CEO, Cyrus Innovation– New York
Running a company can be tough. Really tough. But when you have a physiology degree from UCLA and a master's from the University of Florida, you’re more prepared than most to take on that challenge. Find out how those two degrees helped prepare Tami Reiss, CEO of Cyrus Innovation, to successfully run one of the top developer houses in NYC.
On How Science Has Helped Her In Business:
“My education impacts what I currently do because it is my science background that taught me how to be a problem solver. I think I was always a problem solver but it taught me how to really evaluate a current situation, analyze data, look at other people’s ideas and then make up my own experiment to test how good my solution is.”
On the Similarity Between Our Bodies and Computers:
“How those systems integrate and work together to create a really elegant wonderful thing called our human bodies isn’t really that dissimilar to really massive computer systems talking to each other and working together for a common goal. And so I like to think that my physiological science background actually is a lot of why I’m good at designing complex integrated systems.”
On Why Businesses Need to Incorporate Science:
“In the business world we should start incorporating more scientific method principles. Anything from challenging the status quo, to being okay with mistakes, to being transparent and sharing the mistakes made. When we have successes, how can we in the business world start sharing what’s been good about one person’s sales pitch or software code? Like more open-source communities. All of those things are founded on the fundamental scientific method principles of observe, hypothesis, test ... and then publish.”
Her Thoughts on Being CEO of Cyrus Innovation:
“This is a brand new challenge for me. I was an individual contributor. I was a product manager. I can look at any website and tell you how it could be better. I can sit down with an entrepreneur and listen to their ideas and tell them what the first thing they should build is. I can tell them what not to build. I can tell them all those things.
“But this is a brand new challenge. This is working with people. This is managing a team. And I’m learning a ton and that’s a lot, a lot, of fun. But it’s that it’s something new for me. I am learning how to staff up a team, how to scale up a business, how to sell. I had never sold anything before.”
Her Advice on What to Do With Your Life:
“Find something you’re passionate about that you’re good at. I can’t express that enough. Find something you’re good at. If you’re struggling too much it’s probably not the right place for you, whether that’s in music or in science or in English. If you’re putting your all out there and you’re not getting better than a B-, chances are there is someplace else where you can put your all – or less than your all — and be successful. That’s what you’re naturally good at.
“That isn’t my way of saying to stay away from STEM education, but if chemistry isn’t your thing because organic chemistry isn’t your thing, okay. There is biology, there is geology, there is math, there is statistics, there is mechanics, there is physiological science. I suck — and I mean I suck — at chemistry lab. It is my worst grades ever — chemistry lab — because I am not an overly detail oriented person. I can’t tell you how many labs I’ve screwed up micro liters versus milliliters and created spectrometer results that the TA had no idea how they could have ever happened that way. It’s because I wasn’t that detail oriented. And I learned that — I don’t belong in academia. I don’t belong in a science lab. But that doesn’t mean I don’t belong in science.”
To learn more about Cyrus Innovation and the work that they do visitcyrusinnovation.com.
Photos: Guarionex Rodriguez, Jr.