Today marks four years of working in corporate America and today is my last day working for a multibillion-dollar corporation — with Invown (a start-up I founded in February of this year) I am moving back to my roots trying to solve big problems for Main Street rather than for Wall Street. But what a journey the last four years have been.
As part of my PhD, to prove that the program I had created at Youth Directions was effective, I learned advanced statistics as well as how to code in a programming language called R. Using statistics and computer programming to analyze and gain insights from data fascinated me. About that same time, cloud computing was making access to massively parralizable compute less expensive and big data technologies were advancing significantly. Machine learning and deep learning were also starting to take off.
To me, all this opened up opportunities to gain knowledge from massive amounts of data in a way that would have been previously unimaginable. To be able to do data science on big data I needed to join a big data company. In 2016 the opportunity arrived when a friend recommended me for a job at Travelport.
I started working at Travelport exactly four years ago as their first data scientist. As a non-profit and start-up guy, at the age of thirty eight this was my first foray into corporate America, and the job was everything I hoped it would be — it was deeply intellectually stimulating and allowed me to solve interesting problems and build solutions from the ground up. I put my heart into the job and within a year I received a double promotion and I became Principal Data Scientist at Travelport.
Soon I was being contacted by headhunters trying to entice me to move companies. As Travelport was being acquired by private equity I moved to BPX Energy (BP’s US onshore subsidiary) as Director of Data Science and Analytics and from there I went to Priceline and became Senior Director of Data where I have led data science and product analytics for the last fifteen months.
It has been quite the journey and I have enjoyed my time in corporate America. I have had the opportunity to report into the c-level at two large companies. In the space of four years, I have seen multiple levels of three large corporations. I went from being an individual contributor to an executive who managed managers of teams. I have learned about how business is conducted at multi-billion dollar enterprises and I am grateful for all the people I have been able to work with and all the opportunities that were afforded to me.
But sometime late last year while running the numbers to purchase my new home I realized that there must be a better way to structure homeownership and financing and the entrepreneurial itch returned with a vengeance. Hence Invown was born. As I continue to build Invown and work on modeling innovative financing solutions for homeowners and buyers, I have partnered with Norcom Mortgage to originate conventional mortgages.