Just Eat CTO Carlos Morgado gives us his recipe for IT success
Carlos Morgado, Group Chief Technology Officer at online takeaway site JUST EAT, has worked in the technology industry for 25 years. Having helped take the company from promising start-up to serving millions of customers across Europe, he shares the secrets behind his success.
What motivates you right now?
I believe what motivates me most is building high performance teams where passion, creativity and engineering excellence combine to create exceptional business value for both our partners and customers.
I believe it’s crucial to foster a team culture that is underpinned by shared principles which also allows individuals the opportunity to influence their own personal development.
What has been your favourite project so far?
It has to be helping JUST EAT grow from a startup to the most successful tech IPO seen in Europe for many years. During that time we’ve built mobile apps which have been downloaded more than 4.3 million times and a platform that can scale to process over 200,000 orders on our busiest day.
What tech were you involved with ten years ago?
Typical enterprise, business process and customer management solutions like Java, JBoss, TIBCO, Websphere, Covergys, and eTom, amongst others. The corporate hospitality was great but the business value per £ spent on licenses and professional services much less so.
What tech do you expect to be using in ten years’ time?
I would love to have my own farm, so would need a tractor and plough, grape and olive presses, solar cells and a wind turbine, and also a high-tech espresso machine!
Who’s your tech hero?
I love the work we’re seeing in the sharing economy. One of the greatest early examples comes from Larry Sanger and Jimmy Wales in co-founding Wikipedia, which has become such a key part of the internet and revolutionised people’s access to information. I also have a nostalgic soft spot for the engineering pioneer Isambard Kingdom Brunel. He was responsible for so many engineering firsts, including the Great Western Railway, the SS Great Britain, the world’s first propellor driven steam ship, and the Clifton Suspension Bridge, which at the time was the world’s the largest suspension bridge.
Who’s your tech villain?
My tech villain is the homosexuality law which ultimately led Alan Turing to commit suicide. He had already played a pivotal role in the development of computer science and artificial intelligence, built the first computer, and helped end World War II by cracking the German Enigma codes. What might he have gone on to achieve had his life not ended so tragically?
What’s your favourite technology ever made? Which do you use most?
I find it difficult to choose between digital music compression algorithms or the the Apollo lunar lander. Both have revolutionised the world, albeit in very different ways. As for the technology I use the most, I’d have to say my mobile phone; it’s a device straight out of science fiction. It can do so much thanks to its connectivity and virtually infinite computing power and storage.
What is your budget outlook going forward? Flat? Growing?
Growing. At JUST EAT we know our business is only as good as the technology it’s built on. To remain and grow our position as one of the world’s leading online food ordering platforms we need to keep investing in our infrastructure and evolving the way we work, each time with an eye on revolutionising the way people order food.
Apart from your own, which company do you admire most and why?
Kickstarter. It’s a place where creativity and invention is not constrained to a select few specialists lucky enough to have the network to back them up. Literally anyone with a good idea – and many people out there do have good ideas – can mobilise the support of interested strangers and turn their dreams into reality.
What’s the greatest challenge for an IT company/department today?
Being truly agile to continuously deliver new products and updates.
The reality is that the demands of customers and partners is changing day by day. IT departments need to switch their priorities to react and respond to those demands as quickly as possible. At JUST EAT this means we need to make sure our engineering team is always working on the most important projects for the business.
To Cloud or not to Cloud?
Absolutely cloud. I want to focus on preparing an amazing soufflé, not building the oven to cook it.
What did you want to be when you were a child?
Like many young boys I wanted to to be a fighter pilot. My madness for all things aeronautical started early.
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