A side benefit of working in product development is getting to use a lot of software tools.
I've built a career by combining years of marketing know-how with technical ability: HTML, analytics, content development, UX design and graphic design. Most digital marketer have some experience in these disciplines; in my case, I've done all of them at a professional level for Fortune 500 companies.
People are often distracted by the glamour of film, but it is a business; not an art form.
100% of what we were taught at USC (George Lucas, Robert Zemekis, etc.) translated to my career in the tech industry. Film school taught me how to pitch, along with demographic analysis, launch planning, writing, accounting, distribution, production management, casting crew and talent, etc. The latter is especially important in Silicon Valley, where the "next big thing" can become the yesterday's news if the company is badly cast.
In my senior year, I was hired away by Warner Bros, where I eventually became a non-linear digital video editors, and later took over my boss' job as an UX designer.
Back then, data transfer rates were measured in kilobytes and computer monitors had lower resolutions than today's mobile phones (which I'd draw on when I began designing mobile apps).
I was then recruited by Sony Imagesoft, where I designed the UX for CD-ROM entertainment software—including a title that had an unheard of 12-year shelf life. After Sony, I took a year off, taught myself HTML, published a community newspaper, got a perfect tan...and decided to change careers.
I was hired by McGraw-Hill and was lucky to have a remarkable mentor, who taught me traditional marketing and handed me the keys to the company website.
Fast forward two years: I'm a web producer during the dot.com boom. I was hired by Siebel Systems, where I honed my digital marketing skills running a Fortune 500 enterprise website. Siebel was an amazing place to work, and it's there that I learned that your "value" to the company should always come with a dollar sign in front of it (In my case, 4.2 million in pipeline every quarter).
A startup is the perfect playground for an autodidact with a multi-disciplinary skill set. For me, this has meant learning about...
Back when I was an intern, I was told by the head producer at an NBC affiliate that his career had been based entirely on chance. "The trick," he said, "is having the necessary skills when an opportunity presents itself." That's basically been my motto ever since.
In 2007, a tanker truck exploded on an approach to the Bay Bridge stranding 300,000 commuters from getting to San Francisco. At the time, I was marketing web communications software similar to Webex. That same morning, I launched a campaign targeting the effected East Bay DMAs using SEM, email, a landing page, and a new homepage prom. We doubled our registration rate in three days. Cost: $500.
I've been lucky to work with excellent mentors, so I recognize the importance of encouraging continuous learning. The teams I've managed have all been recognized as top performers, because they've increased their value to the company by doing what comes naturally; pursuing an interest.
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15+ years experience
9+ years experience
Investor + sales presentations
7+ years experience
Mobile app UX and UI
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