Mark Little is CEO and cofounder of NevaLabsHQ which he recently started with Aine Kerr to build a more productive experience of news and information. He previously founded Storyful, was Head of Twitter Ireland and RTE’s first Washington Correspondent. He prefers to be known as a storyteller, journalist and entrepreneur and is definitely going to learn the guitar someday.
Tell us about what you do and how you got there
I sometimes struggle to define my role. The best I can come up with is journalist and entrepreneur, which essentially means storyteller. I spent 20 years as a TV anchor and correspondent for RTE and was the station’s first Washington Correspondent. I left RTE to found the world’s first social media news agency Storyful, which I sold to News Corp in 2013. After a stint as MD of Twitter’s International HQ in Dublin, I decided to take the start-up route again. I am the CEO and co-founder of a new Irish start up called NevaLabs which is building a more productive experience of news and information.
What do you enjoy most about what you do?
Building teams that build great cultures and great products. My most fulfilling thing in my professional life is persuading people who work with me that they can master their own destinies.
What advice would you give to Irish professionals moving to the U.S. for work?
Live like a native. Not an expat. Immerse yourself. Ask questions. Don’t apologize. Your network is everything. Be careful with irony. Visit parts of America that don’t have Whole Foods.
Who was the biggest influence on your career?
I had a religion teacher who called me ‘prematurely cynical,’ which convinced me I should become a journalist.
If you had one piece of advice for yourself earlier in your career, what would it be?
Don’t be cynical. And spend more time listening to people rather than trying to impress them.
What are your passions outside of work?
Stories in every form. I’m trying to read two books a week this year. And trying to take more photographs. And travel more with my wife and kids. And there’s a guitar I am trying to master, sitting in my home office, mocking me.