ELC
timezone
+00:00 GMT

Org specialization dilemmas & operating in regulatory environments

with Kenny Shin

March 14, 2023

ABOUT KENNY SHIN

Kenneth J. Shin (@kennyshin7) is Chief Technical Officer of Fundrise, America’s largest direct-to-investor alternatives investment manager. He has served in this role since the company’s inception in March 2012.

Fundrise’s mission is to use technology to build a better financial system for the individual investor, one that is simpler, lower cost, more reliable and transparent. They build software that enables the company to develop and manage investments uniquely well-positioned to grow and preserve their clients’ capital in any economic environment.

Since launching America’s first online real estate investment platform in 2012, Fundrise has now become the largest direct-to-investor alternatives investment manager with more than 1.6 million active users, more than $3.3 billion worth of equity under management, and $7 billion worth of real estate transacted. From private credit to real estate private equity to growth-stage venture capital, Fundrise offers investors exposure to some of the most prized asset classes in the world.

Prior to Fundrise, Kenny has consulted for Fortune 500 clients in financial services and technology, including Fannie Mae, Oracle, Lockheed Martin and Computer Science Corporation. Kenny has also consulted for government clients including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Defense and NATO. Kenny earned his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania.

"The entire industry generally has to try to abstract all of that complexity and regulation away from the end user and the companies that do that the best, that's one of their main value propositions.

I think it's key to our operations because the opposite of it is you leave that complexity to a few subject matter experts in the organization and they become the bottleneck for everything.”

- Kenny Shin   


Check out QA Wolf!

Looking for a way to increase end-to-end test coverage, speed up your release cycles and reduce bugs from shipping to production? QA Wolf will build, run and maintain your test suite - so that you don't have to.

QA Wolf gets you to 80% automated end-to-end test coverage in 4 months - and keeps you there – So your team can stay focused on shipping!

Learn more & schedule a 30 min demo at qawolf.com/elc


Looking for ways to support the show?

Send a link to the show to your marketing team! https://sfelc.com/podcasts

If your company is looking to gain exposure to thousands of engineering leaders and key decision-makers, we have sponsorship opportunities available.

To explore sponsor opportunities, email us at [email protected]


SHOW NOTES:

  • Kenny’s journey co-founding Fundrise (2:37)
  • What Kenny’s early risk assessment looked like (4:58)
  • Advice for young eng talent considering taking a riskier role (8:12)
  • Fundrise’s evolution & key inflection points (9:45)
  • How Fundrise tackled uncertainty during the pandemic’s early days (11:52)
  • Addressing specialization dilemmas as an early-stage org (14:45)
  • Why specializing eng functions helped Fundrise overcome its plateau (16:08)
  • Kenny’s approach to identifying new opportunities around specialization (19:53)
  • Challenges of operating in a constrained space, like Fintech (23:38)
  • Why constrained industries require orgs to abstract away more complexities (25:03)
  • How regulatory environments impact the eng team’s developmental process (26:46)
  • Incorporating legal / regulators into your product design process (29:17)
  • The Innovation Fund & its role within Fundrise’s overall strategy (31:52)
  • Unexpected ways the Innovation Fund is impacting the engineering function (34:04)
  • Rapid fire questions (36:47)

LINKS AND RESOURCES

  • Crying in H Mart - In this exquisite story of family, food, grief, and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist. With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother’s particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food.

This episode wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our incredible production team:

Patrick Gallagher - Producer & Co-Host

Jerry Li - Co-Host

Noah Olberding - Associate Producer, Audio & Video Editor https://www.linkedin.com/in/noah-olberding/

Dan Overheim - Audio Engineer, Dan’s also an avid 3D printer - https://www.bnd3d.com/

Ellie Coggins Angus - Copywriter, Check out her other work at https://elliecoggins.com/about/

Dive in
Related
podcast
Building self-sufficient teams and operating in constrained funding environments
Nov 22nd, 2022 Views 829