Let me get straight to it: I’ve made the decision — perhaps the biggest in my career — to focus on investing. And with that, I’m bidding farewell to the amazing team at Slack with a heart full of gratitude.

Silicon Valley was more myth than reality to me when I started my career as a software engineer, thousands of miles away in Dallas. I was 25 when I moved to San Francisco as a product manager, and if you’d told me then, in 2005, that I would soon have the opportunity to be a part of high-growth startups changing the world not once, but three times, I wouldn’t have believed it. …

Admission: I was way late to the podcast scene, having entirely skipped their first wave and only really getting into a groove in the past year. I found new space in my day with a ferry-and-walk commute, and dipped my toe into a few podcasts upon recommendations from friends and colleagues.

Early on in my podcast consumption, the challenge for me was finding enough content, but very quickly the script has been flipped: there is just so much great podcast content that I need help sifting through the noise without spending a lot of time curating my subscriptions.

Podcast content is overdue for great discovery tools like we’ve come to rely upon for music, video, and written content, and it’s the perfect time for a great team to solve this problem. Enter Scout FM, co-founded by alumni of Medium, Twitter, and Google, including CEO Cara Meverden with whom I’ve had the chance to work closely, twice. …

Five years ago, I walked into Twitter’s Folsom Street office for my first day on Twitter’s product team. It was my 30th birthday. I chose to spend it at work because the opportunity to work on a product I already loved was the best gift I could have possibly received. Further, I was joining a team of fascinating humans who’d made me laugh, left me energized, and made me feel totally at home in my interviews. I had a feeling this was going to be More Than Just a Job, and I was right.

I never could have predicted just how monumental the experience would be. I couldn’t have predicted we’d build a suite of syndication products, starting with the Tweet Button, which would become a staple of the web. That we’d build an advertising business and an Ads API program at a break-neck speed that I never would have thought I had in me. That I’d get to stand on stage at places like TechCrunch Disrupt and at Twitter’s first Analyst Day to explain our products and strategy to the world. That I’d get to build teams and hire fantastically talented Product Managers, Business Development folks, and Product Marketing Managers to build and drive adoption of over a dozen Twitter products through countless launches. And that I’d get to be witness to and part of the creation of a culture for a company which has grown from under 200 people to thousands strong in my time here. It has exceeded my wildest expectations. …


April Underwood

Product lady, investor, sun-seeker. Formerly of Twitter, Google, Texas, Math Olympiad team or whatever.

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