As any eager introductions usually go, there is a hello, a “this is what I do” and then a slew of reasons as to why you’re good at the things you just claimed you do. And even though I have just joined TextNow as VP of Product and should try to optimize and refine this process, I find that unlike the current phone service model of modern carriers, this is something that needs no altering.
So hello, my name is Mike, and I lead teams on a consumer product level here at TextNow. At least, that’s what my title says, but in truth, my collection of hats is much larger than that. Before starting at TextNow, I earned my stripes building successful product platforms and new teams at Yahoo, one of which was awarded the first Yahoo Platform Builder Award. I then used those skills at Etsy and Beachbody respectively, improving their mobile app experience. My career hasn’t all been focused on product management, though. I also got to dip my toes in advertising at LinkedIn (leading the premium advertising business transformation from a CPM banner ad business into a Social Advertising ecosystem), and subscription product management at Pandora.
So now that I’ve gotten through the “why” and only used a minimal amount of clichés, I’d like to talk a little bit about what brought me here, to TextNow.
If you were brave enough to read through that keyphrase-heavy introduction above, then you probably would have picked out a common theme: Building. At every company I’ve worked at, I’ve had the immense pleasure of helping to build something from either the ground up or just a few meters above it. TextNow is a company that has been working toward a common goal for the past decade: Help people stay connected with phone service that is free, or at the very least, as close to free as possible. And while they’ve been successful at spearheading this push for free phone service, it truly feels like we’re just about to get started. After all, one of the company’s six core values is “Build cool shit together.” So how could I resist such an opportunity?
It wouldn’t hurt to mention that I’ll also be working with an excited and dedicated team of people that truly care about the cause. I know that most companies will say that, but within my first few weeks here, I’ve overheard enough conversations and sat through enough meetings to let me know that this isn’t just another company slogan. Maybe due to the fact that its employees are led by a diverse and experienced leadership team such as VP of Engineering Christine Templin (formerly at Twitter) and COO Lindsay Gibson (formerly at BlackBerry). Or maybe it’s our CEO Derek’s original vision of building cool shit in an environment that feels friendly, accepting, and unified. My reckoning is that it’s the free catered lunches, including the sushi.
And so my long-winded introduction comes to an end. By now you should know that I enjoy working with great teams, helping people be creative and innovate, building new revenue streams, and eating sushi. And by knowing that, you’ll understand why joining Derek and the TextNow team was an easy decision.
If you think that it’d be an easy decision for you too, check out our open positions, and send me a note if you’re interested! I promise to keep the clichés to a minimum.