My Product Path
Senior Product Manager (Interim Director of Product)
Oct '16 - Present // Ancestry
After exiting my previous startup, I was determined to find a company with a human mission. I jumped at the opportunity to take the product lead over Ancestry's industry-best mobile apps. My first major project was to deliver a company wide, Global Mobile Strategy. It was an absolute blast working with our Executive Team to bring the strategy from ideation, to iteration, and then execution.
And oh yeah, I also did a ton of hands on, feature level work to increase all of our favorite acronyms as well: Engagement KPIs (MAU/DAU + NPS) which inevitably led to higher performing Business Metrics (LTV, MRR, ARPU, etc.)
President & Co-Founder
Sept '13 - Oct '16 // Plus11
I have had some really neat opportunities to learn in my career, but running my own startup was invaluable to me. One of my greatest takeaways was finding where my true passion lies: the end user. My customer service roots might have been my greatest asset as I would spend hours doing the customer support and interacting with users even when we grew to have dedicated customer service reps. You often hear the phrase that product managers are "mini CEOs" of their specific products & features and it was genuinely a blast to live that ideology for the company as a whole. I learned that I want to work on products and technology that legitimately make people's lives better. (Click here to learn more about Plus11 and the social platform we built!)
Head of Product & Engineering
Nov '09 - Sept '13 // Optini
Easily the most disruptive and innovative company that I've worked for, and also a company started by my dad and I. We started by building a platform to completely upend the online advertising industry, then partnered with Intel® on their Common Connectivity Framework (hardware and software proximity technology), and then leveraged that partnership to have my most unique business opportunity to-date: partnering with Shaquille O'neal on one of my app ideas. I learned lessons from my dad about "buyer's delight" and fighting for what you want in life, and I would never trade that time with him for anything.
May '09 - Nov '09 // Ziblio
Ziblio had a unique business model in leveraging exclusive, proprietary content to offer up stunning imagery for users to create their own photobooks. I was able to work with companies like NBC Universal, Zion National Park, and J.C. Penney to launch virtual and physical photobook campaigns. Learning the difference between brick-&-mortar and digital product management was a crucial step in my product path. I learned that getting a product on the shelves of top retailers is no small feat.
Associate Product Manager
July '07 - Jan '09 // PowerCode
Even though I started off as an Associate Product Manager, this company quickly became my Pandora's box for discovering all sorts of different opportunities in career development. I was basically over the product while also creating and forming a Value Added Reseller Network with distributed, tiered pricing SaaS models and I also hit up enough trade shows for a lifetime. I learned that it's possible to become overly passionate about ISP Billing Solutions.
Customer Support Manager
Jan '06 - July '07 // Rise Broadband
I technically started off as an installer for wireless internet, but my passion for installing wasn't nearly as hot as the rooftops I was working on, so I opted to become our 2nd customer support rep right before we hit a stage of hyper-growth (from a few thousand subs to almost 30k subs). I learned that I actually enjoyed working with angry customers in finding a solution that made them happy; I still remember the names of many of those people.
Bueller. Bueller. Bueller.
And the winner is:
Most people know Shaq as the NBA Champion and legend, but few people know that he is a major player in the business world and knows how to pick winners… since he is one.
Utah Innovation Awards // Finalist
It came down to two companies: My tiny little startup (David) vs a $300mm/year budget innovation machine in Disney Interactive (Goliath). Well, Goliath won. But being a Finalist was #winning enough for us.
App Store // Top Charts
Every single App that I’ve ever touched has either debuted or remained on the App Store & Play Store top charts for the entirety of its lifecycle. Try to find someone that can say that about 10 different mobile apps.
Austin knows how to talk tech when it’s time to talk tech. He knows how to talk product in order to bring unquestioned business value. He’s my guy when it comes to mobile tech and all you need is five minutes with him to understand why.Nick CannonEntertainer & Entrepreneur
Austin and I worked together to build Plus11. He managed our team of over 20 programmers and designers who worked with us both in-house and overseas. Austin was our company’s leader in building and marketing our apps with over 500k users, and showed great creativity & hard work in his pursuit to make the apps a success.Nate BrysonCEO & Co-Founder
Austin has an uncanny ability to pick something up, learn it, and then dominate it. I’ve seen it for decades now and in many different situations; from fatherhood to his professional life, Austin will always give his all and his all is unparalleled.Brady WrightEntrepreneur & Brother
Austin was my direct boss for more than 3 years. Dedication and commitment are the first two values you’ll luck out with when working alongside Austin. Followed closely by attention to detail, understanding of the bigger picture and scope. He’s well-versed enough in many different fields to comprehend the impact of each business decision.Dillon WinspearCreative Director