Mar 09, 2023 | 2 min read

Innovation at Scale with Justin McNally

By: Patrick Emmons

Innovation at Scale with Justin McNally

One consequence of success for a startup is outgrowing the very strategies that made you successful. As an experienced founder, it’s a challenge Justin McNally was prepared to tackle as Chowly grew from a seedling idea to a market leader in point-of-sale integration. At each stage of growth, Justin’s role, and sometimes title, evolved to meet the changing needs of the organization.

Through the lens of his current role as Chief Innovation Officer, Justin discusses traversing the gap from startup to established company, shifting hiring emphasis from generalists to specialists, and adapting competitive strategies as a market matures. He also offers perspective on avoiding stagnation and continuing to innovate even as the risk calculations change with scale.

  • (01:07) – Starting Chowly
  • (05:16) – Growing up with entrepreneurship
  • (12:33) – Defining your moat
  • (16:55) – How risk tolerance changes with growth
  • (19:06) – Checking your ego at the door as a founder
  • (21:52) – Role of the Chief Innovation Officer
  • (24:35) – What’s ahead for Chowly and the industry

About Our Guest

Currently, Justin McNally is the Chief Innovation Officer at Chowly, a direct POS integration for third-party delivery platforms. Justin is an experienced founder with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. He graduated with a BLA focused on Interactive Arts & Media from Columbia College Chicago. Some of his skills include Digital Strategy, PHP, WordPress, Ruby on Rails, and Content Management Systems.

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About Patrick Emmons

If you can’t appreciate a good sports analogy, movie quote, or military reference, you may not want to work with him, but if you value honesty, integrity, and commitment to improvement, Patrick can certainly help take your business or your career to the next level. “Good enough,” is simply not in his vernacular. Pat’s passion is for relentlessly pushing himself and others to achieve full potential. Patrick Emmons is a graduate of St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Patrick co-founded Adage Technologies in 2001 and in 2015, founded DragonSpears as a spin-off dedicated to developing custom applications that improve speed, compliance and scalability of clients’ internal and customer-facing workflow processes. When he is not learning about new technology, running a better business, or becoming a stronger leader, he can be found coaching his kids’ (FIVE of them) baseball and lacrosse teams and praising his ever-so-patient wife for all her support.

Recent Episodes

We interview leaders from early-stage start-ups to billion-dollar enterprises who distill their lessons from their victories and their failures. Learn how these high-performing leaders organize their teams, establish a growth-minded culture, and leverage new technologies such as DevOps and Cloud.