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Meet Darren Fike: The Fast Interview

Darren Fike, Senior Manager, Business Development at Fast

Darren Fike

Role: Senior Manager, Business Development

Team: Partnerships

Why did you join Fast?

I came across Fast in the summer of 2020, when I met Calanthia (Mei, Vice President of Partnerships at Fast) and Domm (Holland, Co-Founder and CEO at Fast). We were talking about a collaboration between my previous employer and Fast, and it caught my attention because, No. 1, if the product works, if people are using it, the merchant makes more money and everybody wins. And then second, just being an online shopper, the whole concept of putting in the same information over and over, it’s incredibly frustrating.

What were you doing before?

Prior to joining Fast, I spent my entire career in some form of marketing. Over the last few years, I've been hyper-focused on digital customer experience.

Where did you grow up, and what were you like as a kid?

I grew up in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, on the Gulf Coast. I spent a lot of my childhood incredibly passionate about basketball. I found out around the time of high school that it just wasn't going to go anywhere. I'm 6’9,” so I was always the tallest kid but never the best player.

I started getting into more things. I was very social and liked typical teenager stuff. Also, I was infatuated with having the best high school job in town. The best job that a 15- or 16-year-old with a driver’s license could have was cooking crawfish at a grocery store within walking distance from my high school. I annoyed them until they would give me the job there. And then the next job in town was the local car wash. Then I went and sold boots at a store called the Boot Outlet. It was my first foray into sales.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

I'm most proud of the strong relationships I've developed. I turn 30 this year, and I feel that I have strong connections with the people I've met throughout my life.

What is your productivity hack?

I set goals that are really ambitious. And whenever I say goals, it's not, “This is what I want to be in five years.” I'm setting ambitious daily, weekly goals. And I just don't stop until I get there.

When did someone’s kindness toward you make a big difference in your life?

I had a mentor who played a significant role in my career development over the last 18-24 months. He was very invested in telling me what I needed to hear and speaking from his experience, not just being a sounding board.

Living or dead, who would you like to interview and why?

Jimmy Hendrix. My dad followed him around when he was a kid. Jimmy died at 27, but he was such an innovator in a lot of ways. I think that although his catalog is very vast for how young he was when he passed, we missed out on, you could argue, 75% of the music he would have made. I also think that because he was such an innovator on guitar, it overshadowed how great of a songwriter he was and how forward thinking he was about social movements.

What’s your top travel destination?

I want to spend a significant amount of time traveling in Africa.

Where do you see yourself a year from now?

Professionally, it's all about being a better teammate to my colleagues and improving in my role on this team. Personally, I'm going to be more focused and intentional on where I'm investing my time and energy.

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