Know Your Colleague – Donald Mueller
In Near’s Know Your Colleague series, you will get to know the members of Team Near who play a key role in driving Near’s mission, values and day-to-day operations. This is a monthly series, and we shall have one employee cover every month. This month we asked a few questions to Donald Mueller, Senior Director, Client Solutions, who is based out of our New York office and has been with Near over 3 months. Here’s what he had to say:
Donald, tell us about yourself:
I’m originally from Summit, New Jersey and moved to New York City at the beginning of my career, when I oversaw North American marketing campaigns for News Corp. I was living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and a block away from Central Park. That was about eight years ago. Needless to say, it was a great time. About four years ago, I moved right over the East River to Astoria, Queens and haven’t really looked back since.
What made you join Near? How has your experience been here so far?
Honestly, my arrival at Near was pretty serendipitous. You caught me at an interesting time and I was looking to dive back into the start-up scene and help build something special. I’m about three months in and so far, so good! This is a really interesting time for the company as a whole and North America in particular. There is such a tremendous opportunity to grow here and sometimes it’s not easy to reign in the excitement.
What can we find you doing outside of work?
I’m pretty “switched on” so the lines of inside/outside of work are pretty hazy. This is especially the case with a truly global organization. During the work week, I usually take it easy and by “easy,” I mean, squeeze in a handful of workouts at the gym, catch up on reading (news and tech articles), watch some New York Knicks basketball and chip away at my Netflix queue with my long-time girlfriend, Melissa, and two dogs, Milo (Maltese-Yorkie mix) and Oreo (Mini Poodle). This winter, I’ll be continuing my tradition of playing in a few basketball clinics, where I often wreak havoc inside the paint.
Books, Movies and Music Artists that you would strongly recommend to others and why:
- The last book I read was “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho and now I’m on to “The Hard Thing About Hard Things” by Ben Horowitz. I recommend both.
- The last movie I saw was “Baby Driver” on the plane back from India. It was pretty entertaining and makes me miss having a car.
- My music tastes are all over the map - just about everything except country music. I really like rock and bands like the Phoenix, Counting Crows, the Kinks, Rolling Stones, Oasis, the Velvet Underground, and pre-1992 U2. I’m also a big fan of good electronic and house music – early Paul Oakenfold, Tiesto, Sasha & John Digweed, PVD, Deep Dish, Nick Warren, Daft Punk, Group Therapy Above and Beyond, etc. Do yourself a favour and scope out some of the BBC Essential Mixes from 1999. Exhibit A is a classic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrH2dOQ39DQ
Any gadget/s that you are fascinated with and you would like to own?
I’m pretty serious into horology and watch collecting, albeit my collection is very small at the moment. I inherited a 1969 Rolex Oyster Perpetual from my grandfather years ago and that started my interest in well-made timepieces. I think every man (or woman) should have a few pieces in their rotation:
- An everyday, all-rounder watch – e.g. 39mm Rolex Explorer 1
- A formal, dress watch – e.g. Jaeger-Le Coutre Reverso Classic Medium
- A statement watch – e.g. 47mm Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days
Paul Newman’s own Rolex Daytona just sold at auction for nearly $18 million USD (I was not the winning bidder 😊).
The thing about watch collecting is you have to be extremely patient in order to find the pieces you truly love and that compliment your personal style.
Your favourite technology and why:
I’m a fan of technology in general but I’ll admit I’m an Android fanboy. I switch over from iOS years ago with the original Motorola Moto X and their pretty vanilla version of Android. I’ve used most of the Google Nexus phones. To me, Google is tops when it comes to data and now their Material Design and hardware has caught up to Apple, so it’s win-win.
Lastly, any interesting story or experience that you’d like to share:
I’m full of interesting stories and they usually come out over drinks. Cheers!