Who are the humans behind Clover? We had a chat with our Co-CEO and CTO Gareth Townsend about tech, how to get sh*!t done, and why the world is a better place with a musical soundtrack.
Gareth! What do you do at Clover?
I’m the CTO and Co-CEO, I split my time between 3 things: People, Technology and Strategy.
What’s the best bit of advice you’ve ever received?
Never stop learning.
I’ve always been curious about how things work, and this one piece of advice has served me well. I’m happy when I’m learning new things and broadening my understanding of the world around me.
Biggest financial lesson you’ve learned?
Never spend money you don’t have.
The short term high of having something new wears off quicker than the long term pain of paying back a loan. So now, apart from my mortgage, I never borrow money to pay for things. I wait until I have saved up the money and then decide if I really want it.
What’s something about you not many people know?
I speak (although am now out of practice) fluent German. Which I learned while growing up in Austria.
Favourite tech invention that makes life oh so sweet?
Right now I’m digging the Google Home. I bought one to play with, thinking it would gather dust eventually, but it’s become an integral part of our home. Little things like getting the weather forecast in the morning or having the news read to you while making breakfast have become routine.
Favourite mobile app at the moment?
Apart from the soon to be released Clover.com.au app (stay tuned!), I’d have to say todoist. Everyone needs a system for getting shit done and I’m a huge fan of David Allen’s Getting Things Done. Reading that book changed the way I organise my time and life, everything I have to do is in todoist, from hiring new people all the way down to watering the plants at home. If it’s not in todoist, it just won’t get done.
What advice would you give your 20-year old self about investing?
Put 20% of your salary in index funds and never look at the balance.
What was your first major purchase?
The first major purchase I made with my own money (ignoring the ones where I borrowed from my parents), was my first real stereo – CD player, integrated amplifier and speakers. Cost me $1,000 when I was 18 yrs old and it was money well spent. I’ve since upgraded it many times over but it’s always on when I’m at home. I’m constantly listening to music, it’s one of my favourite things to do.
What are you listening to right now?
Ayalew Mesfin’s Hasabe (My Worries) record will be spinning at my house this weekend.
Wine or beer?
Favourite spot for coffee in Melbourne?
Patricia – It’s on the corner of Little Bourke & Little William St near our offices.