Ken Mallon

Ken Mallon

Chief Product Officer


4INFO

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
In my senior year at UConn, I had a Statistics professor who earned his PhD from Stanford.
That statistics professor later wrote a recommendation letter for my graduate work at Stanford.
I'd never been to CA, had no money, but knew Stanford's reputation, so I went and made it work.
After graduation, I spent a decade in the health sciences field, unrelated to what I do today.
I worked my way up to a director level in the biotech and health sciences field.
I decided to take a risk and a pay cut to enter the tech field and go work for Yahoo.
Without taking those risks (statistics, Stanford, going to Yahoo), I wouldn't be where I am today.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
Southington High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Mathematics Teacher Education
University of Connecticut
graduate
Graduate
Statistics, General
Stanford University
graduate
Graduate
Biomedical Sciences, General
Johns Hopkins University
Career

Career

Chief Product Officer

I manage the data science and product teams, working closely with engineers to build 4INFO products.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Science
Science
Technology
Technology
Helping People
Helping People

Day to Day

I spend time with all parts of the company from M&A to sales to operations and engineering. Most importantly, I spend time with customers understanding the needs and getting feedback on our products. A great day starts with someone having a creative idea followed by team members huddling and brainstorming details. On a perfect day, that idea turns into a solution that is coded and ready to test by the end of the day.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Outside of direct academics, you need logic skills, critical thinking skills, reasoning skills, an ability to problem-solve, and creativity. In addition, as product officer, I really need to be able to provide my team with a vision. So, to be a Chief Product Officer, you need to become deeply knowledgeable in one area to the point that you can see possible futures for the industry.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Be curious-you have to have a passion for observing people and understanding what people want and need. That curiosity for how and why things work will help you understand your consumers.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
Computer Science
graduate
Graduate
Business Administration and Management, General
graduate
Graduate
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Peers:

"You don't need to go to graduate school; you should just become a high school teacher."

As an undergraduate, I got a loan from the school of education, and that loan would only be forgiven if I became a HS Math teacher in CT. However, when one of my professors urged me to apply for graduate school, I knew I had to take that opportunity. In the end, I actually found a much better career path after attending Stanford, and paid that loan off relatively quickly. At the end of the day, you just have to listen to yourself and pursue your passions.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

I had no money when I arrived at Stanford and didn't know how I was going to pay my tuition. I went around and knocked on doors at different departments. I ended up getting full tuition covered plus a stipend!