When you were five years old, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An astronaut or an actor. It was a pretty wide range.
What was your first job?
I transcribed for my mom, a PhD in psychology. She was doing interviews with CEOs to determine how to identify star performers. I was transcribing those interviews.
What’s the greatest obstacle you’ve ever faced in your professional life?
That happened very recently, just a few weeks ago, when the SVB bank collapse went down. It was extremely stressful dealing with the uncertainty, especially when it came to knowing that there are a lot of people depending on us for their next paycheck. It was a matter of coming up with plan A, B, and C, just trying to put as much certainty in place for the team.
What quality do you think has served you best in your career so far?
I would say being able to adapt and keep my cool has been probably the best thing. I remember growing up, I was really nervous about an exam because I was not very well-prepared and my dad gave me this example: “There’s a train, it’s about to leave. You have this one suitcase. Figure out what you want to put in it.” I think that advice has gone a really long way because you are just focusing on what you have control over and how you’re going to prioritize and that just allows you to create more actionable steps in case of hard times.
What’s your idea of a perfect Sunday?
Having brunch with my family and friends, going to Golden Gate Park and having a picnic, and just lounging around, maybe reading a book, taking my son to the playground after that. I think that would be pretty perfect.
What quote do you live by?
I don’t have a quote, but I have something that Steve Jobs said about ideas. He had visited this neighbor who had a rock tumbler, and he talked about this idea of these rocks tussling with each other overnight. And then out came these shiny, glossy, beautiful pieces the next day. And he described that as being how ideas evolved: It’s not the first thing that you have that is perfect. Your team comes together and iterates and wrestles, right? And that is actually the thing that takes an okay idea to an idea that actually works. It’s not a quote, but it’s a story that resonates really strongly with me.