Seattle startup's COO, who started her career at 17, is responsible for executing the company's vision to connect homeowners with professional services.

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CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Asha Sharma

What do you do? I am the lucky COO at Porch, which means I get to run up the stairs every day to help hundreds of millions of people love their homes. I’m responsible for executing the company vision, which includes strategy, customer delight, revenue, expenses, operations, sales, analytics, marketing and communications.

How did you get started in that field?
I stumbled onto my first “business” job at SC Johnson when I was 17 years old. I had the honor of fumbling through a balance sheet in the finance department before transitioning to the marketing and sales arena. As far as a startup goes, the only preparation is perseverance and failure. I willed a few companies to success and also have had some not-so-successful ventures. It’s been a privilege to grow at Porch and operate the company to help fulfill our mission.

What’s a typical day like? It’s always inclusive of team, customer, product, growth and operations meetings. I generally caffeinate once, and am late to meetings only when I’m problem-solving or brainstorming directly with the team. I don’t have a desk, which means I’m either crashing someone’s digs or flying by for real-time discussions. Porch is a lifestyle for me, and my day is only finished when I’ve delivered for the team and our customers.

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What’s the best part of the job? It’s all about the people! I think this very well could be one of the brightest and most unique teams that I have had the privilege to work with. Moreover, it’s what this team is accomplishing. We’re solving real pain and fundamentally changing the way people live while putting professionals in a better place. Every time I hear a story about a happy customer, it solidifies the mission we are on to help people love their homes.

What surprises people about your work? The great thing about startups versus large corporations is the personal luxury to have your work solve real problems directly for a customer or an industry. What I’ve come to appreciate is that employees are your first customer. And how you treat your employees is a direct reflection of how you treat your customers.

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