Q&A with Ty Duperron, Forty Under 40 Winner 2021, COO, Tafi & Daz 3D, Age 37
Who or what is responsible for your work ethic?
When I was little my dad and grandpa ran their own businesses and I learned a lot watching them.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I don’t really feel guilty about it, but probably the fact that I still watch a ton of cartoons. I also have a pretty over-the-top sweet tooth.
What is the best book you would recommend?
I’ll cheat here and recommend the two books that had the most impact on me: Rebel Talent and Turn This Ship Around.
Now that you are (or are close to) entering your forties, what goals have you set for yourself?
The next big goal for us is to start our family. My partner and I are in the later stages of the adoption process, so pretty soon here we’ll be welcoming home our first child. I’m excited and terrified for that project.
What was your childhood career dream?
My career dream was to be an artist. I wanted to draw comic books or do key frames for traditional animation.
Name your happiest place.
Being on the side of a mountain with my partner and our dog. No cell signal, nothing to distract. Just whatever you can carry in your bag and 10-plus kilometres away from anything. Nothing better.
What was your toughest business or professional decision?
Leaving Hellbent Games. Christopher Mair (a friend and mentor) was the CEO and I loved the team and our dynamic, but I got a little ahead of myself and deciding to move on from there was really tough.
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Relax. Early in my career if something felt like a roadblock, I would fixate until it wasn’t in the way. Everything was life or death.
What is your best habit?
I take ridiculously detailed notes, basically transcribing a conversation.
Tell us one improbable fact about yourself.
I have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), which makes a top-level operations job challenging, but it’s also kind of my super power. Part of the ADHD package is a state of hyper focus where you don’t think about food, get tired, etc. until the task is complete and I take full advantage of that.
Best piece of advice ever received?
My dad told me that being an artist was cute, but I should get a real job, like business. That, more than anything, drove me.
Biggest learning (about life or business) during the pandemic?
I think it showed a new way of doing business, but I also think people are a bit naïve about remote work. I find video calls very transactional.
What career highlight are you most proud of?
First film, first video game, running my own business, seeing people on my team become leaders and run their own teams when they moved on. Opening Tafi Canada is the big one for me though, I’m super proud of that.