Stay ahead – join The Drum+

10 questions with… Michael Olaye, CEO at Dare and CTO at Inside Ideas Group

Michael Olaye, chief executive at Dare.

The media and marketing sector is ultimately about people. In this weekly series, The Drum speaks to professionals across the sector who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what little insights they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are put to Michael Olaye, CEO at Dare.

What was your first ever job?

Stacking shelves at ASDA from the age of sixteen - the night shift. It was good money, and helped support me through college and university.

Why did you get into the ad industry?

Well, it was a welcomed accident, actually. I was originally studying to become a commercial pilot - I’ve been fascinated with planes ever since I was a kid, but I picked up an ‘HTML for Dummies’ guidebook in 1996. And the rest is history.

What’s the most surprising thing you have learned about the industry since working within it?

There’s so much opportunity to reinvent people, processes and products. Seeing specific talents being applied to an ever challenging, ever changing landscape is pretty exciting.

What have you learned from any mistakes you’ve made in your career?

Never let fear get in the way of saying or doing the right thing. Too many people are happy to play along and toe the party line, knowing fully well the outcome will be a disaster.

What is your proudest work moment?

Dare, obviously. I get to work with an awesome bunch of people.

What are your favourite three pictures on your phone?

My amazing kids.

The missus.

Mr. Blu, my doberman.

What is the most exciting thing about your job?

From the day I officially started earning a salary in digital, it’s been a rollercoaster. From learning how to code in the nineties, to helping found a digital agency in the early 2000s, to throwing myself into advertising with Havas, to now running Dare. I spend every day working and collaborating with amazing, talented people in Dare and across the Inside Ideas Group. Being able to make decisions that improve the environment for my team and colleagues gives me a real buzz.

If you could ban one buzzword or piece of jargon, what would it be?

‘AI’. Sorry folks, but it’s not True artificial Intelligence. Not yet. You can call it augmented intelligence. Assisted intelligence. Autonomous intelligence. But we’re a far way off from what people actually want True AI to be.

What is the coolest piece of tech that you own?

I have a DJI Phantom 4 drone that I fly around a bit. I’ve had it for a couple of years, and I’d really like to get into drone racing in the future. No tournaments or anything yet, but in the meantime, I love recording videos of the countryside from way up high.

What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?

“Always know your enemies from your friends.” That was from my first boss, back in 1998. It was my first job as a engineer - I worked in the creative department.

Michael Olaye is a judge at the 2018 Dadi Awards, to enter download your entry pack.

By continuing to use The Drum, I accept the use of cookies as per The Drum's privacy policy