Mercury Partner Featured in TBBJ Executive Profiles

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Analyze, assess and create a plan

Name: Christopher Karlo

Title and company: Partner, Mercury New Media

Years with the company: Six

Years in Tampa Bay: 11

Nature of business: Web consultancy specializing in custom website development, Web-based application development and online marketing

Education: B.S. in business administration, College of Business Administration, University of Florida; M.B.A., Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago

Where your grew up and what it was like: I grew up in the town of Lahaina on the island of Maui, Hawaii. Life in my small town in paradise was quite idyllic in many ways including weekends filled with fishing, days at the beach and other outdoor activities. In addition, being a minority in a multicultural environment provided me with a great perspective that has served me well through life.

Tips of the trade

What do you get paid to do? Advise clients on opportunities to use the Internet and Web-based technologies to drive profitability for their business.

How do you keep yourself current in your field? I’m constantly reading online journals and perspectives of thought leaders within the fields of marketing and technology.

How do you generate new ideas? I keep my eyes and ears open for things that may work well for our business or our clients’ businesses. These often appear in different contextual situations.

How do you organize your “things to do” list? I use the basics of Outlook Notes to keep track of things that need done, along with Calendar to schedule times to do them – all of which integrate with my iPhone so that I always have access to what I need.

Who is your mentor and why? My dad provides guidance and assistance when called upon to do so, while never intruding. His strong moral compass, sense of compassion and business savvy consistently afford me new ways of looking at challenges and opportunities that I face in life.

Background check

What was your first paid job? I was a financial bank analyst for Barnett Bank. I was responsible for analyzing internal bank performance and identifying opportunities for improving bank profitability.

How did you get started in your current career? I went to business school with the intent to get into the field of management consulting. While there, I realized that business strategy and technology were particular areas of interest, and I joined a firm upon graduation that specialized in consulting Fortune 500 companies on just that.

If you could have dinner with one person you’ve never met, who would it be and why? The Oracle of Omaha. In addition to admiring Buffett’s prudent approach to value investing learned under the tutelage of Benjamin Graham, he is a down to earth, personable and often funny man.

If you weren’t in your current career, what would you be doing? I would most likely be an attorney or a chef.

What is your favorite activity with your family? We like to cook together and spend time at the park. I enjoy watching the wonderment of exploration that constantly occurs with our boys.

What’s a fact about you that few people know? I’ve seen more than 500 live music performances in my life.

Who are your heroes in the business world and why? Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard because they pioneered the blueprint for today’s technology companies while building one of the most respected global tech companies in the world.

What trait of yours makes you the most successful? The ability to analyze and assess a situation to quickly develop a plan of action

What music do you have in your car right now? My Morning Jacket, Motley Crue, Chemical Brothers, Death Cab for Cutie, Flaming Lips and Radiohead.

Words to the wise

What advice would you give to someone starting out in your field? Be careful not to flippantly chase the shiny new things that constantly pop up and remember that technology doesn’t change the fundamentals of business, only what’s possible within them.

How could Tampa Bay change to be more business friendly? Increased focus on the need for an improved transportation infrastructure. The recent setback in Hillsborough County’s transportation referendum was a setback but not the end of what can be done.

Written by: Pam Huff

See: Original Story at Tampa Bay Business Journal

Click to view complementary video interview

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