Innovating at the Intersection of Tech and AI
During my college years at UCSB, I became involved with the Technology Management Program and fell in love with early stage companies. During the fall of 2001, I co-founded Gnostic Labs, a computer game company that set it’s sights on making a persistent online universe, complete with a virtual currency based economy. Many of the ideas were ahead of it’s time, and the high water mark was when we pitched Rock Star Games at E3 in 2003 after GTA had propelled them from game studio to publisher. Ultimately, the gaming industry was not for me, but I learned a lot about managing the business of a start-up, and am very grateful for my memories of Gnostic Labs.
My professional career started in 2007, when I packed up my car and headed to Los Angeles after living for two years in my hometown of Missoula, MT. I worked my way up from different technology focused sales jobs until I was running my own online marketing agency, managing direct response digital ads. Before long my side hustle became my main hustle, and I found myself working for Docstoc in Santa Monica. The company culture there was very open, and I was put in charge of the custom document product with a small development team, working sometimes through the night to deliver on our promise of customized legal agreements. We built it into a successful acquisition pipeline for the company, and helped countless businesses create Employee Handbooks and other vital business documents. In 2013 Intuit purchased Docstoc and I transitioned to their online acquisition team to work on QuickBooks products.
Intuit is an amazing company to work for, a dinosaur tech company that keeps re-inventing itself to stay relevant. I learned a lot about their customer-focused process, even more about corporate leadership and loved managing their seemingly unlimited advertisement budgets. At Intuit, I ended up working on an early stage product called QuickBooks Self-Employed which we helped launch. The product became a big hit as we found product market fit for the budding self-employed market for saving money on their taxes.
When I left, I was managing tens of millions of dollars in annual ad spend and our product had over 300,000 paid subscribers.
At Orchid, I started as the head of marketing, and then moved over to running product. The company focuses on building blockchain technology for open networking. The story for Orchid is still being written and I am excited about its mission.
Now, as the COO of Vast AI, I bring all these experiences together. My background in product creation, startup management, and leveraging technology for innovative solutions is what I contribute to Vast AI. At Vast, I am focused on operational strategy, driving forward our mission to utilize artificial intelligence to solve complex, real-world problems. My journey from UCSB to Vast AI has been filled with learning and growth, and I am excited about the future we are building with AI at the forefront.