We catch up with Thomas Drewry, Co-founder and CEO of Emolument, the leading salary benchmarking site.

Emolument was founded in 2012 by financial services headhunter Thomas Drewry, when he realised the absence of reliable market data on bonuses and salaries was an issue for both clients and candidates who were only able to judge remuneration figures on small samples and anecdotal evidence.

The biggest challenge is... Discoverability. Millions of sites and apps are competing for the same eyeballs and it's increasingly difficult to stand out from the crowd and to be seen.

The average day is spent… Racking our brains to constantly improve the experience for Emolument users and give them something uniquely helpful that they want to use regularly and tell their friends about.

The team consists of… My co-founder, CTO, and old school friend Olivier and I have surrounded ourselves with a top group of people including Alice our amazing COO, our team of developers and data analysts, Ashwin and Jim our designers and Iain our head of sales.

My toughest interview question... What is the one thing you would do in your first 30 days with us that would make us take notice and think: 'wow, we were so right to hire this guy!?

Our/my favourite quote… 
'Ask for money, people give you advice. Ask for advice, people give you money'
. Or: 
'If plan A doesn't work, relax. There are 25 other letters in the alphabet.'

I am where I am today because of… I spotted a gap in the market and decided to do something about it. It's easy enough to have ideas, it's a lot braver to act on one and tougher to execute a plan. As I read somewhere, execution is the new IP.

I am who I am because of... My low threshold to boredom. As a result, I am constantly looking for stimulation and fun.

The best advice I've been given... My friend John urged me to take up transcendental meditation five years ago. It has transformed my life in all areas. Aside from quitting smoking 12 years ago, I believe this is the single best thing I've ever done for myself. It has had and continues to have a deep impact on how evaluate the things I do and the thoughts I think.

In five years I’d like to be… Looking back at what we've achieved together, be proud and wanting to do it all over again. Apologies if this sounds trite but this is really how I feel.

The thing no one ever tells you about running your own business... It's not that you work a lot, it's that you work all the time. It's quasi impossible to switch off.

Our biggest mistake and what it taught us… Try to monetise too early. We're now 100% focussed on growing our user base and constantly improving user experience. The rest can wait. It does not mean that we don't have a clear path to revenues, it means that we want to build proper engagement first.

The most rewarding experience we’ve had to date… Getting great feedback from users telling us the data we provide really helps them make a more informed decision.

13 February 2015