Thursday, October 9, 2014

4 Lessons from Leading a Small Team at Google

As I mentioned in my last post, Friday was my last day at Google after a year and a half on the social impact team. For the last five quarters, I was the product manager for the One Today, a mobile app from Google with the purpose of creating a more socially aware and engaged world. The question we asked was this: Could we make learning about causes and taking positive action so frictionless, delightful, and engaging that we could change people's behaviors?

I could talk at length about the product and UX principles there (and who knows? maybe I will at some point), but for now, I wanted to take a moment to discuss the lessons I learned from leading a small team with a very large mandate.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Onwards and upwards!

After a year and a half on Google's social impact team, today is my last day. At day's end, I'll hand in my hard-won Google badge, say goodbye to the plentiful free food, and part ways with many colleagues who have become respected mentors and friends. These last seven years, on again off again, with Google have been an incredible ride: arriving at the Googleplex for the first time as a bleary-eyed 19-year-old, taking a year to travel around Africa on the emerging markets team, and last but not least, working with many extraordinary people.

So what am I up to next? On October 20, I'll be starting at Kickstarter as the PM responsible for the "backer experience", i.e. the chunk of the product you've probably interacted with as a non-project-creator. I'm insanely excited to start this new adventure, and I'm incredibly thankful for the journey that Google has taken me on.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Reflections on Burning Man

It's been a few weeks since I've been back from Burning Man, and after recounting the experience to many of you, it seemed about time to put my thoughts down for posterity. In short, Burning Man was incredible. When people ask me if it met or exceeded my expectations, I reply "Burning Man was a superset of my expectations." I'd heard so much about the experience from friends and from the media that I thought I knew more or less what I was getting myself into before I got there. Man, was I wrong.