Typical 24: David Walsh, Kandy
Human Resources

Typical 24: David Walsh, Kandy

David Walsh

Job title: Founder

Company: Kandy

Location: New York, NY

Years’ experience: 30


  1. What time do you reach the office each day?  
    I usually get to the office between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m. but I start my day earlier. I check my email and texts when I get up around 6:30 and respond to anything urgent. Most days I’ll also have calls with Asia and Europe before I get into the office.
  2. Is your job varied?
    Very much so and that’s one of my favorite things about it. I work with the rest of the leadership team on company strategy and growth, moving our business forward with our Kandy CPaaS. That includes immersing myself with our internal teams to make sure we’re helping our customers succeed in today’s hypercompetitive environment, structuring and negotiating deals, speaking with media and analysts to give them a full picture of our strategy, and more.
  3. Is your job creative?
    Knowledge jobs are creative by definition. In my case I sit in a privileged spot, right where technology is upending old models and changing the way we live our lives. We’re literally dealing with new situations all the time, so there’s little chance of success if you’re not creative.
  4. What do you spend the majority of your time doing?
    Solving problems. We live in a complicated world and our customers are buffeted by technological and regulatory headwinds, amongst others.  We recently completed a successful merger between GENBAND (original home of Kandy) and Sonus and have now emerged as Ribbon (Nasdaq: RBBN). All of these are exciting developments but dealing with change of any kind brings issues along the way. My focus is on moving us forward effectively.
  5. Do you personalize your desk?
    Somewhat. I have a few awards we’ve won or trinkets I’ve received over the years that I like to keep nearby. Each one holds a special meaning.
  6. Would you describe yourself as creative?
    At this point in time, you really have to be. We have the luxury of relying on technology for a lot of things and spending our time on real issues. Being able to look at a problem from a new angle and coming up with combinations that may not be obvious but make sense is critical. That’s true whether you’re building a team, developing new products, engaging with customers, or any of the million other functions that make up running a business.
  7. Do you have any quirky daily rituals?
    It isn’t particularly quirky, but I do exercise a lot. I’m an avid runner and cyclist and I still like to compete, which helps me decompress and stay sharp. I most enjoy exercising outdoors, on the roads or in the woods.
  8. Do you tend to work on your own or with colleagues?
    Relationships are one of the things that make doing business so enjoyable. I’ve been incredibly lucky and have made several profound friendships through work over the years. Some of them have been working with me for more than two decades.
    It’s also been proven that diversity of ideas and viewpoints is one of the key contributors to a successful business. I’m always interested in hearing from people across the organization and having an open exchange.
  9. How many hours on average do you work a day?
    About 11 hours, broken up throughout the day.
  10. Roughly how much time do you spend each day on email? Taking calls? In meetings?
    However long is needed. We’re a distributed company and we spend a lot of time communicating in various ways across the globe in different time zones.
  11. Do you use social media much for work?
    Not as much as I would like to. I think it’s an effective way to network and share your message. We do that successfully as a company to communicate our messaging across all platforms.
  12. What do you enjoy most about your work?
    I like the challenge of building something new. Kandy is unusual in that it’s a start-up within an established company – we really took a chance to make ourselves more valuable to our customers by giving them a whole new way to compete. I give the company a lot of credit in helping us get off the ground, and I’m confident we have the vision and support to make this happen.
  13. What type of music (if any) do you listen to at work?
    I love music but I don’t listen to it much at work; there’s already plenty going on.
  14. What do you do for lunch?
    There are a lot of options in NYC. Depending on the day, I’ll go out by myself or with colleagues to take a break and get a different perspective. And then there are days when it’s a sandwich at my desk, because I’ve got calls or meetings going on.
  15. Do you socialize with work colleagues?
    I do. Sometimes it’s for business purposes, for example because we’re taking a customer out or we’re all at a trade show together, but ultimately, I like making time to spend with people that I like and from whom I’m learning. Whether we met through work or otherwise doesn’t really make a difference.
  16. Are there any tasks (through your career) you’ve been especially glad to get rid of?
    Tactical tasks aren’t my favorite.
  17. What is your last task of your day?
    Every day is different, so I can’t say that there is one in particular that comes to mind. It’s also hard to say when work ends exactly, as I do work late in the evening. It gives me time to focus and since we’re a global company, things can come up at any time.
  18. How do you like to relax after work? 
    Either spending time with my family, including helping one of my sons, who just graduated from college, with his new business venture, dinner with friends or going for a run.
  19. Do you keep checking email through the evening?
    I do. In fact, if I’m not working out, showering, eating or sleeping I’m checking email. I also work from about 10:00 p.m. to midnight every night. That’s my time to prepare for the next day and work on really strategic pieces of the business.  
  20. Do you take work projects home with you?
    Work technically never stops in my world, although I do try to maintain a sense of balance. There are many instances where I need to be engaged, such as a pressing customer issue, a deal that needs to get done, an announcement we’re issuing early the next day, etc.
  21. What would you say to your 20-year old self? 
    A couple of things: one is that giving yourself time to think through big decisions is a good idea, and the other is that it’s the journey, not the destination, so enjoy the ride – even the tough parts.
  22. If you could try out any job for a day, what would you choose?  
    I’d love to see what it’s like to be a Lacrosse coach.
  23. What device did you use to answer these questions?
    A laptop.
  24. Do you use your own personal device for work?
    I have laptops at home and at the office, but I use my smartphone for almost everything.


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