Human Resources

C-Suite Career Advice: Ross Mason, Founder & VP of Product Strategy, MuleSoft

We ask industry leading C-suite professionals for their expert career advice...


Ross Mason

  Company: MuleSoft

  Job Title: Founder & VP of Product Strategy

  Location: San Francisco, California


What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received?

My father once told me that "I should never lower my bar." It really stuck with me and has been a guiding principal for my decision making, from buying a property to hiring a new employee. Set your bar high for the important things, and don’t accept anything that doesn’t meet it.


What advice would you give to someone starting their career in the tech industry?

This doesn’t just apply to tech, but take every opportunity to spend time with your customer. Whether you are developer writing the software or the marketer telling the story, you must have a firm grip on the problem you are solving from the point of view of your customer.

Also, know your market. What makes tech a bit different is that it is very fast-paced and continuously changing. Getting started means first getting up to speed on the market your company is going after and then keeping up to date with the latest developments and trends.


What tips would you give to someone aiming for a C-level position?

Having that ambition is critical but don’t let it drive all your career decisions. Rather than shoot for a title, find an industry that you can excel in and the road to C-level becomes a lot easier. Note that many people may not have the right blend of skills for a certain role they set their focus towards, so learning your limitations as well as your strengths on that journey is critical.


Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?

I’m fortunate to able to meet a lot of budding entrepreneurs in San Francisco. Beyond the usual questions about market and product fit I find myself giving similar mentoring on the key element of developing a great career; focus. Being able to narrow down your activity field to the things that really matter. Listen to the people around you but trust your gut and pick your own path.


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