Cameron Worth is CEO and founder of SharpEnd – The Agency of Things. The agency was named as a ‘One to Watch’ in Econsultancy’s Top 100 Digital Agencies 2019 report, sponsored by MiQ.
Here’s what his day-to-day looks like, complete with dog pilates…
Please describe your job: What do you do?
Cameron Worth: I’m the founder and CEO of SharpEnd – The Agency of Things ™ which means I sit across all key functions and generally find other people to blame for my mistakes.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Cameron Worth: It sounds like fake humility but genuinely my main task is finding people much better than me in all areas. I have recently started describing myself as an expert generalist, and think that’s the key requirement for an effective CEO.
Tell us about a typical working day…
Cameron Worth: The day begins with removing a paw from my face, then spending a good 5 minutes or so greeting Billie (the owner of said paw) before we run or do pilates whilst YouTubing to see what Trump did last night. A coffee on Kingsland Road completes the ritual.
Once in (around 9.30ish…emphasis on ish) I spend my time between project updates, management catch ups, client/partner calls and hinting that I’d like another coffee to whoever will listen (the pool is getting smaller). I tend to operate in cycles and aim for one ‘big idea’ that I think could improve the business every 3 months, so I work on that in my time where I’m not supporting the team or clients.
For example, we’ve been busy recently working on a bar and coffee shop that’s going to operate as a live testing environment for real human feedback on prototypes that we build ahead of large-scale rollouts or pilots.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
Cameron Worth: As SharpEnd grows and we bring in people with new capabilities I find myself learning again which gives me a lot of job satisfaction. I worry about the danger of stagnating from being ‘at the top’, but, as we’ve grown, my skillset has had to evolve and I’m becoming much more professionally rounded thanks to the job.
As a founder CEO I think the critical requirement is to know enough about all aspects of the business to know what could go wrong where and how to address it without thinking you can do it all yourself.
Following on from that, the thing I love most is managing a structured environment which allows the team to make mistakes, so that they can learn in a more genuine manner. I have said many times that you learn from things going wrong not right, and to be able to deploy my experience in this way (whilst also being sensible enough to know if something is too big to be left unchecked) gives me a lot of pride.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
Cameron Worth: I want to continue establishing a clearer definition between my work identity and me as a 31-year-old still trying to figure the world out with more pressure and expectation on me than I see from a lot of my peers. I think it’s quite easy to lose/throw yourself in work as an excuse for not addressing other areas but I’m finding that a happier and more comfortable version of myself is making a real difference to the business.
It’s the burden of a CEO I think to be quite elevated and exposed, so ensuring you have the tools to be able to remain there comfortably is a bespoke process but ultimately a necessary one.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
Cameron Worth: Psychoanalysis every Thursday. The process I’m on to understand myself and my gaps enables me to be a more effective operator and therefore better for my team and clients.
How did you end up founding SharpEnd, and where might you go from here?
Cameron Worth: SharpEnd wasn’t the product of a ‘vision’ – it came from me realising that technology is driving and enabling brands to be built in new ways, but that the principles of brand building remain the same.
It was clear the tech space needed brand builders, focused on surfacing business value from new technologies, who could speak marketers’ language. It needed specialists who could leverage the connected ecosystem as a creative, rather than technical, challenge.
Which brand experiences have impressed you lately?
Cameron Worth: To the surprise of many in my office I’m really liking the NFL photo booth as its an example of AR that is inclusive, impressive and integrated. Rather than just point at your phone and watch flying pigs deliver you a coupon for bacon.
What advice would you give a marketer just starting out?
Cameron Worth: ‘There’s a really interesting IoT agency you should seek out called SharpEnd’