Jude Novak

Run your ideas through a process to ensure we’ve truly considered the problem you’re trying to solve for your users.

 

A seasoned expert in the SaaS and eLearning fields, Jude Novak brings a wealth of knowledge to lead his team at Coassemble. Jude has always been interested in how technology and software could be used to improve the current standards of learning. After working with tech giants like Samsung and Apple, Jude saw the value of what engaging content can do for the learner. His first entry into the online learning space was INKids.

Creating fun, bite-sized activities that get kids excited to learn. This was a huge step in enabling parents and teachers access to powerful learning tools without costing a fortune. It also shifted the space for how knowledge could be shared (ie, outside of textbooks).

Jude took what he learned and applied to a global scale, created the beginnings of what Coassemble is today with CEO, Ryan Macpherson. Together, the two have revolutionized the online training and learning space by creating a dynamic platform that puts the learner first. Jude is passionate about what Coassemble will bring to the future of knowledge sharing—and with four years of success under his belt, Jude and team see no signs of slowing down.

Where did the idea for Coassemble come from?

The idea for Coassemble came out of the desire to solve a problem for the business I was working for a number of years ago. We were designing and developing eLearning resources that required heavy collaboration with designers, developers, and learning designers. Because of this reliance on specialists, our resources were extremely expensive to develop. After some time it became apparent this was not sustainable and I needed to somehow streamline our processes while reducing our reliance on specialists in design and development.

What this all boiled down to was the development of a framework that would allow anyone, no matter their skill level, to be able to log into a platform and build well-designed, highly engaging eLearning content in a fraction of the time that it had previously taken. It wasn’t long until we realized the platform we’d built was the perfect solution for many other businesses — this was the birth of Coassemble, allowing anyone to create and share online learning.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

A typical day for me usually starts by emptying my inbox and then writing a to-do list on a notepad for the important tasks I need to get done that day. This is usually followed by a daily stand up meeting with the product team to make sure we’re all on track and that there aren’t any roadblocks. The rest of the day could entail any number of tasks around product development including feature development and design, coordinating product releases, new feature testing, talking with customers, and generally overseeing projects.

How do you bring ideas to life?

I’m a highly visual person, so I usually start with pencil on paper before communicating my ideas to the team. All our ideas go through a process to ensure we’ve truly considered the problem we’re trying to solve for our users.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m a highly visual person, so I usually start with pencil on paper before communicating my ideas to the team. All our ideas go through a process to ensure we’ve truly considered the problem we’re trying to solve for our users.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Checking my inbox just twice a day.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Buy Amazon shares!

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

The promise of AI will likely not be reached this century. AI, for now, is just a throwaway term used by marketing teams to make their products sound better.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Listen. Everyone has great ideas, and providing each team member in your company the opportunity to contribute to your vision creates a cohesive, purposeful workplace, which in turn breeds great ideas.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

Invest in great people who are aligned with your vision. If you have people who aren’t aligned with your vision or the way you work, then you’ll be spending the bulk of your time correcting for this. That’s no way to run a business.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Failing to remove a toxic person from the business early enough. At the time we felt we couldn’t remain productive without them, but in hindsight, removing them had the opposite effect — improving productivity and the team’s morale. Having a single person in the business who isn’t aligned with your vision, or with the company’s culture, can have a hugely negative effect.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

This is actually my co-founder’s idea, so I’m happy to give it away to your readers (hehe). It’s called fund me, and it’s a way to give people in need money in a cashless society. In Australia, fewer and fewer people are carrying cash and pay for everything using their phones. So the idea is to provide an easy to wear device to those in need, where the money is donated utilizing PayPass and where partners like grocery stores, accommodation and service providers take payment from the devices in a safe environment.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Sunday lunch with my wife and kids 😀

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

We use JIRA. It allows our teams to run projects across the business with great visibility for our leadership team.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I don’t read as much as I used to because I’ve become hooked on podcasts. Because of this, I’d have to recommend the ‘Artificial Intelligence’ podcast by Lex Fridman and the ‘After On Podcast’ by Rob Reid because they speak with leading thinkers across a wide range of fields, discussing the future, technology, and philosophy.

What is your favorite quote?

“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
-Socrates

Key Learnings:

  • Run your ideas through a process to ensure we’ve truly considered the problem you’re trying to solve for your users.
  • Check your inbox just twice a day.
  • Having a single person in the business who isn’t aligned with your vision, or with the company’s culture, can have a hugely negative effect.