Snapshot : Steve Polsky, CEO and founder of Juvo
VanillaPlus: What was your first job?
Steve Polsky: My first job out of College was with GTE’s (General Telephone & Electric) Engineering Associate Development Program. I stayed with GTE for three years, and then co-founded my first company, VoicePlex Corporation.
VanillaPlus: What led you into a career in telecoms?
Steve Polsky: I originally started in telecoms as part of GTE’s management training program, but quickly realised the reach and impact that communications has on all of us. VoicePlex was founded in 1989 just before the internet and mobile telecommunications really took off. It was an exciting, new time that completely intrigued me. My love for the industry then transferred to my second company, Amber Networks, that was later acquired by Nokia Corp.
After a break from telecoms at Edusoft and Flixster, I couldn’t stay away and here I am with Juvo.
My objective this time is partnering with operators to enable hundreds of millions of people to gain access to financial services via their mobile device. It’s a completely different telecoms industry to 28 years ago, but it’s just as exciting.
VanillaPlus: Without naming and shaming, tell us about your worst ever boss.
Steve Polsky: I distinctly remember the day that I was told that I had to get preapproval before I could purchase donuts for the team who had worked round the clock to complete a major software release. This was a clear memory for me and a nudge that it was time for me to venture off on my own again.
VanillaPlus: What has been your most memorable business travel experience?
Steve Polsky: One of my most memorable trips was driving across Venezuela years ago during my VoicePlex days travelling from city to city installing our systems. On that trip, I saw first-hand the impact that mobile communications has across all segments of the population. That memory has stayed with me and is one of the inspirations for Juvo.
VanillaPlus: What has been the proudest moment in your career so far?
Steve Polsky: It is hard to pick a single moment here. I guess if I had to choose, I’d say my first company VoicePlex. I had to learn just about everything about building a business back then. I’ve never worked so hard. I’m hoping though that my proudest moment is yet to come – Juvo has the potential to have real impact around the world and to be something that all of us will be very proud of.
VanillaPlus: Where do you see yourself in five years?
Steve Polsky: Honestly, I love the work that we are doing at Juvo and the team we’ve assembled. In five years, I hope that I will still be CEO of Juvo and that we’ll be connecting hundreds of millions of people around the world to financial services and having a direct, measureable impact on their lives.
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