My multi-disciplinary background

  • Career 3.1
    Product Team Leadership

    At Humanify (recently deceased), I built an effective team of two under very restrictive circumstances.

    At Pluck, I captained a team of product managers, tech writers, and QA engineers. The executives also trusted me to lead engineering and professional services during challenging transitional periods. My proudest achievement yet: I hired a couple of non-product managers, showed them the ropes, got out of their way, and watched them turn into superstars.

  • Career 3.0
    Product Management
    Having transitioned into product management with support from key mentors, I advanced rapidly to a director position. Being on a lean team means being athletic: defining and articulating long-term strategy one minute, writing detailed requirements the next. Critical thinking, technical expertise, and communication skills help me win at both levels.
  • Career 2.0
    Programming
    For more than a decade, I created 3-tier web applications from scratch and on time. Later, as a customer-facing solutions engineer, I combined tech and people skills to lead clients to success.
  • Career 1.0
    Music Ed
    For musicians, continuous improvement isn't just a buzzword. It's drilled into you daily, and it still drives me. Teaching taught me how to make complex topics approachable for people at any experience level. I carry the same passion for teaching into people management, mentoring, speaking, and writing.

My second homes

(work history in brief)
  • Jan ’17 May ’16

    Humanify

    Director of Product Management

    Unfortunately, Humanify closed up shop to go into maintenance mode, laying me and most everyone else off.

  • 2016 2015

    WP Engine

    Sr. Product Manager buiding greenfield products around performance analytics.

  • 2016 2014

    Independent consultant

    Sproutbeat: Periodic consultation and some heavy lifting in product and marketing to help get a dramatic revamp of this very nifty music education app  to market.

    Spiceworks: 2-mo. contract doing revenue recapture, and go-to-market for an important new feature.

  • 2014 2007

    Pluck (Demand Media)

    Started in services and progressed to Director of Product.

  • 2007 1998

    Various

    Full-stack web programmer at companies large (Schlumberger, J. Ray. McDermott) and small (InCircuit).

  • 1999 1995

    Freelance

    Old-school web designer, from a time when tags didn't have to be closed and fancy layouts required a <TABLE>.

Education, certifications, lectures, etc.

  • PCA-162016

    Presented "Defense Against the Dark Arts"

    ProductCamp Austin

    Lecture

  • Arbinger2015

    Outward Mindset™ training

    Arbinger Institute

    Prof Ed

  • PMC-32015

    Pragmatic Marketing Certification—Level Three 

    Pragmatic Marketing, Inc.

    Prof Ed

  • Kellogg2015

    Guest lectured on social commerce

    Kellogg School of Business

    Lecture

  • PCA-142015

    Presented "Derpless Discourse"

    ProductCamp Austin

    Lecture

  • Mgmt2013

    T.E.A.M. Management Training

    Demand Media

    Prof Ed

  • B.S.1994

    Bachelor of Science in Music Performance

    Texas A&M University–Commerce (Commerce, Texas)

    Degree

My Domain Expertise

  • Enterprise B2B

    Since 2004, I've worked in enterprise-class software, with demanding customers ranging from huge (like Target, Walgreens, ShopDirect, Kraft, Mattel, VentureBeat, and the Louisiana state government) to scrappy (like Colourpop, shop.ca, and Hollywood.com), all of whom got excellent products and service.

    I've also worked closely with technology partners like New Relic, JanRain, Thoughtworks, Flux7, Mutual Mobile, and many others.

  • Analytics

    Since mid-2012, much of my time has been spent overseeing and building several analytics products. That's good fortune, because analytics are vital to sound decision-making. I've loved creating tools that empower users to get the knowledge they need without encountering that soul-crushing time vampire known as forsensics.

  • Social commerce & social marketing

    Both Pluck and Spiceworks are incredibly innovative players in different kinds of "owned social", with big impacts on both commerce and marketing.

    Drawing on my years of experience helping marketers and e-commerce directors understand and implement social, I lectured graduate students on the subject at the Kellogg School of Business in 2015.

  • Integrations

    API integrations are the cornerstone of modern SaaS, and they can greatly accelerate time-to-market as well as reduce the cost of developing and sustaining workable solutions.

    I've worked integration from both ends: I've built APIs and SDKs, and I've built software against APIs from New Relic, Janrain, Gigya, Omniture, and others.

  • Gamification

    When gamification was a hot emerging topic, I decided to become Pluck's house expert. I led the way with a public webinar in 2010, and bookended my time there with another in 2014.

  • Writing

    From my earliest days with computers, I've loved great technical writing.

    Strong writing that creates shared understanding is, of course, indispensible to any product manager, and I work hard at being able to write and speak effectively for technical and non-technical audiences at any level of knowledge. But I also write for pleasure and self-expression whenever I can make the time.

  • Metaphors

    My ratio of sports-related metaphors to actual athleticism is pretty high, and I've been known to mix a metaphor from time to time. So expect me to someday mention how a good product manager has to "cover the court" and then talk about how good it feels to "get all the wood on the ball".

    Snark aside, effective teaching relies on metaphor, and my background in education advantages me in mentoring and team-building.

Shh! I'm close to releasing an iBook. It's going to help people make slide decks, specifically ones that don't stink. E-mail me if you're interested to know when it's out!