FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Group Product Manager at Remote.com, Sophia Deng
After graduating college, Sophia was a Mergers & Acquisitions Investment Banking Analyst at Citi. Although it was a highly coveted role, she was intellectually unstimulated and couldn’t stop thinking about technology in her spare time. "In 2015, I decided to do something about this itch, and moved from New York to San Francisco to take my first tech startup job at Instacart", says Sophia. She became hooked by the fast-paced, creative nature of startups, and after Instacart, joined Gigster, Ramp and Remote. "At these companies, I’ve been in product management and operations roles; I’ve been an IC, manager and exec; I’ve joined at pre-Seed (Ramp) and at Series C (Instacart). The throughline of my career has been two-fold: a desire to work on big problems, and a steadfastness to care more about impact vs. exact roles and titles."
Sophia Deng, Group Product Manager at Remote, is leading Remote’s payroll product. She was the only PM focused on their core payroll product for a year, and now, they’ve grown the product area into four verticals. "Initially, my focus was on 0 → 1ing all our employee / employee payroll user experiences and building Remote’s internal payroll system from scratch. Now, the focus on the platform side is how to scale our systems to run payroll in 70 countries, and on the customer side, it’s how we make it simpler to pay more people around the world. As for new products, I previously led development for Remote’s new payroll product from 0 to the Beta Phase, so I’m keen to see this new product line launch later this year. "
Working on Remote’s payroll product, Sophia is focused on how to pay workers around the world accurately, on-time and in compliance. "The second-order effect of building great international payroll products is that we’re creating more economic opportunities for people no matter where they live. I think this is one of the most impactful problems FinTech is able to address." Sophia is proud to be working in and impacting FinTech.
When asked about her best job decision, Sophia says: "My best job decision and worst job decision are probably the same – jumping head-first into the tech startup ecosystem by joining Instacart in 2015. On a rational basis, it was a terrible decision. I sacrificed a substantial bonus, was paid a much lower salary at Instacart compared to my well-paying financial analyst job, and had 1.5 weeks to move from New York to San Francisco. But it was the best career decision I made because I got my foot into the world of tech startups. I’ve found an environment that matches my personality and I get to work on things I deeply care about, so I’ve never looked back. "
More on Sophia
Where you currently live: Brooklyn, New York
Favorite hobby: Writing. It’s not always enjoyable, but it’s extremely rewarding. Writing helps me clarify my thinking. I write about startups here https://sophdeng.github.io/.
Favorite part of your day: Early morning drinking coffee. In the summer, watching the sunrise is the best.
Favorite show to binge: I don’t watch TV, but I do consume a lot of high-stakes poker and Bon Appetit videos on YouTube.
Podcast Recommendation: All-In Podcast with Jason Calacanis, Chamath Palihapitiya, David Sacks & David Friedberg. It’s a business and tech podcast hosted by four investors/operators/friends in technology. It’s not only entertaining, but also, helpful for understanding the macroeconomic environment and investor perspective around startups.