Meet the Team Series — Cyrus David edition

When considering a new job, people wonder, “Who will I work with? How will I be able to grow with them? Do I want to work with them?” We have designed our interview process to help answer these questions among others. But before you join us at Arena, we’d like to provide you with another way to meet us: the “Meet the Team” blog series, where we have a conversation with various current employees.

Next in line, is our Vice President of Product, Cyrus David. After hearing from our leader of Data Science, Cyrus will fill us in on Product Management.

What is your role at Arena?

I lead the product management team at Arena.

How did you get into the field? (I’d like you to talk about your experience and how your past path led you to where you are today)

It began with an e-commerce company that I started in college, which led to a summer internship at Google and then a full-time role upon graduation.

After three and a half years at Google, I left to join Sojo, an early stage startup, where I eventually moved into my first head of product role. I met and grew with some incredible people there, a few of whom continue to be close friends to this day.

Having experienced big company and small startup extremes early in my career, next I moved into a head of product growth role at FanDuel, a 40-person startup at the time. During my two years there, our headcount more than quadrupled to 200+ and our valuation cleared a billion; a wild ride to say the least.

Next, I left FanDuel to start a company — my first true experience as a generalist. Our company was acquired, but largely failed. Though I’m plenty thankful for my prior experiences at Google, Sojo, and FanDuel, my journey as a founder was undoubtedly the most challenging and humbling.

And that’s the journey that ultimately led me to Arena!

Why did you join Arena?

After taking some time off to travel and reflect, I had thought that starting another company would be my obvious next move. A few consulting and advisory gigs later, I began to hone in on a number of different areas of interest — one of them being people analytics. Having come across Arena amidst my diligence of the space, I was immediately intrigued. I ultimately joined for a number of reasons:

  1. After operating as a resource-constrained founder, working with a well-resourced team feels uplifting
  2. The problem that we’re solving is interesting, challenging, and important
  3. It’s my first time doing enterprise b2b saas; a great learning experience for me
  4. It’s my first time working on a data science centric solution; also a great learning experience for me
  5. I love the ethos of the people here — it just feels right

What surprised you about Arena after joining?

Generally, just how good the people are here. Good-natured, collaborative, respectful, supportive, unpolitical — it’s truly refreshing to be around a group of people like this.

I’ve also been thankful for how dedicated our product managers are to the success of the product. It has truly been a privilege to work with them.

What are you currently interested in (e.g. what are you learning; can be an interest technical or otherwise outside of work)?

As mentioned above, this is my first enterprise b2b saas experience outside of some of the consulting and advising that I’ve done. It’s also the first data-science centric product that I’ve worked on. Being in the thick of the challenges that come with these two things has been educational and rewarding for me.