Become someone else that you weren’t in the beginning
It’s bittersweet, but I’m excited to be sharing some news – today will be my last day at AOL, as I move to something new. I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be joining the NewsCred team.
About 2.5 years ago, I was working at ABC News when my old boss pitched me to join him at AOL to be a part of something big – help shape a massive turnaround of one of the oldest brands on the internet from the ground up. I thought he was absolutely crazy — a company that (I thought) had little relevance but annoyingly impressive staying power was a reason for me to google clips of dial-up modem sounds, not the next step for my career.
With a few meetings and knowing there was something behind an article with a headline like this, I came to work with some of the most talented people in the business to drive a comeback of one of the largest forces on the internet. Working across AOL’s various businesses, I had the best learning experience I could ask for – exploring new strategies, restructuring challenged businesses, and executing partnerships for growth across content, commerce, local, and games. It’s been an amazing experience to be a part of a comeback of this scale – and I’m especially thankful to have worked with great partners and learned from fantastic mentors + colleagues like Jared, Dave, Douglas, Ken, Ben, Karim, Mike, and many others.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve always had a passion for entrepreneurial environments + the startup community – inspired by the energy, smarts, and desire to flip models on their head to do things differently – and have loved getting AOL integrated, accessible, and contributing to the community. It’s been an incredible experience to be a part of a booming, inspiring, and supportive NY Tech community and I’ve felt honored and lucky to be a part of it. I’m even more honored to be making the startup jump to join one of the most exciting media + tech startups building in NY.
Starting on Monday, I’ll be joining NewsCred, a content technology company that’s looking to transform the business model of high-quality journalism by reinventing how and where content is sourced, distributed, published, and paid for – by connecting brands and publishers to create new + creative content experiences. I’ll be joining as their Director of Content, managing the acquisition, operations, and editorial side of the business to help anyone creating quality content gain more value from what they do every day. I’m pumped to be joining the incredibly impressive team of Shafqat, Scott, Iraj, Asif, Kayvan, Alicanne, and others, backed by fantastic investors like FirstMark, AOL Ventures, Lerer, Advancit, IA, and Floodgate – and I’m especially excited to begin working with their existing roster of 1000+ stellar partners.
Through my times at ABC and AOL, I’ve seen that content businesses are frustratingly hard – but quality journalism, insight, and opinion is a must to feed every part of our lives. Surviving as a content business requires scale and speed with no compromise to quality and voice – a challenging + killer combination that in itself is unfortunately not enough to keep an industry thriving in today’s world. The need for new ways to distribute, monetize, and extend the value of content is massive – and pairing that with the demand for quality content as brands and publishers grow their voice is really exciting. In getting to know Shafqat and the NewsCred team, it’s clear that every person is ecstatic to be building something that recreates the model of content and solves important problems to help an industry thrive – and I’m so, so excited to be joining them to help take the company to the next level.
It’s been a whirlwind 2+ years and I’m incredibly thankful for wonderful colleagues and experiences at AOL, in addition to the support of the NY Tech community – but I couldn’t be more excited to get started with NewsCred. If you’re creating fantastic content, looking to build creative content experiences, or just want to learn more about how NewsCred is transforming the model – I’d love to chat with you!