We had the good fortune of connecting with Patrick Ward and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patrick, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When first entering the pandemic lockdown a year ago, 2 thoughts entered my mind. (1) I’m very lucky to still be employed and (2) what am I going to do with all this extra time on my hands. Needless to say, that’s where the genesis for my business originated and thus NanoGlobals was born. A product of my personal experience in outsourcing, remote team management, and software development, NanoGlobals seemed to be the natural business for me to start – a platform to educate a burgeoning class of distributed tech & SaaS companies about the tools they needed to succeed as well as their buyers as to what to look out for when purchasing B2B solutions.
It seemed a natural fit – not only by constructing a business around my experience was I making it a relatively easy task, it also allowed me to create an asset that would complement my day job. Sure enough, this was how my employer, Rootstrap, perceived it. Not every company is enlightened on this front, but there are many lessons to be gained from Rootstrap’s approach: namely, if your employees are pushing themselves and innovating, they are creating new skills for themselves which will ultimately benefit your business. With clear expectations that NanoGlobals would not impact my workload for Rootstrap, the benefits clearly prevailed.
What should our readers know about your business?
Born out of the pandemic, NanoGlobals was a business I hadn’t even conceived of beginning at the start of 2020. With the re-evaluation that we all went through, starting a business during this time period of unprecedented turmoil seemed a sensible decision.
Why’s that? Because if you start a business in uncertain times and survive, you’ll be in a position to thrive in the good times. Setting up NanoGlobals with a structure that minimized the business’ risk was crucial – leveraging overseas talent on a project by project basis for a digital-first platform that has limited overheads and ongoing liabilities. In this way, the business has solvency baked into the model from the outset.
In addition, the lesson of starting this business is really a lesson for us all. Many glorify entrepreneurship in an unrealistic, Hollywood-esque way – the story of the high school or college dropout changing the world and making billions. Instead, learning from NanoGlobals – a business started during the pandemic, while I still have a day job, and based on my own experience – teaches us an important fundamental truth.
We all sit on a mound of personal experience that can be leveraged into a business – and we don’t have to give up our day job to ‘unsustainably grind and hustle’. That’s the type of entrepreneurship we should encourage around the world – sustainable business creation where people don’t ‘risk it all’ but instead create new innovations that make people’s lives a little bit easier.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Like most cities, LA hosts a number of tourist traps – overpriced, crowded, and, in truth, not that great attractions. While it’s tempting to focus on the places to visit, with any travel itinerary, the highlight for me is always the food. The winner here is hands-down San Gabriel Valley – we might think we have it ok on the Westside but as any local will tell you, if you want good food, you have to go East of Downtown LA.
Personal faves include Bopomofo Cafe, an Asian-American creation by Phillip Wang of Wong Fu Productions fame, and Boba Ave 8090, delicious milk & fruit teas with the best value-for-money happy hour special of Buy 1 Get 1. Aside from that, visiting the San Gabriel Mission is always a great peak back through California’s history (and it’s surprisingly quiet compared to the throngs that visit Santa Monica Pier).
Rounding out a day in LA, one has to stop by Arts District Brewery – old school skee ball, quirky draft pints and plenty of space makes a rare watering hole in LA that’s actually tolerable.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
As a manager, your direct reports mean everything to you. Their success is your success, especially when it comes to leading a team. But as we emerge from this pandemic, three of my team members (Andrea Fajardo, Shaun Kennedy & Daniel Luddy), have provided something beyond high quality work: emotional stability.
Needless to say, lockdown had its taxing moments for myself as an extrovert. The pressures of the pandemic affected us all in different ways, but together the four of us were able to stay positive and support one another emotionally, not just in the work capacity.
We did this through a no-pressure daily stand-up meeting to begin the work day. It might have seemed mundane, but at the end of 2020, when we retrospectively looked at the year that was, we all credited that single initiative to keeping us sane. I couldn’t be prouder as a manager for what we accomplished in 2020 and all credit goes to those three team members!