10 questions with… Andrew Collins, CEO of Mailman

This week's 10 Questions are put to the chief executive of Mailman, Andrew Collins.

In an attempt to showcase the personalities of the people behind the media and marketing sector, The Drum speaks to individuals who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what insights and life experience they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are put to the chief executive of Mailman, Andrew Collins.

What was your first ever job?

My first job was at the local swimming pool in my home town of Wodonga, in north-east Victoria. It wasn’t overly complex but came with some perks, like a free ride on the water slide and candy.

Which industry buzzword annoys you most?

Data-led - what does that even mean?

Crypto - to me it says ‘I’m nervous about my business’

Impressions - means ‘it’s just the biggest number I could find’

Who do you find most interesting to follow on social media?

I enjoy my colleague Lewis Wiltshire at Seven League. He provides endless observational banter on his home life, sports, and business. Truly entertaining. In the public sphere, I enjoy Scott Galloway of L2, who pokes fun at the digital elite.

The highlight of your career (so far?)

Building a team of over 100 with a shared mission. Although we’ve had huge wins as a business, it’s the collective growth that I'm most proud of - seeing a lot of people stay at the group and grow with it is amazing. Special shout out to Dave, Tom, Rufio, Brian, Alex, Justin, Yujun, Cate, Gideon, Jimmy, Joy, Tianyi, Mike and more who have helped make our group special.

What piece of tech can you not live without?

iPhone, then the kindle.

Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?

My first love was Melissa George, she was a star on Home & Away. She’ll forever be in my heart... outside that I had posters of films, which was an early business I hustled at school, selling movie posters.

In advertising, what needs to change soon?

This drive towards managing a P&L and short-term sightedness by chief executive officers has paralyzed innovation and risk. The skills can be transferred to digital, story-telling, branding, etc are all powerful in the digital space but there is a lack of ambition/risk at the top across agencies that has them still driving decisions throughout the outdated process and human dependency.

What is (in your opinion) the greatest film/album/book of your life?

Most powerful, I love the fable ‘The Alchemist’. Our greatest opportunities are right in front of us. I also love the film ‘Crash’ - great story about connectedness and racism. Best album is Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Boom.

Which industry event can you not afford to miss each year and why?

Leaders in Sport. Great collection of sporting execs and a great tone to the event. Nice balance.

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

Find one thing and be the best at it. Simple.

For more installments of 10 Questions see here.

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