[Casavva Chats] Ian McCaig


[Casavva Chats] is a monthly series capturing eclectic conversations with the people we meet along the journey of building our humble company. 

Ian McCaig - a music fanatic who loves big data

Ian is co-founder of Qubit, a digital platform to personalize customer experience and maximize conversion rate. The Qubit crew of big data pioneers met each other in 2009 at Google London; now 6 years later, the company has raised $76 million and has a team of 300 in NYC, SF, Chicago, London, Paris and Munich. Prior to stumbling upon the tech industry, Ian has been an entrepreneur since he was 13, landscape gardening, peddling water, working as a fitness coach, you name it. His first rule is “minimum effort and maximum impact”. We’re very fortunate to catch up on business, life and style with Ian at Toby’s Estate in Flatiron.

Imagine it's the day of Qubit’s IPO, what are you wearing when you ring the bell?
A really nice sharp blazer from Suit Supply, a Dutch brand. Maybe a woolen tie. And probably my Converses.

What is the best $10 that you ever spent?
Spotify. I need some way to play music. I love the Discover feature. 

What was your first experience in starting a business?
It was a landscape company that I started between 16 to 21. I also used to work as fitness instructor. Basically every job you can imagine. I started working since the age of 13, paper rushing, pressing. I wanting to work for my self, pay myself through university. With a friend Alistair set up Impact garden. It’s about working smart.

Boil what you learned at Google into the most important word.
Hiring

What's an industry to watch out for this year?
If I wasn’t working at Qubit right now, I would probably be fairly obsessed about data and how it is transforming the health industry. Everything from fitness to how medical profession are going to use data to build and hopefully to help prevent bad things happening to people. 

What’s the one thing that you feel the most accomplished on?
When my team won the Henley Royal Regatta. It was an incredible experience. I moved to Southwest of London to live near the river so I can wake up in the morning at 5am to go rowing. We trained 14 times a week, twice a day. That was when I was still working at Google with limited social life. But it taught me how to prioritize. I realized that I have to leave the office at 6pm to be there at 7pm for the training. So I just made sure that I focused on the things that I need to get done.

What's your take on life in 30 seconds or less?
"Mindlessly optimistic". For me the most important thing in life is about enjoying every moment and not to take anything for granted. Having optimism and passion for life. I find it very frustrating when people feel negative about a bad day or can’t see the bigger picture or can’t see the possibilities out there.