From One Ride to Another – A Journey Continues

529991_31483389I’ve been meaning to update folks in the past several weeks, especially since I’ve been publicly cryptic on Twitter, Facebook, etc., but freely open when personally chatting with friends and family. Most of you close to me know that I started a new position a short while ago after spending three and a half years at Seesmic (recently acquired by Hootsuite).

Looking back…
The past few years at Seesmic have been nothing short of amazing, and I never felt so privileged to work with some of the most amazing people in the tech/startup space, as well as work with an awesome development team out in Bucharest (sadly, it was the only time I ever got to play tennis each time I dropped by…). I was fortunate to play several roles from community to biz dev and finally to product. Along the way, I forged valuable relationships and friendships. I have to personally thank Loic for giving me the opportunity to work with him, and very grateful he was willing to put up with some of my crap. It’s been quite a ride with a lot of cherished memories, and I have no doubt our path’s will cross once again soon.
I also am grateful to have worked with some of the best colleagues to learn from in various areas of management, biz dev, agile, design, user experience, video and film, mobile platforms, mobile design, api’s, technology, community, marketing, support and the list goes on and on…

Looking ahead…
As for taking the next step – I ultimately decided to take on a product position at Telmate, a technology startup that provides communication services to correctional facilities. Initially, it wasn’t something that  jumped out to me as tech-sexy, but there was a connection there that I couldn’t shake off.

Oddly compelling…
Years ago, I once received a 5 year anniversary plaque that had the heading “… an oddly compelling place to work…” – and I sensed a similar environment here. After meeting with leadership, including a CEO with an incredibly strong passion as my previous one, and after several weeks of working with the teams – I find myself fortunate to find a right fit.

Titles? We don’t need no stinkin’ titles…
I’m not much for titles, but my official tag is Product Owner, a term familiar to those in agile/scrum methodologies. It’s one of the reasons that compelled me to the position. With a dedicated scrum master, two-week sprints, product refinement and sprint planning, and dedicated sprint demos led by developers (which the core team is locally based here in the SF office – another big plus) to stakeholders and open to everyone in the company (which many attend), I’ve learned to appreciate what scrum has to offer. Although I’ve had various opportunities for agile training during my product roles in the past several years, the folks here make a dedicated effort to follow agile practices. The discipline is even followed in other departments outside of development, which is pretty impressive and calls for a future post. Also, one of the dev teams I work with happens to be pretty kickass – literally. I’ll leave it there for now until the next post.

Making an impact…
Those close to me know that I spent a good chunk of my early years as a non-profit director, running all sorts of youth programs including programs for at-risk and high-risk youth. Through this, my foundation to provide services to make an impact carried over to a tech career in the higher education space, and now, I feel that this just as fitting. Being able to provide or enhance a service where residents can communicate with their families and loved ones though technology makes it refreshing to know that you can continue to make an impact.

So how’s it going so far?
There are a lot of other things to appreciate, which also makes it very busy. Sure, I can be obliged to say that the past several weeks have been great. But in the short time here, I’ve been fortunate to recruit a couple of folks to work with me – so that in itself speaks more about how one feels about a company – oh, and btw, we’re still hiring

I’m hoping that I can take more time to blog or share insights that focus on product, agile and design, as it relates to what I do. I’ve applied some of my ideas and practices and quite anxious to share the results in future posts. More to come…

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