How I Work with Davor Bonaci, Kaskada

August 15, 2019

In this edition you’ll be hearing from Davor Bonaci, CEO at Kaskada. Davor has been a member in Seattle since we opened doors. He’s been involved in computer programming since his teenage years and in January 2018 saw an opportunity in data processing and engineering that wasn’t yet being addressed; with his co-founder, he jumped at it and started Kaskada, a machine learning studio for feature engineering using event-based data. Excitingly, at the publishing of this How I Work, Davor and his team have officially launched their rebrand and you can read all about their company and mission here. Though you’ll see Davor late into the evening working at thinkspace, he does enjoy his downtime. You can catch him playing tennis, sailing around the Puget Sound, or volunteering his time at United Way where he helps low-income families with tax-prep.

Name: Davor Bonaci

Current Gig: Co-Founder and CEO at Kaskada

One word that best describes how you work: Perseverance

Current mobile device: iPhone X

Favorite verb: Saying “Don’t worry about it”

Grit Score: 5.0! (If you’re interested in learning your Grit Score take the test here.)

How do you recharge or take a break from work? I relax when I’m near water. I like to sail, take vacations to Hawaii, or go to the beach when I can.

What was your dream job/passion project as a kid? This is more of a question my mother could answer.

Sunrise or sunset:  Sunset. It used to be sunrise…before kids.

Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today. I’ve been involved in computer programming since high school. After spending several years working in Google Cloud, I co-founded the company which provides a machine learning studio for feature engineering using event-based data. We came to the startup world with a lot of experience in the data space which also meant we had many existing opinions and biases about it. It was important for us to forget what we thought we knew and look at the space with fresh eyes.

Number of unread emails right now? 0 unread. MANY unanswered.

First thing you do when you come into work? Ask my team what they need.

What is your email management strategy? I’m usually behind due to the desire to do things perfectly.

How do you keep yourself calm and/or focused? I’m usually calm, but having the right people around helps me stay focused.

What’s your perspective or approach to work/life balance? I’m not a real fan of the phrase. You are the sum of both, they affect each other and that’s okay. I think if you love what you do, this isn’t an issue. If you are worried about work/life balance, you probably haven’t found what you love to do yet.

Are there any work rituals critical to your success?  Behave with integrity and honesty.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Calendar.

Last thing you do before leaving work? Try to send thank you notes and follow-ups from all the meetings from the day.

Who are the people who help you get things done, and how do you rely on them? My team is everything. Success doesn’t depend on a single individual. We believe that building a strong team that can work together toward a common vision is more important than any single individual.

What’s your least favorite thing to do, and how do you deal with it? Writing long documents. I procrastinate, but usually get it done, even if last minute.

What are you currently reading, or what’s something you’d recommend? I have plenty of books recommended to me, that I might be falling behind on.

What is your working process like? Interruption driven.

Describe your workspace? Minimalistic. I like my desk to be empty.

What’s your best shortcut or life hack? There are no shortcuts.

How do you keep track of what you have to do?  My calendar, email, task list, and sticky notes. Eventually reminders from others.

Is there anything else you’d like to add that might be interesting to readers and fans? We’re hiring!


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Stephanie Slaton