At the platform level, results have to be fast, trustworthy, and consistent. Trista, as former Global Head of Sales for Morningstar, saw this phenomenon (and these customer demands) first-hand in the context of a proprietary, paid-service model. Now, consumer platforms from Netflix to Spotify face similar issues with user expectations and service levels and Trista helps us understand what’s needed.
With nearly twenty years in the multimedia space – including in music and visual content – Shannon has seen trends come and go and understands what it takes to be popular online and offline. Having experience from print advertising to the music industry to UI/UX design, Shannon is a key advisor on how search functionality should work and what’s wrong with how image and music search works now.
Starting with a Tumblr loosely based on her yoga practice, Sarah has built a big following across platforms with no ad spend. How? By focusing on engagement rather than views and recognizing that what she’s been building is a lifestyle narrative, not a how-to blog or a product placement stream. She’s in Seattle and advises our team on what’s needed to make search work for multi-platform content.
Having joined startup Vendavo shortly after its Series E but before its 2006 funding round, Mike has seen what it takes for a startup to continue to scale, improve profitability, and enter new areas. After Vendavo’s acquisition by a private equity firm in 2014, Mike has held a variety of Director-level positions. Mike earned a B.S. from Northwestern and an Executive M.B.A. from London Business School.
Matt is an automotive journalist, podcast personality, and social media star. Now, with hundreds of millions of views on YouTube, Matt has gone from borrowing friends’ cars to make amateur videos to getting fresh models from manufacturers and tuners to test on camera in high-production-value review clips. Matt lives, unsurprisingly, in the capital of American car culture: Los Angeles.
Someone who has recruited key technical talent from full stack engineering (AWS) to search (Bing), Margaret brings her Amazon and Microsoft recruiting experiences to her advisory role at Haystack, helping us evaluate our needs and helping us understand the landscape of available candidates. Before working at Amazon and Microsoft, Margaret worked for a Seattle-area startup. She’s from Chicago.
Karma Rx is a social media personality, model, and entrepreneur. Since 2014, she has gone from being unknown on social media to having over 1,000,000 followers on Instagram and some of the highest engagement rates on multiple platforms; she is a success story of someone with no ad budget who figured out how to go beyond mere popularity to obtain loyal followers and high user engagement.
John is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs in the Asset Management group. Prior to joining Goldman, John co-founded and managed Imprint Capital Advisors (acquired by Goldman Sachs in 2015) and, prior to that, was a co-founder of Medley Capital. John is an expert on early- and growth-stage companies. He is a Yale alumnus, a talented musician, and an avid outdoorsman.
Jake is a partner at 8VC (formerly part of Formation 8). Prior to life as a venture capitalist, Jake co-founded Humin (acquired by Tinder), where he built the technical/engineering team, product plan, and partnerships. He is also a founder of the Solé Bicycle Company, which has evolved from a single bicycle model to become a lifestyle brand. Jake is a graduate of the USC Marshall School of Business.
Heidi is one of Haystack’s advisors on platform-level tech. Having experience at Oracle serving demanding clients like Facebook, Heidi understands what it takes to run search, recommendation, and feed services at scale and what technologies will and won’t work when user numbers grow into the millions – or billions. Heidi has advised Haystack since 2017 and lives in the Bay Area.