Trade Me is growing so fast, it has had to rent out a two-bedroom apartment above its Auckland office to accommodate its ever-increasing team.
Though the company is fiercely private following its sale to British private equity firm Apax Partners and subsequent delisting from the NZ Stock Exchange this year, new company chief executive Anders Skoe is confident in the online marketplace and auction site's growth.
Trade Me has grown from a team of 550 about 12 months ago to just shy of 650 staff now, in offices in Auckland, Christchurch and in Wellington, its largest site.
Skoe, who joined Trade Me in July, has clear goals for the company founded 20 years ago by Kiwi entrepreneur Sam Morgan.
Formerly chief financial officer and later head of Norwegian marketplace counterpart Finn.no, where he successfully oversaw a return to growth during three years at the helm, Skoe hopes to do something similar at Trade Me - steer it back into the double-digit growth it once enjoyed.
The former Arctic soldier who spent a year in the Norwegian military likes to work in five-year job cycles. He celebrated his 100-day anniversary at Trade Me three weeks ago and says he has already made progress.
He splits his time between Auckland and Wellington, where its executive team is based.
Trade Me made the transition from public to private company in May when shareholders voted to accept a $2.56 billion takeover offer from Apax - two months before Skoe joined its leadership team.
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Skoe says it was straightforward making the move to New Zealand, and to Trade Me from being chief executive of Finn.no. The two companies - and countries - aren't so different, he believes.
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"Norway and New Zealand, the two countries are surprisingly similar. They are countries with a population of around five million, they have fiords, they have mountains, a few large cities.
"If you look across the globe and try and find a company that resembles Trade Me the most, the company that you would mostly likely identify is Finn - the company I used to head up," says Skoe.
"The two companies are also very, very similar, being very strong marketplace or classified companies with fairly impressive positions in multiple verticals. A lot of marketplaces are strong within one vertical whereas with Finn and Trade Me they have very strong positions in motors and property and jobs and marketplaces."
The biggest difference? Company culture, says Skoe.
"Kiwis tend to be more open and inviting than what is typical in Norway or of Norwegian companies. That's been a great change."
Skoe is quick to note the slow takeup of electric vehicles here. He believes Norway is five or 10 years ahead in its adoption of EVs, compared to New Zealand.
"If I was to call out one specific nuance or difference between Norway and New Zealand, I would say it would be the prevalence of electric cars. Norway is noticeably further ahead when it comes to the adoption of electric vehicles."
He's not wrong. Less than 1 per cent of new vehicles sold in New Zealand each month are electric, compared to about 50 per cent in Norway.
Skoe's first visit to this country was "in conjunction with the potential move" - coming to New Zealand to interview for the role of Trade Me chief executive.
He's married to an American, and the pair and their three sons - aged 13, 11 and 7 - have settled into life in Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore following the move from Oslo.
"I think the best sales job I ever did was to convince my California-born wife to move to Norway, which is quite a different culture and climate," Skoe tells the Weekend Herald.
"We moved [to Norway] as an experiment; we ended up staying there for close to 10 years, but she was also very clear that she would have the final word when it came to which city we would move to next," he says of the family's move to New Zealand.
Growing up, Skoe spent most of his time in Norway, and five years in Singapore.
He finished high school in Norway, worked for a year, then got stuck into military service - compulsory in Norway. He was stationed in the northern part of the country as an Arctic soldier.
At age 20 he moved to the United States and lived there for close to 15 years. While in the US, he spent five years working for Google.
In his first few weeks at Trade Me, Skoe laid out a 100-day plan. It consisted of meeting every employee, and some partners and customers to learn about the company "from as many perspectives as possible" and to identify gaps within the firm's execution and strategy, its values and vision.
Skoe says he has made changes within that time, but is unable to disclose exactly what those are.
"I think there is an opportunity for Trade Me to speed up as a company - our execution, our technology, to be speedier and even more agile. I think that's a gap that is very important for us to address."
More than 1.8 million New Zealanders visit Trade Me each day. Skoe says the company is about three years behind Finn.no. It is in the process of moving to the cloud, which Skoe says will enable it to use machine learning and artificial intelligence within the business.
"Trade Me has had a fantastic journey over the last 20 years, and really is a great company today. I'm very impressed by what everyone who has been here at the company before me has achieved. At the same time, I very much believe that Trade Me has a lot of potential above and beyond what it is today.
"We have such a tremendous opportunity to solve more problems for Kiwis and Kiwi businesses. Frankly, that potential is what drew me to Trade Me," he says, adding that he saw immediate potential in the real estate market.
"I feel that whatever stone I turn, there is opportunity within all of the verticals we operate, and arguably some new ones as well.
"The real challenge we have at Trade Me is prioritising," he says.
"We're certainly working to improve our offering in all of the four main verticals, but we do think of property and motors as representing particularly strong opportunities."
One of New Zealand's largest retail companies, The Warehouse Group, in August launched its own online marketplace, TheMarket. This month it launched a subscription model offering an Amazon Prime-type membership with free shipping on orders and other incentives such as a kick-start to an investment fund and streaming platforms.
Skoe says subscription is one of several monetisation models Trade Me is considering for its own platform - and one it is likely to adopt.
He does not expect Amazon or Alibaba to disrupt the business in any way. Facebook, however, with its popular second-hand marketplace, is a big competitor, says Skoe.
"In general, I think competition is good. It is good for the consumer and I think it is good for a company like us as it keeps us on our toes and to make sure we're developing what's best for our customers."
Skoe started his corporate career at a Silicon Valley start-up. After finishing his graduate electrical engineering degree at Stanford University in 2002, he joined Radiance Technologies.
"Coming into that company at that point in time was probably the best thing that could happen to me, because I came into a start-up where I got to do a lot of different things.
"Maybe even more importantly, it was a company that was struggling to generate revenue, and having that experience early on in my career, learning a bit more about grit and what type of effort it really takes to generate revenue, it was a really good starting point for my career - to build that appreciation and humility for how tough it can be to succeed in business."
He sees that as one of his career highlights - along with turning around lacklustre growth at Finn.no.
"I'm genuinely grateful for that experience now. I would have made a lot more money if I had joined Google right out of university, but in terms of learning, which is something I value, very, very highly, I'd be hard-pressed to beat that experience."
Skoe says he draws on "growth mindset" lessons ingrained at Google to implement change at Trade Me.
"When you are faced with a challenge, that is actually an opportunity to grow. It is not necessarily an impediment. I would like for Trade Me to evolve its culture to be one that looks upon more things as opportunity rather than a constraint and problem.
"One of the top product people at Google said something along the lines of 'creativity thrives under constraints' - meaning most of us are actually most creative when we have some constraints on what we can do. Like any company, Trade Me also has a number of constraints, whether they are resource, risk constraints, brand constraints.
"I believe that those constraints should be viewed as a starting point for innovation and creativity and should inspire us to be smarter and more creative about the way we solve problems."
Skoe says he is determined to shape Trade Me to be "the number one preferred employer of top talent in New Zealand".
"Top performers are drawn to companies that are perceived to deliver great products into the marketplace at pace, and Trade Me is going to be that company in New Zealand.
"If you can become the preferred employer for top talent, that says two things about you as a company: you have a reputation of being a great place to work, and a reputation for being a place where you work alongside other really talented people - where you are able to work on really interesting problems."
After his five-year run at Google in various product and technical roles, Skoe moved back to Norway and joined Finn.no, where he stayed for nine years. Finn is part of the Norway-based global marketplace and media company Schibsted.
"Before I took over as CEO, Finn.no's growth had been quite stagnant. Finn had not really been growing for two, three years in a row, right around that zero per cent growth, whereas after I took over, Finn grew double digits three years in a row.
"I took it from really being in a state where people were a little nervous that Finn.no had reached what is sometimes called 'peak classifieds' ... I was able to instil this growth mindset and show people we were barely scratching the surface in what is our potential."
That's the scenario Skoe is hoping to replicate at Trade Me.
"[Trade Me] is in the lower single digits when it comes to topline growth. My ambition is very much to bring it into the double-digit growth space, and I'm convinced we have that potential as a company," he says.
"I fundamentally believe that by being a local player like we are, I think we have the opportunity to get even closer to each Kiwi and Kiwi business than certainly what a lot of the global giants will ever do."
He says the biggest challenge the company faces is the same as all the other 500,000 or so businesses in this country - the macroeconomic climate.
"If business confidence is low, consumer confidence is likely to be low and that impacts the commercial activity we see in New Zealand.
"Stronger business confidence and consumer confidence translates into more people wanting to buy and sell homes, buy and sell cars, look for new jobs and hire employers."
• Age: 43.
• Job: CEO of Trade Me.
• Family: Wife, three sons aged 13, 11 and 7.
• Education: Bachelors and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Completed a finance programme from Fontainebleau, outside Paris.
• Last book read: Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman.
• Last film watched: Pecking Order, directed by Slavko Martinov.
• Last overseas holiday: Tokyo.