Inside Impala: Reflecting on five years of Impala with Caspar Mould, our first employee
Inside Impala explores life on our team from the perspective of Impalans themselves. We’re celebrating five years of reimagining the future of travel, and more importantly, another year of working with our amazing, ambitious team. We’re marking the milestone by sitting down with our very first employee, Caspar Mould. He joined Impala as an intern in 2017, growing alongside us to become a Sales Director today.
We took a walk down memory lane with Caspar to hear about his first days, what advice he’d give to those working at early-stage startups, and what he considers his proudest moment as an Impalan.
You were Impala’s very first employee. What inspired you to join Impala on its journey five years ago?
At that point, I was looking for a really exciting team and a really exciting problem. I met Charlie [Cowley, a co-founder of Impala] at university where we were working on a project together. Part of the project required a developer, and when I met Ben [Stephenson, Impala CEO] outside Joe & The Juice on Oxford Street, I was super impressed – mainly because he was unbelievably smart and ripped apart our idea within ten seconds.
So when I heard that Charlie was considering working with Ben at Impala, I thought it’d be an exciting team to join. They had a rapport that mixed ambition with humour.
As for the problem they were trying to solve, I’d done a bit of work for a VC previously. I had seen entrepreneurs pitch solutions to really exciting problems and thought it would be much cooler sitting on their side of the table. I clearly remember Ben drawing the problem out on a white board, and even though the industry was a mystery, the ambition to solve a fundamental problem was clear. It felt like such an exciting opportunity, and the perfect time to switch sides of the table.
What’s the best piece of advice you have for those who want to work with a brand-new startup?
Two key tips are to embrace change and acknowledge that you can learn a lot from those working above you.
Don't feel the need to try and learn everything
‘How do you embrace change’ is a classic interview question, but what does it actually mean? You may be responsible for building something, but there can come a point where you have to abandon a project or opinion overnight and have no qualms about focusing on something else the next day. You should obviously feel proud of everything you’ve created, but you should also be proud of whatever its next iteration is.
At the start the remit of the role is massive, and at times overwhelming. As managers and leadership with skills and specialities join the team, use that as an opportunity to pass things over, and learn. Don't feel the need to try and learn everything. As the scope of the role and its responsibilities decreases, the depth of your role should increase.
Work the way you imagined
We're five years in, but there's still a lot to do. Find out more about how we're reimagining the future of travel - and how you can be a part of it.
What’s your proudest moment as an Impalan?
Any company that takes VC money has to be really ambitious: we have the drive to turn that ambition into success. What makes me proud is that we do it with great humour. We do take ourselves and our roles seriously, but we also understand that the ambitions that drive our success aren’t the only things that matter.
It’s a really difficult balance for any company to find. I think the thing that I’m certainly most proud of is being viewed as someone who has that great ambition, but in a way that embraces the humour and fun that's at the centre of the company's ethos.
And that all comes from the culture we're building at Impala. We have never felt like our culture had to stay the same as we grew. We adapt to change and don’t get trapped in the nostalgia of the early days. Our ambition and humour evolves with the new perspectives of every Impalan who joins us. I’m very proud of that.
Travel the way you imagined
Inside Impala: Yasmin Desai discusses the thrill of making big decisions
Inside Impala explores life on our team from the perspective of Impalans themselves. Yasmin Desai, a Product Director leading the Connectivity Group, shares how she’s grown as a manager, what she values in a startup and how mentorship intersects with her professional goals.