How did you get into the startup industry?
I have always been excited by technology and innovation. Early in my career, I was fortunate to work for a number of large companies and gain exposure to all sorts of different technology and information systems. While I enjoyed those roles, I found it particularly exciting to work on projects where I had greater autonomy and fewer guidelines – more room to grow, so to speak. Startups offer exactly that. I love the potential for every project to have a big impact.
Why did you join the Flybits team?
I think it’s important to be genuinely interested in your company’s core product/topic, since you have to spend so much time studying it. So I looked at some lists of well-funded startups in the Toronto area and focused on finding the ones that are doing interesting things with data. Flybits jumped out at me as a great choice.
What motivates you?
Learning and helping people. I love working with customers and tackling unprecedented problems together.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
I love all of Yuval Noah Harari’s books. Sapiens changed how I think about the past and present. Homo Deus and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century are shaping the way I see technology evolving. I found that I really had to pay attention when listening to the audiobooks because he has a concise way of expressing thought-provoking ideas.
When you look back at your career so far, what has been your biggest learning?
When I first started working in a customer-facing role, I thought that the key to success was rehearsing and delivering the perfect pitch; listing all of the best features and waiting for the other person to find the ones that they liked. In time, I learned that it’s more important to listen with empathy, build relationships, and find the ways that my product or service can truly help the other person.