Paul Campbell

CEO, Team Tito

If you want to know what goes into making a great live event—or remote event, for that matter!— talk to Paul Campbell. He’s the CEO of Tito, an online platform for selling tickets to events. After starting as a side project in 2012, Tito has grown year over year to become a small, sustainable business bringing people-first values to the event space.

Paul’s journey started as a musician in a teenage band and making student films. From there, he taught himself how to code and ended up building apps for everyone from startup founders to big companies. He paired up with Eamon Leonard to create the Funconf event trilogy, “a conference shrouded in mystery, in Ireland.” Yes, there were castles and DeLoreans and helicopter rides to islands full of ancient lore.

Paul also co-founded Úll, a conference about building great products, heavily inspired by Apple. During its second year, he partnered up with our founder, Adam Avenir, to host Brio, a conference about the future of being entrepreneurial. We were inspired by Paul’s events and we work to infuse that same spirit of boundless freedom and joy into our gatherings.

Paul and Team Tito are currently building Vito, a new platform for live-streaming delightful events and growing a community online. Besides building apps and geeking out about tech, Paul loves music, meals with friends, and collecting regrets, but not in the way you might think.

🤓 I geek out about…

Tech, music and television shows. I love building apps, and I use Ruby on the backend and these days Vue.js on the front end.

🎒 I collect…

Regrets. Well, not so much regrets as staring down opportunities that I may have taken if I was a different person, and looking back and seeing where they would have taken me. There are a few! I don’t actually collect any kind of objects or things like that.

💬 My friends ask my advice about…

What computer to buy, what audio / video equipment to buy and how to set up websites.

🧰 How my weird obsessions show up in my work…

I’m a horrible hybrid of perfectionist and non-completionist, so there are so many examples in my work of things started with the best of intentions: projects, CSS refactors, code reorgs, … but they never get finished, so they end up looking like a chimera with really pristine foundations and many ugly heads.

🌱 What form(s) of growth is/are most important for your company?

I think in the past I’ve really only valued ethical and aesthetic growth, but like the above question, focussing 100% on intangibles has meant that things like revenue growth have suffered. Don’t get me wrong: pre-Covid, Tito growth averaged 30% YoY, but we couldn’t shake the feeling that the opportunity was far greater and our own perfectionism and commitment to intangibles was more of a hindrance because had we put more work into financial growth then we’d have had more creative freedom to purse our value-driven goals.

🌤️ A thing that makes me hopeful about the future of business:

I guess I have an anecdotal awareness of folks building more values-driven companies. There are still a lot of profit-driven businesses out there, and it’s hard sometimes to see through clever marketing spin, but overall I think there are probably more ethical choices across a broader spectrum of businesses than before. One example I recently found was Zambrero a chain of Mexican fast-food restaurants from Australia that donate a meal to someone in need for every order. They’ve been around for 15 years, but only just came to Ireland. Other examples like Stripe lead the way in helping their customers reduce and offset carbon emissions and being a role model for basically every internet company gives me hope too.

💭 I wish more companies would…

Consider the impact they have on the world and not just their own perspective. Or even simpler: if leadership would put themselves in their customers shoes. I’ve heard stories of everyone in leadership in McDonalds having to run the tills. This is great, and in general, customer service at McDonalds is fantastic.

So many customer experiences are terrible though, and needlessly so. I feel like it’s almost always possible to see what companies are run by folks who sweat the bottom line rather than the customer experience, where you can almost see their priorities in how their websites, marketing etc. work.

💛 How can companies and industries take better care of people?

There are so many ways, but much like customer experience, leadership could do well to consider people’s actual lives when they design their work experiences. As a leader who has effectively full control of my own time, I’m often bamboozled when I do things like take the car to get serviced, or go to a morning session at my kid’s school or something. I’m often left with the question: “how would I do this if I had a job with a manager?”

So: building flexibility around the tacit acknowledgement that people have lives and things to do in those lives.

There’s also the idea that folks have to show up to work: bar nothing. We all have days that work is just too much, and we show up and get nothing done, for whatever reason, be it personal health, mental or physical, or burnout, or just general stress. Fuck those kinds of days!

Finally, things like mandatory generous vacation time or (something I’m considering) a shorter work week set people up to do their best work while they’re “at work”, rather than trying to squeeze as much time out of folks, causing burnout, resentment and ultimately diminishing returns.

❓ A question I love:

I was asked on a podcast I did last year “Who are the creatives who you admire or have inspired you on your journey?”

Such an open question that makes a whole load of answers come to mind. For the podcast I drew on “traditionally marginalised people who I have started listening to more”. When I thought about it just now, Jim Henson came to mind, and then a cocktail of creative figures featured in Apple’s “Think Different” campaign like Gandhi and Einstein. There are so many inspirational people. One for every season and every minute of every day.

🚶 I would walk/drive/travel 500 miles to…

A great meal with friends.

You can connect with Paul on Twitter.