James Bromley is an entrepreneur who helped SwiftKey, an AI powered keyboard, to a successful acquisition by Microsoft in 2016. As Managing Director of Daily Mail Online, James was also one of the creators of what is now the world’s largest online newspaper. From an early age, curiosity has always been a key driver in Bromley’s success. He enjoys building teams of awesome individuals to create product that users love. In this video, Bromley discusses a very important lesson he learned during his youth about accountability of your actions even when things aren't going well.
The Lesson That Changed My Life
James: The ability to do well is based on how you perform when things aren't going so well. I grew up in Windsor, which is West London in the UK. My parents are working class, my mom is a librarian, dad worked in construction. It was a normal childhood. The difference probably is I was dangerous with a screwdriver. The screwdriver with me is curiosity. It's how does this work? Why does this work? Can I make it better? What happens if you take it apart? I think, really, it's kind of followed me through life. I'm always curious about what if.
So when I was young, I did love a kart racing. And we did this really competitive league. So on a Friday we'd leave school. We'd drive four, five hours to a race track, we'd test all day Saturday, we'd race on a Sunday and then we'd come back very late on a Sunday night. And Paul was my technician, my race mechanic, he taught me how to race. And I really remember that we were one day looking at another race taking place. And some got knocked off, they crashed out of the race. Really close to where we were, where we were watching. And they got out of their kart and they threw their helmet down in disgust. And I remember him turning to me and saying, "If you ever behave like this, we'll never ever go racing again." And the learning experience is really important and that is that you're accountable for your own actions. But most importantly, when things are going great, everyone's happy. But the ability to do well is based upon how you perform when things aren't going so well.