A serendipitous ski lift ride with Jimmy Jacobson and Connor Duffy led to a passionate conversation about mission-driven startups, coding, and proptech — which soon led to Connor’s job offer at Stake. A proptech expert, Connor is ready to wear different hats — from software engineer to product manager — to #EmpowerRenters.
Get to know Connor's personal connection to Stake's mission, the motto that helps him climb mountains and take products to the next level, and what he’s saving his Cash Back for.
Why does Stake's mission to #EmpowerRenters, resonate with you?
I got excited about startups while studying computer science and business at USC, and I knew I wanted to work at value-driven companies. At Workday, I developed systems to help universities administer student aid, and then I worked on property management and AI technologies for the startup Zuma. At Stake, I see the potential to develop different features to help renters, and I love hearing success stories from our customers. I’m also empathetic to the #EmpowerRenters movement because my friends and I are still renters. I would love to sign a lease on a Stake property.
What do you plan to do at Stake?
From writing code as a software engineer to product management, my role at Stake is to fill in gaps to support the company’s growth. I thrive when I’m working on new projects and with different teams, and I’m excited to interact with every part of the product. With the advancement of AI and data analysis, I want to start using machine learning to enable apartment complexes to optimize revenue with Stake.
Where do you see Stake in five years?
We’ll be at least a 100-person company and outgrow our Seattle office. With our unique renter data, we have the resources to add many new features that will take us to the next level. There’s so much potential for us to disrupt property management.
What words do you live by or what motivates you?
If I’m not sure where to go next, I just start moving. Breaking a task down into the smallest action to move forward helps me build inertia — even if it’s just typing up notes with what I already know for a project. I’m also a mountaineer and I’m motivated by the challenge of summiting peaks like Mount Rainier and Mount Baker. When climbing, you don’t need to go fast, but do need to keep moving steadily.
If you earned Cash Back from Stake, what would you spend it on?
Employees get 5% Cash Back with Stake and since I’m about to move into a new apartment I’m going to need so many things for life. I also want to get new skis and bindings — they’re expensive so I will have to save my Cash Back for a while.