Featured on Jan 17, 2011
"Can't knock the hustle."
I'm a British-born NYC-living entrepreneur, wanderer, environmental advocate, hustler, business developer, and most importantly writer. Since March, I've been shortening URLs at Bitly, assisting in revenue discovery, sales, and partnerships. In 2008, I co-founded Birthright Earth, an environmental non-profit that sends 18-26 year olds to the Amazon rainforest for free.
- Title: Business Development, bit.ly
- Age: 24
- Location: Meatpacking, Gramercy
- Contact: Being Tim Devane
You sold you car and crashed on a friend’s couch just so you can move to New York, what drove you to want to live and work here?
New York is where things happen. I was drawn in by the electricity, the excitement, and have been overwhelmed by the shear capacity to create and accomplish that people here exhibit. That goes for tech and for many other areas. Its like everyone has their noses to the grindstone but they're looking up winking at you, because they know New York is the only place they could do what they're doing. So this is what drove me here. After graduating, I felt a strong desire to start building my own experiences and self post-college and New York felt like a perfect place to do that.
I also love Momofuku pork buns and you can't get those anywhere else but downtown NY.
In your personal opinion, how does bit.ly differentiate itself as a company from the competition?
Speed, scale, and functionality. I also think you could put our product/dev team up against any in the world. They blow my mind on a daily basis.
Birthright Earth enables young adults to experience the Amazon rain forest in person and urges everybody to take action against environmental degradation. What are the most impactful actions an individual can take to help save the rain forest?
Individuals in New York can recycle - NY has a fantastic recycling program for businesses and residences but a lot of people half-ass it. Its pretty easy to separate plastic/glass/aluminum from paper and actual trash. Also, individuals can help by purchasing goods and services from certified vendors. Rainforest Alliance is a partner of Birthright Earth that certifies coffee, paper, and even furniture vendors; they also certify tourism vendors. Choosing Rainforest Alliance-certified services can go a long way to preserving the south american rain forests.
You’re a self-described wanderer. Where are some of your favorite parts of the City to wander?
Tompkins Square Park and Bleeker Street are both favorites. I also spent some time wandering around the Morgan Library with my dad and grandma recently which was pretty mind boggling.
Back in December you wrote a post that said it’s important to “love your alums” and that you can point to 5 or 6 people who helped you get to where you are today. Can you go into a little more detail how exactly they helped you and how you went about initially establishing a relationship with them?
I owe quite a lot to the alums I connected with just before and after graduating from Wesleyan. Most of the relationships began with me searching the alumni database online, blindly emailing en mass and then getting coffee with whoever responded. Many of these alums are people I count as friends and colleagues today. Wes alums gave me advice on where to go, what to do, and who else to speak to. They introduced me to industries and companies I was unaware of. More than anything, they helped me gain a stronger sense of what I wanted to do, because I really wasn't sure when I left school.