Product Manager, Entrepreneur, and Software Engineer in Folsom, California
My parents raised me on a mix of music and technology. I started pressing keys on the piano at 5, and pressing keys on my family's first computer at 10. I always liked tinkering with things. One day, I opened that computer up, and started pulling cards out of it while it was on. I broke it. Scared, I took it to the local computer shop and watched them fix it. I was 15 at the time, and learned then that technology was nothing to fear.
I went on to be one of those kids that hung out at the local computer store after school. After graduating high school, my first job was fixing computers. From there, I was hired away by our largest customer, Siemens. That started me on an early career in the IT field.
Not feeling fulfilled on my music side, I resigned from Siemens after 5 years to pursue a degree in music. I found a program that combined both my love of technology and music, and graduated with a degree in Recording Arts and Music Industry from Chico State.
After Chico I got a job running live sound on a national rock tour. I loved live sound, but found touring life just wasn't my gig.
That led to probably the best launching point for my third career path. I quit touring and moved to San Diego. There, I joined a small team that was trying to figure out how to help private music teachers find students. That small team eventually turned in to a company now known as TakeLessons.
I helped cofound TakeLessons, and worked there for 8 years, moving from Web Developer up to Sr. Product Manager. I helped define and develop the initial MVP of our website, whose core features are still the main features of our business. I pushed the company to fully support mobile, and led the product initiatives to build our first native mobile apps.
I really loved being part of a growing startup, and have learned A LOT about what it takes to build successful products and a successful company.