A side benefit of working in product development is getting to use a lot of software tools.
My experience is realy what sets me apart from other marketers. I have a broad and deep skill set, having worked professionally as a...
I'm grew up in the sunny suburbs of Sacramento, a city that (along with Terra Haute) is used by consumer researchers to represent "Average America". After a predictably average childhood, I was accepted by the USC School of Cinema/Television (think George Lucas, Robert Zemeckis, Caleb Deschanel), which sits about seven miles south of Least Average America.
In my senior year of film school, I was hired by Warner Bros at a startup called Warner New Media. Their technology verged on magic, and the content was first-rate. I had two amazing mentors in Donna Cohen and Larry Israel, and after a couple of years became the in-house digital video editor and later an interactive designer. Back then, data transfer rates were measured in kilobytes and computer displays were miniscule—which figures into my story later.
I was recruited by Sony, which meant a move to Monterey. After designing several CD-ROM-based entertainment titles—including one that had a 12-year shelf life (unheard of in tech)—I took a year off, during which I taught myself HTML, published a community newspaper, got a perfect tan, and decided to change careers.
Switching from product development to marketing was a second education. Again I was lucky to have a great mentor in Meredith Mullins at McGraw-Hill, who taught me traditional marketing and handed me the keys to the company website.
Fast forward two years: I started working as a web marketing producer at Novell in San Jose.In the midst of the dot.com boom. A year later I was hired by Siebel Systems, where I had yet another great mentor (yes, it's a trend) named Sherman Hsieh, and for the next six years I honed my web marketing skills.
Like many of my co-workers, I moved from wood-paneled world of large enterprise back to the Wild West of start-ups, which brings us up to today.
The remarkable thing about working at a startup is that, for an autodidact like me, it's the perfect environment. There's always the opportunity to learn something new, which in my case has meant...
I've run multi-million dollar global marketing campaigns and stuffed envelopes over pizza and beer, all at the same company. You do what's needs to be done.
The upside to being flexible is that I've traveled the world and worked on amazing projects: I developed the UX on the first split-screen mobile browser in Seoul (using my experience from designing for limited bandwidth and small screens), made a commercial over a weekend, and taught myself 3D modeling and animation just so I could make the employee newsletter sexier.
There's no better way to learn than being at a startup, and I apply this knowledge to every project thereafter. The marketing teams that I've manage always expand their skill sets because I know the importance of having a mentor who encourages continuous learning, both as a way to increase their value as an employee and explore their interests. It also allows me to build a top-notch team at the drop of a hat.
Simple: make the world more interesting and less annoying.
The first thing I notice about anything—be it software, HTML script, a rental car, or a soap dispenser—is whether the creators could empathize with the end user. Forcing someone to wait three minutes for a page refresh isn't thoughtful.
Users don't care if it took a million manhours and heroic hardware if the result is an app that crashes or confuses, because unlike a movie or novel UX isn't about backstory.
So that's it. I hope you know a little more about me. If you have any questions....
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