Life Update: New Job!

Posted by | October 27, 2019 | Random Thoughts | No Comments

Alas, the time has come to move on to a new job. I built some incredible technology at Workfront and helped put the company on a path that will ultimately allow them to build faster and create higher value products & features.

Workfront was a very interesting company to work for. I learned a lot around culture dynamics, what I like in a company, what I definitely don’t like, what types of leaders I want to work with, and so much more. Some of my biggest accomplishments were getting the company onto a microservices model, instituting a data lake capturing time series data, creating an analytics strategy, and creating a robust machine learning and artificial intelligence strategy that will last years to come.

The biggest take away I have from this company is that humans are hard. We got in the way of greatness so many times due to legacy culture and mindsets. There was a constant battle of new blood against old to deliver what was ultimately the best solution. In fact, for the new blood of the company, we started to monitor how long it would take for a strategic shift to happen from first inception. The answer? 6 months.

There came a time when I realized that I needed to be at a faster paced company. So I went on the hunt and found two companies: Zillow and Unsupervised.

Now, everyone knows about Zillow. I interviewed there to be a Principal PM over their customer profile strategies. It was an insanely interesting problem at an unprecedented scale, especially in a market that I’m interested in (real estate). The money was exceptional too (nearly double what I make today) which made it very tempting. However, I interviewed at Unsupervised and it blew my mind.

Unsupervised is an game changing AI company that automatically deliveries insights relative to your objectives – no matter how messy your data. I was evaluating buying their tech at Workfront and I’ll never forget when the CEO was walking us through the deck, there were two architecture slides that blew my mind. I have spent my career building data lakes, platforms, pipelines, and so forth all in the hope of delivering interesting insights. I’ve worked with massive analyst and BI teams who are strategically positioned to find these insights.

Those two slides showed me that they not only do not need ETL of data but that the BI/analyst world will become obsolete. You ingest data into Unsupervised, provide the AI a goal that you want achieve, and it will find anomalies contributing towards or against that goal. The best part? It actually expands on your data set to find additional insights. Sounds crazy? It is, but it’s crazy cool.

It’s an early stage startup. I think I’m employee 30 or 40 and I’ll be helping run product there, providing product management and strategy for the entire lifecycle (sales to customer support). The ability to own a ton at such a young but healthy startup paired with two awesome founders is what sold me.

I’ll be commuting to Colorado weekly until we can find a house to purchase out there. The company is based in Boulder, Colorado but I’ll be floating between Salt Lake City, Boulder, Denver, and Fort Collins (my home town!).

Here’s to rolling the dice again!

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