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'Every challenge makes our product smarter, better, faster and stronger': Cass Simonetti shares the mindset and strategies to delivering unparalleled product results

View all · 11 Mar 2023 · revolutioniseSPORT

Cass Simonettit, the Chief Product Officer (CPO) at revolutioniseSPORT, has been instrumental in delivering smart products that provide value to users.

In this interview, Cass shares her career journey and how her grandparents' determination and hard work instilled in her the values of seizing every opportunity.

One of the significant challenges Cass discusses was discovering her own neurodivergence and the journey she took to find effective strategies to make her achieve goals like never before.

Cass sat down with us on International Women’s Day to share her formative career experiences, the mindset strategies delivering unparalleled product results, and the future effect she wants revolutioniseSPORT to have on the Australian sporting community.



Tell us about your career journey to date.

I don't think I can tell you the story of my career without first introducing you to my grandparents - four determined, hardworking, endlessly tenacious individuals.

I've always admired the brave move they made from Italy to Australia. They knew there wasn't much for them at home; their towns were under-resourced, and the war only brought further poverty and devastation. It was a difficult move, but one they never took for granted. They sincerely honoured the opportunity they had been given.

They taught my parents to honour their own opportunities just the same. So my parents made their own 'brave move', and with four kids under 10, started an Italian cafe and patisserie in Sydney's Inner West. You could say this is what launched my career. I started at age 4, bussing tables at first (too short for the register!), and spent the next 16 years getting to see the business grow. I think I found it a little infectious because from there, I explored a range of jobs, freelance opportunities, ideas, and courses, trying to learn and experience as much as I could.

It's actually how I first started working with Alex, the co-founder and now CEO of SportsGrid. He had started an online management tool for sporting clubs, wanted to make something of it, and asked if I'd give him a hand. I was 20-something, studying, and working part-time, but the concept immediately drew me in and I had immense respect for Alex's determination. I helped out for some time, before being promoted in the community services role I'd held - but I always kept an eye on revolutioniseSPORT. And when the time was right, Teresa (the Chief Engineer and co-founder) and Alex, asked if I'd join SportsGrid as their second employee. 

I have been here since, and it has been a learning experience like no other. Now I too hope to honour this opportunity in the way it deserves.


Tell us more about revolutioniseSPORT, what you do and what you love most about it.

I am the Chief Product Officer at SportsGrid and my work is heavily focused on creating, refining, and delivering products that provide value to our users - revolutioniseSPORT is one of these products, and our flagship.

I consider myself a problem solver. This has a very obvious application in the product space in that we design software to solve real-life challenges. But even prior to becoming the CPO, and before I ever ventured into the product space, problem-solving was part of the job that I loved the most.

Having seen revolutioniseSPORT through its infancy, every challenge that's presented itself has felt like a new opportunity; an opportunity to grow, to be smarter, to be better, to be faster, to be stronger, in our products, individually, and together as a team. I don’t know of many other workplaces that can provide opportunities in the same way a fast-growing small business, with inspired and determined co-founders, can.


What have you noticed about gender representation in the tech industry as an industry leader?

We find ourselves operating within the sports and technology industries - both of which have historically been quite male-dominated. As with most male-dominated industries, gender representation is levelling, but there is still a way to go.

It is heartwarming to know societies such as the Sydney University of Women in Engineering (SUWIE) and UNSW Women in Engineering Society (WIESoc) exist to support young women in tech in their academic and professional careers.

As a leader within the industry, it is humbling to be able to contribute to the levelling of this disparity - through sponsorships of societies, through our commitment to being an equal opportunity employer, by ensuring diverse perspectives are represented within our teams and through our everyday office discourse, where we do not shy away from acknowledging the current disparities.

At front of mind now is how we also best support those who identify as non-binary, agender, or within another diverse gender.


What are you most proud of and why?

I am abundantly proud of everyone I work with. 

I am proud of their passion. I am proud of the genuine care they feel for our clients. I am proud of the energy they contribute to making our products the best they can be. I am proud of how invested they are in their own growth and development. I am proud of their intelligence, creativity, tenacity, and vision. I am proud of the safe and inclusive environment we’ve created and maintained for one another. I am proud of how willing each person is to lend a helping hand. I am proud of the values we uphold, as individuals, within our teams, and as a company. 

And most of all, I am immensely proud of what we’ve grown together. 



What is a significant challenge you have overcome?

Discovering and understanding my own neurodivergence later in life has been one of the most significant workplace challenges I’ve had to overcome in recent years. 

I felt guilty and frustrated by my inability to study and work in the same way others did. Without effective strategies in place, there was no solution to the executive dysfunction challenges of my undiagnosed ADHD. 

My experience is emblematic of a larger gendered issue.

Young boys are diagnosed with ADHD at higher rates and earlier than girls, while girls often go by undetected, or are misdiagnosed. There is a multitude of reasons for this. For one, research into ADHD has been male-dominated, and so its manifestation is not as well understood in girls. Many women get diagnosed later in life; but the net result is that many young girls with undiagnosed ADHD are not adequately supported in their learning and working styles, and so they go on, quietly masking and internalising their struggles. 

Now with effective interventions and strategies in place, I am able to work efficiently and achieve my goals like I never have before.


What were some valuable pieces of advice that you received to help you through those challenging times?

Quite simply, I was taught to acknowledge when thoughts of self-doubt creep in, to pause and appreciate that my feelings surrounding those thoughts were valid, and then to challenge and question if they were at all based in reality.

It was always uplifting to realise that they most often weren’t. But when they were, would become opportunities for growth.


What excites you about the future – is there an effect you want to see the platform have on the sporting community?

I am excited to learn more about myself and the people around me, so we can harness each other's strengths, and support each other in areas of development.

I dream of a time when the product we create is so well designed and thought out that it becomes a seamless extension in the everyday life of the fans, members, administrators, and staff who use it. We become part of the fabric of sport, allowing administrators to focus on their passion—not focusing on digital transformation. I truly believe, and I am referencing an obscure Futurama episode here: "when you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all".

What are your top tips for women looking for a leadership role?

To women and other diverse or underrepresented groups in the workplace: 

  • Embrace your diversity wholeheartedly, and unashamedly lean into what makes you different. They are the things that will set you apart, they are the foundation of the unique ideas, thoughts, and perspectives that only you can bring.
  • Share the parts of yourself that you are comfortable with in doing so, allowing others to understand you, and your working and learning styles. Feeling safe and supported in the workplace will leave you better equipped to reach your own potential.
  • Fight imposter syndrome by remembering that your perspective is yours alone - no one else can contribute what you can in the same way you will. And surround yourself with others who experience the same, so you can validate your feelings, but have the perspective to understand they are not based in reality. 
  • When people are safe to be themselves, we see true creativity and innovation.

To those of you who would like to find yourself in a leadership role, apply those principles beyond yourself, and to your colleagues. Be as open to, supportive of, and motivated by the differences and diversity of others.


How do you approach your work and is there a specific mindset you need to be in to achieve this?

I am a problem solver.

The question is never "is there a solution?", it's "what is the solution?".

With that, and surrounded by a team of strong, smart, conscientious individuals, I believe we can solve any problem.


Thank you, Cass, for sharing! To know more about the team behind revolutioniseSPORT sport, make sure to check out our who we are page.

Open to meeting more revolutioniseSPORT minds? Stay tuned for more spotlights!