A Brief History

Preet Jassi

Chapter One: Essential Skills

I was born in Vernon British Columbia (BC), a really small town in Canada. I was one of the two minorities in my graduating class of 150 students. Growing up in rural BC meant that I learned all the "essential" skills of being Canadian, such as how to canoe, make a fire, wake surf, snowboard, drive a bobcat, kick flip, barbeque, and importantly – play cow patty bingo.

Chapter Two: Cultural Similarities

In grade 5, I visited my grandparents in India, where we had to pump water from a well, and use cow patties as fuel for cooking fires. I always remember the beaming smiles of the people from my grandparent's village even though they had so little. Through all of my travels, I have realized that common ground exists between ostensibly different cultures and I have used that insight to bring people together both personally and professionally.


Chapter Three: Vision and Perseverance

In high-school, I spent most of my evenings and weekends helping my father build our first hotel. I lifted lumber, carried tiles, cut studs, and dug ditches. Unfortunately, our funding fell through mid-project, and my parents had to sell our house and work two jobs each. Still, we didn’t give up our dream. A year later, we found new funding and resumed construction on Vernon’s Holiday Inn Express.


Chapter Four: More Than Just a Developer

After working for Yahoo! I joined the small rapidly growing startup Indochino as the 10th employee. Our small tech team became relied upon to be the glue across all departments, acting like an internal consulting team. Then, moving to Electronic Arts to lead a larger team, I faced my largest challenge to date. In order to ship a massive new project on time that used new technologies, I brought together the design, web, and client teams while teaching the development teams these new technologies. As a result, I was promoted to User Interface Engineer Team Lead, and I lead a team of 20 User Interface developers, encouraging communication, collaboration, and best practices. Solving cross functional problems to help the business grow made me realize that I wanted to be more than just a developer. I wanted to be a Product Manager to combine business insight and technical expertise and deliver innovative products to the customer.


Chapter Five: The Cornerstone

While pursuing my MBA at Johnson, I continued to bring together design, technology and business by leading the Big Red Design Thinking club, inviting innovative technical leaders from EA, Indochino, Netflix, and Yahoo! to speak on campus and demonstrate how approaching product development through the lens of design thinking can bring together design, technology and business.


Chapter Six: Executive Aspirations

Five years later, I had just joined a small health and fitness technology company as CEO to help the company scale and build amazing products. The last five years saw me crafting great products as a Product Manager, using the business skills that I learned at Johnson everyday.