow memories and runs us through what a typical day at work involves for him.
As CEO and founder of StarNow, what does a typical day at work involve for you?
It’s varied! I spend most of my time working with others on our strategy, site and app features, analytics, teams, and processes etc. A lot of time is then spent reading about what’s happening in our industry, and thinking about how we can keep making StarNow better for all of our members.
The one constant is that I start each day by checking our various stats and graphs to see how things have gone overnight. I will then normally move on to my emails to make sure I’m over what’s happening in each of the teams so that I can help with any issue that needs my input. I’ve normally got a couple of meetings booked in each day, but I’ll also have lots of informal chats with people around the business to talk about what’s happening and how things can be improved.
What's your favourite part about working at StarNow?
Having the opportunity to work with great people, exploring ideas, learning, solving, building great things for our customers, and creating something that really makes a difference in people’s lives and careers. I love my job!
What are you best known for in the office?
Probably my questionable taste in drinks, starting with piccolos and now Kombucha, matcha lattes, and oat milk turmeric lattes.
What was the trickiest thing you found about starting up StarNow?
Continually being faced with new problems and challenges that we had no previous experience in dealing with. Some of these were technical challenges when setting up the core functionality of StarNow (subscriptions, emails etc.) and dealing with scale and growth, others were related to learning about and understanding all aspects of the entertainment industry. Most were to do with people, and hiring, managing, and growing different teams across the business. Luckily, while there’s been a few bumps on the road, we’ve been privileged to work with and learn from fantastic people all across StarNow, so we’ve always managed to solve any issues, learn from them, and improve.
What do you love most about StarNow?
The real difference that we make in people’s lives and careers. From people who are just starting in the industry, to others who have professional careers in the industry, we’re helping them succeed.
We’re also building something that makes a difference in the world – I think that’s worth celebrating!
StarNow is celebrating its 15th year! It may be hard to narrow down, but could you tell us about a favourite memory of yours at StarNow?
Okay, that is tough to narrow down!
Seeing feedback from members every day letting us know how much StarNow has helped them is always fun! There are also so many times that I’ve worked with (and learnt from) someone at StarNow to help build something that our users love, but if I had to pick just one, it would be the night when we first went live. After a month building StarNow we finally launched the site, but were too anxious to sit and watch what happened, so we went out for drinks. When we finally came back we very nervously checked how it had gone, and happily we’d had twenty members join and two people subscribe! Now obviously those numbers are very small, but it proved that we were building something that people wanted, and it would work. I think there might have been some jumping up and down and celebrating, but my memory is hazy...
Where is a place in Wellington that is of significance to you and why?
Island Bay. I grew up there, my parents still live there, and it always feels like home to me.
Cameron and his wife, Faye.
Which living person do you most admire?
It’s a cliché, but Elon Musk. He’s achieving incredible things with Tesla and SpaceX and having a massive impact on the world we live in.
If you ruled the world, what would you change on day one?
I’d make everyone live by the Golden Rule, which is the principle of treating others as you would wish to be treated. Basically, it would make everyone treat others with respect, kindness, and fairness, which I think is a pretty good way to start my reign!
If you were stuck on an island, what three things would you bring?
A knife, water, and a magnifying glass for fire. Alternatively, a boat, my family, and a library.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is a cross between judo and wrestling. It’s hard, challenging, and immensely good fun. My training has been sporadic though, with injuries, travel, work and family commitments, but this year I hope to spend a lot more time on the mat.
What did you want to be when you were five years old?
I vaguely recall wanting to be a pilot, but other than wanting to be able to read books all day I don’t think I ever really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I did have a friend who always wanted to be a fireman and then became one – he seems really happy!
What has been the most important innovation you have witnessed in your lifetime?
The internet, with its incredible economic, social, and political impact around the globe.
Before working at StarNow, what was the most interesting job you had?
A phone-in Santa Claus when I was a student. Children would ring in to talk to Santa (me, and about 20 other university students doing this as a holiday job) and we’d get to be a little part of the magic of Christmas with them.
What is the best advice you've been given, or wish you had of been told sooner?
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.~ Normally misattributed to Aristotle, but actually from Will Durant.
Random Cam Fact:
Before launching StarNow I was a software Tester for a company called eServ Global (where I worked with Meghna) and then I moved to Trade Me to work as a Developer (where I worked with Meghna again), and now that I’m CEO at StarNow I also work with Meghna!
Want to know more about the StarNow team?
About the author
Maddison Baker is StarNow’s Digital Marketing Coordinator. She’s multi-talented and multi-faceted - between answering your questions on social media, writing blogs and reporting, she manages to pack a lot into her day (think lunchtime gym sessions to after-work netball games.) She always knows where the newest, coolest café is, the lyrics to Drake’s latest song, and is particularly interested in is particularly interested in writing and people— specifically their stories.