In this employee spotlight, see what a day in the life looks like for Phuong Tran, Sales Strategy and Operations at Verkada. (And if you’re interested in joining us in our mission of making the world safer, check out our open positions!)
What is your job function and what does your day to day look like?
I like to use this analogy: if a sales team is an army, then we are military intelligence. We work closely with our sales leaders and sales reps to understand their strengths, where they’re going, the strategy, and to help develop analytical insights and strategy and then help them execute those insights and strategy. We also enable them to have the right tools, the right resources to succeed at their job.
A good chunk of my day is spent talking to people to really understand the problems that they’re facing. Problem solving really starts with a dialogue. You have to really listen and understand what people are trying to solve and what pain points they are facing. I talk a lot with people, everywhere from different roles from sales reps to leaders to marketing, product, finance, the exec team.
“We have an incredible amount of conversations going on. The rest of the day is spent with the team, trying to figure out what the solutions are and how to build them. And we need to build things for hundreds of people in the blink of an eye, so things need to work well and scale well.”
What makes working at Verkada unique?
Even by the very special yardstick that you use to measure fast-growing environments in the Bay Area area, I think Verkada is faster. We are just that much faster when it comes to thinking through problems and execution is faster in every way. We are also very much of a solution-oriented company. Whenever we encounter a challenge, we get into a room, huddle, figure out what the solution is, and we go build and continue solving. We spend a lot less time arguing and more time fixing. It’s very much all hands on deck. I think that is pretty exciting because it’s low yield loss in my opinion.
Verkada people just don’t quit. There’s the fun of seeing people constantly trying to do new things and constantly trying to improve processes or build out new products. That’s pretty remarkable to see. Our mindset is very much can’t quit, won’t quit. The tenacity of it excites me.
What gets you motivated to work everyday?
What I love most is at some point in the day when you’re doing your job, you realize that the thing that you’re doing is building a path. There’s a quote in a book that I read a long time ago by this Chinese writer Lu Xun: “Hope is like a path in the countryside. Originally there’s nothing, but as people walk this way again and again, a path appears.” And so I think about that because a lot of what we do every day can be broken into a very small mundane task. In and of itself, every single thing that you do is small, but it’s a step that you take. And by taking that step, you make a path appear. You either find out that this is a dead end and you should go. Or it is a path and then you go further and further and basically from nothing you create a way to do things. The path is going to widen. It will become a road. It will become a highway one day. And that is what I look forward to most is when you find those moments every day.
What does the future of Verkada look like to you?
The other day I was with my daughter and we took this elevator and we saw a Verkada camera in it. This was in my neighborhood, and I was so excited. In the future, I hope that I am not excited. Seeing a Verkada camera should just be as normal as seeing a Starbucks or a CVS. We are going to be so ubiquitous and standard. Our product is just going to be an everyday thing in the majority of buildings or real estates around the country or the world. And we continue to bring safety and analytical insights to schools and hospitals and businesses everywhere.
What really excites me about that future is just how much work there is to be done to get us to that place. In a way, more work doesn’t scare me– it excites me. It just means that you get to do more meaningful things, and you get to really see a great future. You really get to take on really big, interesting problems.