The 2017 Executive Excellence Awards: Scott Porad
By Gianni Truzzi January 16, 2017
When Scott Porad joined Rover.com to run the technical infrastructure that matched dog owners with providers of pet sitting and pet walking services, he thought it would be familiar. He had already built many e-commerce sites with internet pioneers like Starwave, Drugstore.com and Cheezburger Network. But keeping dog owners happy was nothing like dispensing online cat humor. An eight-pound schnauzer has different needs from a frisky Labrador retriever, and each owners expectations vary as well. Your intuition fails you, he learned, and so he launched intensive research that included many customer responses. Faced with the human and geographic complexities, Porad soon realized, This is going to be a lot harder than I thought. Rovers clearinghouse of screened providers now books a service every eight seconds, averaging a million each quarter. Porad oversaw a complete overhaul of the systems data model last year, even as the business continued to grow, nearly tripling revenue from the prior period. Those changes have helped push more support through mobile platforms so owners can stay in touch with their pets care, and helped make Rover.com the largest pet sitting and dog walking company in the United States. All of this activity millions of nights of stays and days of care has built what Porad believes is the worlds largest database for creating a safe environment for pets. He expects that, someday, these data could be used to improve training and veterinary care. The real benefit, Porad believes, is contentment for pet families. If animals dont have safe stays and come home happy, he says, everything else is noise.