“Listen to your colleagues, carve out your own destination and learn everyday. I call it ‘the book of life!'” – Nicky Jackson
Nicky Jackson is the CEO & Founder of RangeMe, a online platform that streamlines the product discovery process for suppliers and leading retailers like Whole Foods, Target, Petco and Sam’s Club.
Years in industry?
I’ve been in tech now for almost 6 years. Prior to the creation of RangeMe, I was a founding member of Healthshare, healthcare technology startup in Sydney, Australia.
Who or what inspired your career in tech?
Having worked at a healthcare technology startup, I learned a great deal about the tech industry and how to run and scale tech startups. The inspiration for RangeMe was born from experiencing and understanding how technology can enable unimaginable growth.
What’s been your best hack ever?
As a mother, a CEO and someone who is constantly “on the go,” anything that can cut time but accomplish the same results is not only welcomed, but necessary. For example, my latest “hack” was more of a life-changing discovery than anything else: the 15-minute express cycle on my laundry machine has been a game-changer! Professionally, one of the most difficult parts about having a multi-coastal company (US and Australia) is not only the distance and time difference, but also making sure that the teams feel equal and motivated. Introducing quality project management and communication tools have been paramount to being able to manage teams on the other side of the world. Implementing best-of-breed SaaS solutions such as Slack and Trello early on have made it an easy transition for both me and the greater team.
What has been your greatest career challenge and how have you handled it?
A year ago I had to make one of the most difficult decisions in my life: to uproot my family and expand RangeMe to the U.S., the largest retail market in the world. At the time, RangeMe had already found success in Australia and was ready for a larger market opportunity. But this meant moving with my husband and 2 young children halfway across the world without any guarantees. I made the decision to follow my dreams and come to San Francisco. And, with great sacrifice comes great reward…
What is your biggest career success to date?
Following my dreams and committing my life to RangeMe has led to the biggest success in my career. RangeMe now sits as a well-funded award-winning online marketplace in the largest retail market in the world (U.S.) with over 30,000 suppliers and enterprise partners including Target, Whole Foods, Petco, Jet.com and Sam’s Club. A year from now I will be looking back at this moment with a dozen more “biggest career successes” under my belt!
Who are your role models?
I love learning about and drawing inspiration from successful entrepreneurs, particularly those who have built businesses on their own from the ground up – and especially those in tech. Just last month, I was at Shop.org about to go on stage to accept the Startup of the Year award and I met Alon Cohen, the founder of Houzz, backstage. For me, it was like meeting a celebrity!
If you could go back in time, what’s one tip you’d give your teenage self?
I know it might sound a bit cliché, but the biggest tip would be to live more in the moment and appreciate and enjoy the journey you are on. I am sure that now being a mother of two beautiful children has something to do with that!
What do you do when you’re not kicking butt at work?
I cherish time spent with family. My weekends are really about quality family time: jammed with activities with my children (ages 4 and 6) like swimming, ballet, soccer, birthday parties, playdates or exploring the wonders of San Francisco! However, Saturday mornings are reserved for “me time” when you’ll find me working out with a friend and then grabbing breakfast in the Castro or Hayes Valley. Core40 is my latest obsession, just wish I found more time for it!
Flats, heels or kicks?
Flats and kicks! I am so bad with heels and always go for comfort and practicality over anything else. Luckily, I’m tall so I don’t need high heels. I love the fact that in San Francisco people dress down.I am in jeans every day and often can be seen wearing my kicks to work – love it!
Best career advice book?
I don’t think career advice can be read from a book. Listen to your colleagues, carve out your own destination and learn everyday. The book of life!
Who are the women in tech that you most admire and why?
I really do admire Sheryl Sandberg, a lot of what she talks about in regard to gender balance really resonates with me. She’s brought to the surface much needed awareness about women in tech because, quite frankly, there’s just not enough of us. In her book, she delves into how society looks at women versus men and how what is considered ambitious, determined or persistent by a man is often considered “pushy” by a woman. This was something that bothered me for a long time since being ambitious, determined and persistent myself has not always been met with positivity. Sheryl’s take on things has given me some peace with this.