Interview with Dan Park, Head of Uber Eats Canada
We interviewed Dan Park, Head of Uber Eats Canada, to learn more about his personal story, his leadership role at Uber, and what he is excited to see at Elevate. Dan will be speaking at Elevate Disrupt Retail on Wednesday, September 26th.
What first got you into tech?
My dad immigrated from Korea in the late 1970s and loved getting his hands on the newest tech. My first computer was a Macintosh 512K in 1985 and my dad followed us around with a Sony VHS camcorder for most of my childhood. When I was 17, I was living with a family in Quito, Ecuador and my parents were back in my hometown of Yellowknife. About six months into my time in South America, email started becoming available. I went from waiting weeks for a response to my letters to seconds on email. I knew technology and the internet was going completely change the world and I had to be a part of it.
What excites you about the tech scene in Canada?
In my time in venture capital, I met hundreds of entrepreneurs from around the world and many of the best and brightest were from Canada. We are also starting to see a trend where Canada is becoming a destination for the global entrepreneurial community. When you combine the exceptional level of talent in Canada with an incredibly supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem, you have a future to be very excited about.
What is your tech passion project?
We all have busy lives. What I love about Uber is our ability to give back time. Whether it’s tapping Uber Eats so you don’t have to cook or opening up the Uber app so you don’t have to circle around for parking, I’m passionate about making our lives easier. At the same time, we’re providing additional earning opportunities for drivers and incremental revenue for restaurants. We have an incredible team at Uber committed to our riders, drivers, restaurant partners and couriers and I’m passionate about contributing to that mission.
What is your latest tech discovery?
This is less my tech discovery but that of my 3-year old son. I’m loving watching him unlock the magic of voice control. Right now, the household favourites are asking about the weather and summoning Old MacDonald at 100% volume.
Your Favourite App?
Uber and Uber Eats. Obviously
Best or worst tech trend of all time?
I’m biased but I think the sharing economy trend has fundamentally changed the way people think about asset ownership. The ability to seamlessly borrow someone’s car, apartment or dog (yup, pet sharing is a thing) has changed the lives of so many people around the world.
One young up-and-coming tech leader you want to elevate?
Asking me to just pick one up-and-coming leader is like asking me to pick my favourite child. My favourite part of my job is working with an incredibly talented, committed and passionate team. Uber has an amazing culture growing and developing new leaders. Everyday we try to elevate these individuals to learn, grow and take on bigger challenges.
What are you most looking forward to at Elevate?
I’ve been heads down at Uber for the last few years and excited to see a lot of familiar faces as well as connect with new ones.
Your advice for the next generation of tech leaders?
Many of us are programmed to measure success as a chart that points up and to the right. Rarely do startups evolve in a linear fashion and nor do careers. Sometimes taking a step back is needed to take 2 or 10 steps forward. Whether it’s to focus on a particular customer segment, tweak your product or learn a new skill set, being slower and deliberate can help you accelerate.
Join us September 21-27, 2018 in Toronto to be a part of a diverse and inclusive community at the forefront of innovation. Buy your tickets here.