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From journalists to developers: my path to Percolate
FT Tilt was the latest – and ultimately, the last – adventure in what had been an exciting career at the Financial Times, which I joined as a graduate trainee in the fall of 2006.
That March, FT Tilt was only two months old, the future was bright, and Noah Brier had just deferred a planned breakfast meeting due to a bout of SXSW flu.
Noah and I had been introduced over email by a former FT colleague who believed in “connecting people who live at the intersection of technology and media”. (Thanks, Kevin!)
When we finally met, we spent 90 coffee-fuelled minutes talking about everything from project management software to the crazy awesomeness of Red Bull Island.
And then, in October, the FT decided to close Tilt down – and I decided to leave the company. And so it was that at our next “coffee talk”, in December, Noah popped the question: “so, how’d you like to come work for Percolate?”
At the time I was ‘in talks’ with other media companies about reporting and editing positions, and also contemplating academia. (Moving back to the Caribbean was another option, and a much longer story.)
But Noah’s offer was intriguing. In my (recently-past) life as an FT journalist, I’d combined blogging, reporting and editing with project and product management. I loved being a part of “the future of media” as much as I loved reporting on complex financial products (seriously). And I was always happiest when I managed to combine the two, working first on FT Alphaville and then on FT Tilt.
Which is another way of saying that I was, and am, an unabashed geek and a lover of words with a blogging habit that stretches back to the dark ages of blink tags and uploading HTML files to FTP servers.
And I absolutely wanted to work for a company that lived at the intersection of technology and media, that cares deeply about hiring good people, and that – yes, this matters – has excellent project management habits. A commitment to health and community certainly don’t hurt.
So I said yes to Noah’s question. And now – after some wrangling with US immigration services – I work with a team of awesome developers, one phenomenal designer, an amazing client experiences manager and a properly impressive sales team. And, of course, with Noah and James.
Percolate is all about helping brands be interesting at social scale. In my new role, I work with everyone on the team to help us achieve this goal – with the developers to build products our clients will love; with our designer to make these products beautiful; with the business team to understand where the market is going and what we need to do to anticipate and fulfill clients’ needs.
And I get to edit the Percolate blog. So if you spot any typos – in this post or anywhere else – let me know.
PS: it’s absolutely true that journalists and developers are very similar, though programmers drink more beer. Ask me all about it at the next likemind event.