CDO at Dogado
John Goddard is CDO at Dogado. He was appointed co-CEO of HEROLD Business Data, Austria, in June 2016 and is operational advisor at Fonecta in Finland, and DTG in the Netherlands. Previously he was the non-exec chairman at Winlocal and has a track record of creating, developing and managing business to deliver ROI to shareholders.
Q. Is there anything that you have done or you’ve tried to do every day during the pandemic; something new or a routine you’ve gotten into?
Well, I guess first, the first thing is that I consider myself quite fortunate compared to a lot of people during the pandemic. I spent the last four years traveling every week, spending most of the time away from my family.
The last 12 months while we’ve been trying in certain ways, as I said, I consider myself quite fortunate, cause I get to spend a lot more time with my family. So, spending time with my family over the last 12 months has been the thing that has been different, versus the last 4 or 5 years where, you know, I kind of left on Monday night, and came back sometime on Thursday or Friday. So, I’d miss that 3 or 4 day window. And, you know, having breakfast, or having dinner with the family, is, there’s been a real treat, actually. So, that’s kinda the most obvious one for me.
I’ve had been working out a lot more than I usually would because I travel, I find it difficult to find the time to do so, but I’m good, or morning run. I’ve actually gotten into the late night, it’s very quiet, I live in London, right by the river. So take the run by the river. It’s very cliche, so I tend not to say, but I’ll say it anyway, which is, it really helps clear.
It allows you to reflect on some of the stuff that’s been going on during the day, and come up with the odd or two solution that you probably wouldn’t have had sitting in my bubble.
Q. Do you and your family have any hobbies?
The family’s pretty sporty. So I play football and tennis. My daughter is an avid football, and also a big netball player, which I as an American I didn’t understand until I got here but it’s basically dribbling and backward. So we’re very into sports, I think the wouldn’t call it a hobby, but we do, we have always cooked and baked a lot. But I think the most interesting thing that we’ve started since the pandemic is we have a plastic bag full of little pieces of paper with the country names on them and every Saturday we pull a country out of the bag and try to cook the cuisine of that country. It is great because then we give my daughter, who’s 10 years old the job to figure out where the country is, understand the capital, and a couple of interesting facts about the country. Then we’ll go look up and find a couple of Spotify playlist of traditional music from the country. So some of these things have gone really well and some really really badly.
So it’s been a nice tradition, I guess – I guess I would call it a pandemic hobby. I mean sometimes it turns out very poorly. So, I apologize to the Filipinos because Filipino Night did not go well, but other than that we did pretty well.
Q. Do you remember what one of your first jobs was?
Yes, so, I’ve worked since I was about 11. So, I had a paper route, which, you know, I’m showing my age now. When I was 11 years old, I had to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning to deliver papers. And it was in Minnesota, which you know at that time, six months of the year, had snow on the ground.
But, So, I worked in ice cream store, I did a lot of odd jobs in high school, the worst two jobs I ever had, but it shows that, you know, they just paid well so you take them when I was in college, I went to the University of Illinois, and I stayed down on campus during the summer and I cleaned TGI Fridays during the night, so, TGI Friday’s closed about 11 30, I’ll show up for work at midnight and clean until eight o’clock, so you start with the toilets in the bathrooms. Then, you have to clean the kitchen. Then you have to clean the restaurant. So, it was an interesting experience for the summer, but it paid twice minimum wage, which back then was about, I think it was like $5,25.
So doubling that was, I felt like I was rich. I think the official, worst job I ever had was the summer after that, I was working for a door manufacturer, it was a small door manufacturer in Seattle. And they make doors for hotels, so fire doors. So I would run around in the delivery truck and carry these doors into the hotels, at the new hotels that are being built. And these doors, like 60, 70 pounds.
So I remember my body hurt so badly when I was trying to get these, these doors up, the stairs, because the elevator wan not working on the hotels yet. So I’ve done some pretty bad jobs. So every single day, when I think, geez, this business is rough, this is a hard day. I hearten back to cleaning the bathroom at TGI Fridays and carrying up doors to new building sites for Embassy Suites hotels in the Seattle area.
Q. If you could have dinner with someone, dead or alive, who would that be?
As you know, we’re both American. And so the person I’ve always wanted to understand how they were able to do what they did was FDR. I don’t want to make a reasonable correlation between what the industry is trying to do and what FDR did with the new deal. But I think it would be fascinating to see how. How did go from idea to really make it happen, Right? Because I think it’s one of the biggest things that’s ever happened domestically in the US.
Also, a lot of the most successful economic programs, right, to get a significant percentage of the population back on its feet. And, you know, kind of set the stage for the US being able to get to support and later participate in the war. And to get the US back on its footing economically. And I need to talk to, how the heck did he go from getting the people together, who actually came up with the idea, I don’t know whether it was him or not, to getting it done, because that was a massive thing, right? And you relax and have a drink so it would be a good company.
Q. If somebody was going to write a book about you, John, or if you were going to write your own autobiography, what would the title of it be?
I think it would be, and I’m sorry for the American reference, again, I’m trying to call Pull Hitter. I am a huge baseball fan. I played baseball passionately for 18 years of my life, and continue to be a fan to this day and when you’re at the plate, you can hit the ball to the right of you or so you can call the right field, which means you are swinging quite late. For the pitches coming in fast, you might be seeing it late. You might have full reactions or if you are a pull hitter, it is much cooler to be a pull hitter, right? Because you’re ahead of the pitch. Unfortunately, I was never a pull hitter. So I have this dream in my head of being a pull hitter hitting the ball at the left field power.
So I think that’s what would be my desired title for a biography and autobiography. I think it would be quite sad if I tried to come up with a biography.
Q. You played baseball passionately for 18 years. Can you tell us a little about that?
Yeah, that was the only thing. I did it for 18 years. I was sent on to become a professional baseball player. I spent every waking moment from about the time I was eight years old, until the time I was 18, playing baseball and had some really fun experiences playing in lots of different teams. I lived in Europe for five years. As a kid, there were still a lot of Army bases back then, and all the European countries had baseball teams. So every summer, there would be a huge baseball tournament to see which European team would go to the Little League World Series in Pennsylvania. And so I participated in that a couple of times. When I moved back to the US, I continued to play, again, all with this little kids dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player, I wasn’t quite good enough. So I think I was pretty good, but I wasn’t good enough to become a professional. It just continues to hound me how good professional athletes are.
Q. That’s really impressive and cool. Who’s your favorite baseball team in the States?
The Minnesota Twins. I remember, walking into the Yankee Stadium. Was the first day I remember, I was about six and it was, It was church. It was a religious experience. Spending three hours outside in the summer and a ballpark with your dad.
There’s pretty much no, there’s nothing better. You get no better way to spend your time at all.
Q. Do you have a favorite comfort food?
Comfort food. So lasagna is a big number for me. And also, my wife’s Austrian and I spend a lot of time in Austria. So there are a lot of Austrian comfort foods, pork roast with dumplings, and many other things which are kind of Beef rolls. Absolutely wonderful.So those three things are probably what I would define has come true for me.
Q. If you had one message for the Siinda community, what would that be?
Well, I think it would make sense to confirm that the last year hasn’t been any different than the couple of years before it in one thing, and that is, especially with the Dogado acquisition of Harold and what we’re planning there. I think that this industry could benefit from big decisions rather than small ones, and maybe more risk taking, so, what I can, this wouldn’t be a message, but I always like to convey my, my experience over the last 4 or 5 years in this industry that says, not one time have I regretted a big decision, but I think occasionally I regret that the decision that we made that wasn’t big enough.
So, um, if this industry is going to continue to grow and flourish as it needs to, we’re going to need bigger decisions that we’re going to need more risk taking. And so far, I haven’t seen a single downside to doing that.