Risks, Rewards, and Talent – Meet Bondora’s VP of Product

In 2017, a bright-eyed, inspired, and motivated man walked into Bondora’s offices. It’s safe to say that neither he nor Bondora has been the same ever since. Introducing: Matthew Clannachan, our local idea-generator, all-around inspiring leader, and VP of Product. Let’s shine the light on his career and life at Bondora in today’s 17th Bondora Superstar blog post.

A rare shot of Matt on holiday.
A rare shot of Matt on holiday.

Bondora Superstars #17 — Matthew Clannachan

👨🏻‍🦰 Bondorian since: 2017

💡  Role: VP of Product

🚀 Team: Product Management

So, it’s Monday morning, and you go to work. What does your day look like?

Arrive at the office—exchange insults with my friend Kristo from the dev team. Then I review Slack messages, Asana tasks, and the latest KPIs. After that, quick planning for the day to assess the top priorities. I’m mostly in meetings with different stakeholders or the product team. And lately, a lot of hiring activities.

PS: If you have experience in product/design/engineering and want to work at Bondora, write to me at matthew.clannachan@bondora.com 😉

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

It’s great to be a part of the team that builds valuable services for people worldwide. As a bonus, I learn a lot from all the people I work with. If I want to discover something new about tech, I go to Kaarel. For marketing magic, all it takes is a ‘tšau Kairo!‘ A question about design, ‘hey Alex.’ For actionable advice on any topic – Pärtel.

What’s your favorite Bondora value?

‘No bullshit.’ It’s much easier to work this way because people trust each other. You say what you mean, and you get it done.

What’s been the highlight of your time at Bondora?

It’s been awesome to see Bondora go from a startup to what it is today. I’ve been lucky to work in various roles during that time, but mostly with product development. Today I’m overseeing the whole Bondora product. So, I get to work with awesome people and solve big problems every day.

Any secret skills we should know about?

I think—and hope—I’m good at spotting people’s talents. Sometimes talents they didn’t even know they had. It’s helped me with promoting and hiring exceptional people.

If given a choice, would you study again?

I would probably join a startup instead of going to university. Three years at Bondora is like 10 years’ worth of formal education.

Matt’s must-read books and podcasts:

🎙️ 20VC: It’s a great podcast with the best people in tech. He cuts the fluff (e.g., tell me about your childhood/family/life/dog) so you get the maximum actionable insights.

📚  General: Anything written by Yuval Noah Harari. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker.

📚 Business: Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Zero to One byBlake Masters & Peter Thiel. The Art of War by Sun Tzu.

Right, you’ve finalized the day’s tasks, your last meeting has ended, and you’re off the clock. Let’s get to some personal questions:

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Pay more attention when watching Eurovision. Then you’ll be able to participate better in Estonian pop-culture chit-chat.

Should pineapple be allowed on pizza?

Always 🍍

What food do you refuse to eat?

I’m gonna get a lot of hate for this. But traditional Estonian food like sült. If you don’t know what it is, it’s the one that looks like cat food.

What’s your favorite TV show?

I like Formula 1. Not sure if that counts as a TV show. But if you’ve watched the 2021 championship, then you’d probably agree that it does 😊

What’s the phone app that you use the most?

Go & Grow, of course.

Snooze or no snooze?

I haven’t used an alarm in years. Usually, I wake up naturally at roughly the same time every day.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to work out. Over the last couple of months, I’ve gotten into indoor (because Estonia) cycling, and I use metaverse apps like Zwift or Tacx. I guess you could say investing is a hobby of mine too.

What’s something you want to do but scares you?

Scared is the wrong word. But sometimes, I think about technological singularity and its implications. The transition to a ‘utopian’ state will probably be the biggest challenge humans have ever faced. And it could happen in our lifetime…

Read Scary Smart by Mo Gawdat if the topic interests you.

And last, what’s your life motto?

Not necessarily a motto, but I see everything in life as risk vs. reward. For example, if I eat the world’s hottest chili pepper, there’s a high risk of a mouth-melting burn with minimal bravado rewards. Or, if I invest in a stock, I might lose €X, but I could potentially gain €XXXX.

When you look at anything this way, it’s easy to make decisions.

That’s all for today’s post! Join us again next month as we get to know our 18th Bondora Superstar ⭐️

The views and opinions expressed in this article are that of the individual and not Bondora’s official view.

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