As a boy growing up off the grid in the Australian bush, Bron Gondwana’s early exposure to electronics, and installing solar, and micro-hydro systems set the stage for his first forays into computer programming.
In this #NomadFuturist podcast, Bron Gondwana traces his evolution from coder, developer, and system administrator to his current role as CEO of Fastmail, a flourishing SaaS business providing privacy-focused email.
Gondwana discovered at university that he was good at Perl programming and jumped right into the workplace. Self-reliance and a can-do approach to problem solving have been key elements in his journey as a technologist and entrepreneur, one that has taken him across continents – from Australia, to the United States, to Norway and back.
He shares his experiences working in different size organizations and the vicissitudes, course changes, false starts, dropped projects and shifts of focus that are endemic to corporate life. He has observed the drawbacks of overspecialization and the importance of understanding whole systems.
Gondwana has a passion for open standards and open software.
“I learned the value of writing the standards, writing the specifications, writing the shape of things that people do.”
Gondwana is proud of his achievement of standardization of date format with the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). His commitment to standards has also led him to develop JMAP, an open source email protocol.
He does not see email as being replaced by social media.
“Email is your electronic memory. It’s your personal copy of things that can’t be edited by anyone else.”
Gondwana now enjoys living in Melbourne, Australia with his wife, two teenage children, and an aging cat! To balance out the technical life, he sings in choir and teaches group fitness classes.