In a world where media innovation is so closely tied to technological innovation, we on the Emerging Platforms team aim to explore innovative ways to tell stories and share them on the platforms that our readers love.
I've always been a curious person. As a child I would take apart clocks and electronics around the house then reassemble them to functional form. When I was in college, I got Apple to pay me to do the same with their computers. In graduate school, I picked a new program at NYU called Studio 20, a program that explored how to take advantage of the web as a publishing platform. During that time, I wrote more code than essays.
I often have anxiety about my career and my future. I'm a list maker, gcal invites creator, and I always want to know where I'm going so that I can work hard to get there. Recently, during my time at the Poynter Institute’s leadership academy for women in digital media, Vivian Schiller helped me realize that it's okay to not know where I'll be in 5 years or 10 years. Working in technology and innovation, I realize that this world changes fast and it's unpredictable. That's the exact reason that draws me to this work.
I almost got out of the Product Management game over the summer because I doubted myself for silly reasons. After talking to various amazing people from media outlets that I respect so much, I realized that talking about product and innovation brought me joy and it's my true passion. I applied to Thrillist for the job of Product Manager of Emerging Platforms. It's a new team and a new role, but I knew that I had met the people I wanted to build this team with. This was good, because I was the person that they were looking for.
Now, we had to find my engineer counterpart. I had planned a 10-day vacation long before changing jobs. Little did I know that while I was exploring Iceland and London, across the pond, my friend and coworker from my previous job, Aidan Feay, was the top candidate to be my other half. When I got back, Ken Peltzer, our CTO, asked me how I felt about Aidan and I said he'd be perfect. He was and continues to be perfect for this job.
Aidan is the dreamer with endless ideas. He is the person who comes back to work on Monday and shows you a weird little bot or critter he's built over the weekend just to try out a new code base or API. Together, we plan fast, work fast, and ship fast. We are honest with each other about our hopes, our concerns, and our time estimates.
Our team is a little weird. Weird is good.
With every project, we make bets on the future. Aidan does this by being very knowledgeable on the weird parts of the internet, constantly trying out new platforms, languages and frameworks, and by having great intuition. I make bets by reading a lot of science fiction, books on the history of technology and computer science, Medium posts and job listings at tech companies. With every bet we make, we force ourselves to make sure that our enthusiasm shouldn’t blind ourselves to the reality of tech trends and gimmicks.