Making a pivot in your career with Daovy Boriboun
Three years ago Meero was a small startup with big aspirations to empower creatives around the world. Now, Meero is the largest photography company in the world that continues to better the lives of photographers in more than 100 countries by providing them with guidance, educational material, a platform to communicate with each other and connecting them with top global brands. We are giving creatives the necessary tools and providing them with time-saving technology to ease their lives and let them focus more on what they love. You might wonder who is behind all this? Well, here’s your chance to meet the team and get to know the people that are committed to improving the world of photographers. Meet Daovy:
What did you do before coming to Meero?
It was kind of a particular situation, I went back to school last year. I had been working in sales and marketing for the tech industry for nearly 10 years (Dell, Sophos, CFAO) when I went to work for a start-up (for almost 3 years) and I learned to write my first line of code. That's what motivated me to go back to school. So I was looking for an internship to start my new career when I heard about Meero, and as I am a hobbyist photographer on the side, I decided to take the chance. I started with a 3-month internship and I signed a permanent contract afterward. It was a tough decision to go back to school but it was worth every penny.
What did you think about Meero before joining?
I didn’t know much about Meero, but when I arrived in the company I was afraid because there were about 85 people and there were only three with kids. The average age at the time was 23, I think, so I was afraid of being ‘the old intern with a kid.’
So I was kind of scared because the startup environment can be demanding, and you don't want to be excluded from the others. That was my biggest concern working for a startup like Meero, but very early on it became clear that I wouldn’t be excluded, so it worked fine for me. I have been here a year and I am able to grow professionally while taking care of my family, join the famous Happeeroo’s for a drink, and even go to climbing three times a week!
So how does this differ from your other experiences?
Here, people care for each other, as a team, as a company. I think it’s very interesting and refreshing when I compare it to previous professional environments I’ve worked in. Everyone cares about what they do, and they try to keep the company’s goals in mind, and it's something you can really feel on a daily basis.
You are not here to be passive, you are here to act, to do things. You have to because everything goes so fast, to keep up with the pace. That's the most positively striking thing when I arrived.
And compared to other start-ups?
The management team here like Gaetan and Thomas, they knew they had to hire experienced people to help them build the company; if you compare that to other startups, sometimes they don't want to hire more experienced people, they say ‘I can do it all by myself.’ Unfortunately, those companies don't usually work out. It was very reassuring for an “old person” like me, to see that.
So is working at Meero what you expected?
When I arrived as an intern, I was afraid that I would have to do coffee runs, etc. but in reality, I worked on the first remake of the admin interface! It ramped up my skills really quickly.
After a few months, a new project was started and my manager was looking for someone to lead the team. It was a mixed job, you had to make high-level decisions for the project but also give a framework and rhythm to the team for meetings on a daily basis.
With my experience, he thought I would be the right person for the job. But it made a big difference to me that he asked, he didn't just say, ‘Ok you are going to do this.’ That's what I like about Meero, it's very democratic. If you have a good idea you can talk about it, and if you disagree we’ll discuss it. So he asked and I accepted this great opportunity.
In the end, working at Meero is like I hoped it would be: challenging, fun, and rewarding!
So what does your day-to-day look like?
On a daily basis: I lead a team, I plan and dispatch technical tasks, monitor sprint progression (we use Agile SCRUM methodology), I try to remove potential barriers for the project and reduce their frustrations, which is very important even if that means doing something less interesting myself.
I also have to facilitate the communication between the project’s stakeholders (CTO, Project manager, developers, product owners, designers).
It's been four months and it's working smoothly, but I have a good team, which is the most important thing: Working with a good team with good skills.
Can you explain what you do at Meero in three words?
For someone chatty like me, choosing only three words is hard…'Learn,' 'enjoy.' Those are the two things you do every day at Meero. There hasn’t been a day at Meero that I didn’t enjoy or learn.
The third would be sharing. It means sharing experience, your positive vibes, everything.
What do you usually have on your desk and in your backpack?
I have a photo of my daughter on my desk. That’s all I need.
In my backpack, I normally carry climbing gear with me. You never know when you are going to go climbing in the Fontainebleau forests or a gym.
© Maxime Riché
Any funny stories to share?
When I arrived for my internship interview, I wore a suit and tie as I have always done in the past. And I overheard people saying “Oh, maybe he’s interviewing for a lead finance position.”
So, what do you like about Meero?
The mission, the fast pace, the culture, the people. I have never, never worked in a company that has such ambitions and still cares, that still takes care of their employees of any type of profile.
To me, it’s the perfect balance between the need to move fast and having a long term vision, between working hard and having fun, between being part of an awesome project and enjoying family and life outside of work. And who would not want to work with caring and skillful people?
Being at Meero, it feels like being at home...