I spoke with Nadia Masri, founder and CEO of Perksy, a next generation market intelligence platform that leverages the power of mobile to drive real time insights from hyper-targeted, hyper-local audiences.

Nadia was born and raised in Toronto. She started her first company when she was 17 and a freshman in college in Waterloo, Canada. She was a franchise manager for College Pro, where she learned tons about hiring, training, and managing employees, handling day-to-day operations, doing marketing, and everything in between. She sold her franchise to another student before her sophomore year.

After College Pro, she founded Birdcage Magazine…


I spoke with Brian Corey, co-founder and CEO at Outpatient, a digital health, medical task, and care coordination tool for families, medical professionals, and health systems.

Brian Corey, Co-Founder and CEO of Outpatient

The Founding Story

After graduating from HBS, Brian spent ~7 years in the mobile space. In 2011, he joined Facebook to help the company make its shift to mobile. While at Facebook, he worked on what later became internet.org. There, he was introduced to a startup called Premise Data, initially in the context of a potential acquisition. When the company turned down the acquisition offer, Brian joined them as COO.

After a few years at Premise, Brian’s…


Ryan Sandler, co-founder and CEO of Truework

I spoke with Ryan Sandler, co-founder and CEO of Truework, a company automating income and employment verification for lenders, property managers, HR teams, and others.

Ryan graduated Harvard College in 2014, where he studied computer science with a secondary in mathematics. He had always been passionate about tech, especially data science and data privacy. In senior year of college, he founded a startup called DareDvl. Although it did not work out, he realized he loved the experience of building products. So after graduation, he aimed to learn more about building and launching products from the very best. He joined LinkedIn…


Julie Bell, Chief Operating Officer at Emergence Capital

I spoke with Julie Bell, Chief Operating Officer at Emergence Capital, a venture capital firm focused on early stage enterprise companies.

After graduating college, Julie joined Bain as an Associate Consultant. After a few years there, she realized she had an itch to go do and not just advise, so she jumped into private equity and growth equity investing. She loved building businesses and teams and working with founders. After many years in the growth equity investing and operating world, Bain approached her with an opportunity to help run Bain in San Francisco. She decided to join as Executive Vice…


In the last 2 years, I have published interviews with over 230 incredible founders, investors, and operators. Here are the most common themes in the advice, learnings, and key takeaways they shared.

Learning is currency. “Optimize for learning” is an often thrown around phrase, but what does that truly mean? How do you put that into practice? What I learned is that successful people are curiosity driven. Instead of following the money or following their peers, they follow their own interests. They have a lifelong love for learning. When they enter new companies, teams, and industries, instead of feeling discouraged…


Colleen O’Brien, Chief Marketing Officer at M12, Microsoft’s venture fund

I spoke with Colleen O’Brien, Chief Marketing Officer at M12, Microsoft’s venture fund. Colleen studied visual and environmental studies at Harvard. Initially, Colleen was interested in working in the entertainment industry, but after going on the Harvardwood trip a few months before graduation, she was disappointed to learn from alums that connections and capital were a necessity. Without either, Colleen needed to think more broadly about her career.

A Harvard ’11 classmate and friend had interned at Microsoft the summer before his senior year, and he encouraged her to apply to the company. Colleen joined Microsoft after graduation, working first…


Fei Fei, Group Vice President in Global Sales Strategy and Operations at Gartner and TED speaker

I spoke with Fei Fei, Group Vice President in Global Sales Strategy and Operations at Gartner and TED speaker. Prior to Gartner, Fei was a Product and Product Marketing Lead at Google, consultant at McKinsey, and manager at Groupon.

Fei shared her advice for effective communication, building resilience, learning about new spaces, and cultivating relationships.

Be genuine. When asked about effective public speaking, Fei underscores the importance of being genuinely passionate about your topic. While other people can help refine the content of your presentation, what makes a speech memorable is the emotion it elicits in your audience. …


I spoke with Kim Chen, head of growth and marketing at Modern Fertility, which is democratizing access to fertility hormone tracking for women.

Kim started her career in consulting at Bain and subsequently worked in corporate strategy at PepsiCo. She then went to Harvard Business School aiming to pressure test whether she wanted to work at large companies or smaller startups. She knew that she wanted her next role to be more mission oriented and in the consumer healthcare space. She had seen technology revolutionize how products are delivered to consumers in most industries except healthcare. Her passion for healthcare…


Mike Shore, VP and GM of Enterprise at Axon

I spoke with Mike Shore, VP and GM of Enterprise at Axon, a company that develops technology to connect people, devices, and apps to protect life in all regards.

After graduating from Stanford Graduate School of Business, Mike worked at Atlassian in enterprise growth, which laid the foundation for his sales management career. Mike had always appreciated and enjoyed thinking about sales management, incentives, systems design, data, and resource allocation, which tied in well to the main priorities of sales leaders. When he was at Atlassian, his former Harvard classmate and fellow Harvard golf team member, Josh Isner (now Chief…


Mark Blake, Global Head of Strategy, Corporate Development, and Venture Investing at S&P Global

I spoke with Mark Blake, Global Head of Strategy, Corporate Development, and Venture Investing at S&P Global.

Mark studied government at Harvard, initially intending to be a lawyer. However, in his first job he enjoyed what he was learning in accounting and finance and chose to attend business school to gain a more formal business training. After business school, he had a brief stint in investment banking, left to join a startup, and later transitioned to turnaround consulting. In looking for a high impact but lower travel role, he landed in corporate M&A at Avaya and Medco Health before becoming…

Jess Li

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store