Triona Mullane on taking the lead: "Complain all you want about the boss..."
"It's only when you are the boss that you know what it's all about."
No matter your line of work, it's next to impossible to avoid it. It's part of the job that questions be asked of management, and something of a given that those at the top will be on the receiving end of criticism from employees.
According to Triona Mullane, mAdme Technologies founder and 2019 EY Emerging Entrepreneur of The Year, it's not until you reach the top though that you fully understand what it's like. Speaking to host Sonya Lennon on The Architects of Business fresh after winning her award, Triona went back to when she first realised she wanted to become an entrepreneur.
After BlackBerry's €89 million acquisition of NewBay Software (for whom she worked as CTO) was secured in 2011, she knew it was time for her to make a leap of faith:
"And it was during that time that I would’ve definitely said: ‘Ok, when we exit this, I’m going to do my own thing.’
"I had always been thinking about it and I kind of had felt that it was at that moment in 2011, end of 2011 we had been sold to Blackberry.
"I would’ve told them ‘I’ll stay for a while but I want to do my own thing.' It’s always been my dream to do my own thing."
"If I don't do it now I'm never going to do it"
It takes no small amount of courage to make the transition from employee to boss. Very rarely is it a straightforward one, and more often than not it feels like you're putting everything on the line.
As Triona said herself, that trip into the unknown is made all the more challenging when you have other opportunities available:
"Frankly that was a little bit of a scary moment as well because I’d plenty of other options.
"It was really a case of ‘If I don’t do it now I am never going to do it.’
"That was the ultimate challenge I think for me to say it’s all well and good you can complain all you want about the boss but it’s only when you are the boss that you know what it’s all about."
Now officially part of the esteemed EY Entrepreneur Of The Year alumni, Triona can most certainly count herself among those who know what it's all about. More than 200 million people now use mAdme Technologies on their phones, and none of that would have been possible without a willingness to make that leap of faith.