Humans of Tech - David Mennie
Meet David Mennie - CPO at Klipfolio. He grew up in Oakville and Ottawa, has lived and worked in Ottawa, Toronto, and Boston, but returned to Canada’s capital three years ago to work with high-growth SaaS companies there. Get to know a little more about this amazing Canadian leader!
1. Who are you?
I started my career as a software developer, engineering team lead, and eventually, I crossed into product marketing and product management. Over the past 10 years, I’ve been leading a combination of product teams comprised of product managers, product marketers, UX designers, researchers, software developers, and instructional designers. I love when amazing people across all product disciplines come together to make great software - you can create some really healthy cross-pollination of ideas. It helps to look at things from different angles and I find you get the best results for customers when you design with input from those perspectives.
I’m a very people-centric leader. When I joined Klipfolio, the most attractive thing for me was the opportunity to really invest in a growing team at a formative stage. We’re really driven to unlock each others’ best performance. The teams I coach now impress me every day with their creativity, agility, and with how fast they can move. I was in awe even before I joined Klipfolio because I thought they were punching way above their weight.
There is nothing more satisfying to me than unlocking that next stage of growth for my people and the company. I’ve built my career on turn-around and I seek out teams that are at a pivotal stage where they need to scale-up and accelerate innovation. People would describe me as a strategic thinker that can also “get stuff done”. I also have a large curiosity around data - any data - looking at correlations, connections, causality, and relationships between things. I’m passionate about tackling problems in a complex market space and motivated by making technically hard things easy, accessible, and disrupting the giants.
2. What's your major internal motivation for doing what you do?
I’ve worked with large enterprises in the past but I tend to be attracted to growing teams where I can really get involved with people’s development. I learn so much by doing that and it’s super rewarding
I deeply believe in Klipfolio’s mission and I think the best decisions are data-informed. We are laser-focused on surfacing the right insights to small businesses and teams in a way that’s completely possible for them to succeed with data. If we can use visualizations to help bring critical information to a business at a stage where they wouldn’t have been able to access it before, I find that fulfilling. Those small businesses, in turn, will grow faster and that’s extremely motivating to me.
3. How do you maintain energy/recharge outside of work?
There are definitely ways I recharge but it’s also key for me to maintain high energy inside of work. I try to keep a fairly open calendar and this allows me to have 5 to 10 minute conversations throughout the day and be accessible to my team to remove whatever roadblocks they’re facing. I only check Slack or my email twice a day and limit the time I spend on that. This helps me maintain focus, helps the team move faster, and makes sure my time is being used in the best possible way.
Outside of work, I go to the gym regularly in the early morning to get a needed energy boost for the day. I love spending time with my family - my wife and I have two kids and they keep us very busy! You’ll find us hiking, downhill skiing, swimming in our backyard pool, or riding our bikes around the neighbourhood. We also entertain our large extended family and friends often on weekends for a BBQ - charcoal all the way! There’s nothing better than relaxing in that kind of environment.