💾 12 years in the tech industry
📈 Growth & Product
📜 Cofounded a startup- Learned what to do and what not to do
💰 Knowledge of: Fintech, Social, Adtech, Video Streaming, & Games
🗃 Managed products, teams, and launches at several large & growing tech companies


📈 Listening to podcasts about startups, investment, and tech
⛷ Skiing while tracking slow MPH data
⛳️ Double-bogey golf
🍪 Large contributor to the brownie and cookie industry. Individual consumer of more cookies and brownies than 95% of observers have "ever seen".

Life Story as it Pertains to the Internet

(For those who enjoy long-form - No need to read)

💾 The age of the floppy disk

In 1999, I was caught red-handed. I was clogging the business phone line using the Internet. With a capital I. Shooed away from the sacred business computer and off of the precious phone line (in those days, phone lines were required for internet), I requested to be taken to the library. A safe haven for unadultered 45 minute timed internet usage.
It was night and day to my family's typewriter upbringing.

There I went to www.yahoo.com to consume the latest news regarding collectible children's card game, that managed to stay relevant two decades later, and codes for video games. I was called "Nerd" often, and kept to myself with a few exceptions. (Back in those days, Google was too clean, too elegant, too lacking in total clutter. More was better. News, frames, left-hand menus, big style choices.)
Outcast but determined to have the highest score and best cards, I printed the information, borrowed the book "Dave Teaches HTML" and went back home, to my family's RV that is.

💽 The age of the $124 1GB USB drive

In 2005, I decided to tell my date to the prom that I didn't want to go.
I didn't understand the purpose of prom, and the internet was much more interesting.
Late that evening while everyone was dancing and living their best lives, I was creating animated blinkies and rainbow scrollbars on the business computer.
It was 9pm. Prom was going on. I booted up my sacred but pathetically slow IBM laptop sourced from a trashcan of some retired RVers several months earlier.

Perhaps you've seen or used them-- The laptop with the red nub ("TrackPoint", and other terminology were used) on the keyboard that could be used as a mouse.
Life was good.

Unique, hideously-coded, absolutely pointless websites were being created by the hour in North America and around the world. It was glorious. The wild west of web.
Important sites like www.expage.com, the more mainstream www.geocities.com and software like Frontpage were changing the shape of the web.
It was no-rules coding. Total iFrame, clickbait, pop-up madness. It was draining RAM, it was viruses everywhere, it was bliss.

📱 The age of: "What if the new iPad will remove need for laptops?"

In 2010.5, I was out. Free. The Tokyo-chic lifestyle and weeaboo dream crushed by the reality of actually living in Japan, I decided to return to America.
It was the recession. What's a recession? When does this end? Nobody knew. Things were awful. No one was hiring. Homes were down, sale signs were up.
I was so green, I didn't even understand why one would bother which such an idea. Of course they'd be down! I also never lived in a house before... The whole idea of a house seemed novel.

In my youth, I had lived on a literal replica of a tall ship called the Brigantine Sultana. A British sailing ship turned into a pirate ship. Or, as some sailors would rightly call it a "tall sailing ship". It was moored in the Bay Area. After that, we moved to a mobile home in the woods. Then, an RV. Sorry, no a trailer. Yes, a trailer with the hitch, no engine. But, never a house. I had not used a dishwasher until college.

I started working in the game industry, by a miracle, or maybe sheer pitty of a Producer in Microsoft. I worked on some popular games few people will probably remember, except the last 100,000 Tumblr users and #nostalgia tag clickers.

With AAA games such as Dead Rising, Dance Central, and Call of Duty under my belt, I was ready for something fresh....

With Valve coming in hot scooping up what could have been Xbox exclusives and Nintendo next door silently panicking about the fortune-telling of the onslaught of PC gaming, I thought console was on its way out. I visited San Francisco the next year.

Greeted by cocky youths working on websites and beautiful sunshine, I figured this was probably the true future. A world where mobile and web was top-of-mind.

I returned to the cloud covered Seattle and packed my things.
I cooked a steak on my final day and left for SF with 2 large bags and that was all. Land of sunshine tax and no particular career prospect except a foggy idea that the closest thing to "Associate producer" would likely be "Product manager", I proceeded to contact folks all over town.

Note: My prediction that console would die was incorrect, Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony fought back and came in with more consoles and AAA games. But, I didn't regret the move as web, it turned out, was exciting, expansive, and a new passion. I could be a "social mobile gamer" and fit right in in San Francisco... With Zynga still making moves on Facebook feeds and other social game companies the primary game energy of San Francisco proper. (Sony is in the Bay Area as well and Ubisoft, which develops games, but the true "gamer" culture with the boardgame die-hard passion continues to reside in Seattle.)

👓 The age of, "Will VR or AR prevail?" And back then, "What's AR?"

I was in. Another miracle, walking into the IGN office was something else. IGN was an ecclectic bunch of gamers and movie-watchers. A confluence of editors who spent 60 hours playing games to do in-house reviews and engineers making sure the behemoth of legacy code would still display those reviews. The goal was simple, the competition fierce-- Get enough eye balls for ad revenue from videos, blogs, tutorials, and slideshows to keep everything in-house and rolling along smoothly. (IGN was amazing as they were one of the few local in-house editorial teams and not just all outsourced.)

People were younger. Not even age, they simply acted younger. And it wasn't necessarily less maturity, it was a youthful outlook and curiousity. They were cutting edge. Challenging.

There I worked on the video player migration back when Youtube had just announced Flash was dead, HTML5 was in... With that came adtech fiascos.. My job became part time analyst, part time mediator -- negotiating with passionate designers and exhausted sales vets on how much ad time could possibly be put on the 3 minute videos. But, more importantly, what to do if they were going to wipe those oh-so-enticing flash-based interactive ads (think a more sophisticated punch the monkey banner ad but with Doritoes, because that's what the gamers wanted)...

To be continued...