Welcome to the next episode of our ‘Under the Hood’ blog series, where we meet the amazing people who make New Zealand’s IT industry tick.
In this edition, we sit down with Anthony Baxter, co-founder and CEO of Firefly, a full-service digital marketing company. Leading a young, vibrant team, Anthony is on a mission to be trusted as the best digital marketing company in the world.
Anthony gave us an insight into how he got to where he is today, provides us with an overview of his career, discusses the changes impacting the technology service sector and also his advice on how technology job seekers can make themselves more hireable, below.
Taking the Leap into Entrepreneurship
Anthony entered the digital marketing space five years ago, in a predominantly sales-focused role for a large multinational organisation. While Anthony says it was a great place for him to learn the ropes, the lure of entrepreneurship and starting his own business was too strong, and he soon took the plunge, handing in his notice and starting Firefly the very next day.
What It Means to be a CEO
To Anthony, the E in CEO means everything! Managing the sales team, looking at business strategy, running board meetings, ensuring partnerships are built, attracting great talent, and most importantly, ensuring that the company is living in line with their values and vision – all of these fall under Anthony’s remit. While it can make for a busy day, Anthony says the benefit is that no one day is the same, and it also has the positive side effect of forcing future planning, which helps to enable everyone else within the business.
Anthony states that one of the key changes in his sector has been the growing need for transparency. With business owners becoming more educated in the marketing space, there is little room for agencies to simply apply old media or marketing models to new technology.
Getting Started in the IT Sector
For those who are stepping into the IT industry, Anthony’s advice is simple: don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Anthony’s philosophy when it comes to building a team is that the right person is the right fit, and having the right attitude is key to opening up opportunities. Understanding the space is important, but there are many ways to do that without necessarily needing to get a degree. While courses are a great way to upskill, taking an internship or starting off in a junior role will help you to understand the ropes of the business itself.
Keen to See More?
This is just one video in a comprehensive series where we follow individuals who are making a stamp on the IT Industry. For more insights and advice on various roles in the IT Industry from thought leaders and experts in the field, check out more of our Under the Hood series below: