I am currently advising, and investing in, several established and startup companies - bringing my experience in starting, launching and scaling technology products in SaaS, Productivity, Content Creation and Education. I also help startups position their products for successful product-led growth and help them find market fit and valuable partnerships. I'm working with executive teams at companies and investment firms and open to board roles (use my contact page if you want to chat about that). I've also got a few side-gigs in industries that might surprise you ;)
I was previously the Chief Product Officer at Zapier, responsible for Product Management, Design and Research. Zapier (rhymes with happier), helps people automate their work, making them more productive with the apps they use everyday. If you're using apps online, and you're looking for a No-Code solution to help your business scale, give Zapier a try!
Before September, 2019, I spent 14 years initiating, launching and scaling products at Google... Here's that history, from most recent:
I started the G Suite for Education product team at the start of 2013, including the creation of Google Classroom - which launched in 2014; Google Forms - which we expanded to include Quizzes for educators; Google Expeditions - which brought Virtual Reality to schools as an effective tool for learning; and other products like Course Kit and Workbench. I also started up a new collaborative products team which created the Jamboard Apps and Hardware for collaborative white-boarding, and was launched in May, 2017. I started both those teams and the related products from scratch in 2013.
I started my role at Google in 2005, when a company I co-founded as CEO (2web Technologies) was acquired by Google. We developed that product to become Google Sheets, which launched in mid-2006. I became the lead product manager responsible for the development of the Google Docs, Google Drive and the collaborative suite of tools from its inception, when we were just a team of 4 in NYC - which grew to include Google Slides, Forms, Apps Script, Sites, Drawings, Fonts and other related products. I led Product Development for these collaborative cloud products through the first 8 years of growth, until 2013 when I started up the Google For Education and Jamboard teams.
I worked at the Google office in NYC with other amazing product managers, designers and engineers who continue to build and support these products used by more than a billion people every month.
Before Google, I co-founded and led two successful startups - ITK solutions, a technology consulting firm in NY City, and 2Web Technologies, where we created the XL2Web product which got acquired by Google and became the collaborative, cloud-based spreadsheet product known as Google Sheets.
Before my startups, I worked as a software engineer and engineering manager in financial services in NY City.
G Suite for Education
GSuite For Education: I built and managed a new Google For Education products team starting in 2013. We initiated and launched Google Classroom - an assignment workflow app for teachers and students - and Google Expeditions - a Virtual Reality teaching tool which allows teachers to take students on virtual explorations as a group using Google Cardboard VR. Google Classroom simplifies class communication and assignment workflow and (as of 2019, when I left Google) was used actively by more than 40 million teachers and students globally. It is used for free by teachers and students who use G Suite for education, or in other learning contexts with a Google (Gmail) account. Expeditions can also be accessed by anyone for free with over 800 virtual tours available (as of 2017) to anyone with a mobile phone or tablet (iOS or Android).
I managed these and other education-related apps, including Google Forms & Quizzes, Course Kit, Workbench and others. My role focused on the use of those apps - and of all core G Suite products (like GMail, Docs, Drive, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Calendar, etc) in K-12 and Higher Education, globally.
In 2017, the NY Times profiled our success in the US K12 Classroom in this article, entitled "How Google Took Over the Classroom".
Besides the somewhat sensationalized subtitle and an out of context quote by me ;) , the article did offer a sense of the value of Google tools in education and our approach to development which focuses on listening to the needs of the educators as a priority.
Photo Credit: Nick Cote, New York Times
Jamboard: This hardware and software product is a collaborative whiteboard which removes the barriers to team creativity and rethinks the concept of productivity in meetings. Announced in October, 2016, Jamboard gives teams an open canvas which feels as natural as a whiteboard, but can be shared and saved with the full power of the web and the same collaborative power used in Google Docs. Team members can draw and add visual assets and text - including the use of tablet and phone apps for realtime participation by in-room or remote participants.
I initiated the Jamboard product as the lead Product Director in 2013 as a combined hardware and software effort to enhance the value of GSuite for businesses.
Before all that - Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Docs, etc...
From 2005 through early 2013, I was lead product manager for all the collaborative apps in the Google Docs and Drive suite. That journey started when the company I co-founded in 2003 and led as CEO - 2Web Technologies - was bought by Google in 2005 to begin the development of Google Sheets. That was the first App in the Google Docs suite to launch on June 6th, 2006 by a small team of me and 4 engineers in the Google NYC office. In March of that year we bought another company (Writely) to begin the simultaneous integration of a word processing app - Docs - and in October, 2006, we brought the two together to publicly launch Google Docs & Spreadsheets.
We continued to grow the team and develop additional apps - Google Slides, Forms, Drawings, Apps Script, Google Fonts - and me and my original co-founder, Fuzzy Khosrowshahi, led the team from the product and engineering perspective, respectively. Fuzzy is the genius, self-taught engineer behind our original XL2Web product that was originally aimed at financial services customers and later impressed Google so much that they acquired our company. Another amazing engineer from our original team, Micah Lemonik - another genius, is also still at Google working with us, leading a team of engineers on some of our most complex challenges. He deserves credit for most of the original collaborative magic in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc. which continues to be used today.
The most recent productivity product I initiated and led was the Jamboard Collaborative whiteboard, which is the newest addition to G Suite and includes a 55" hardware device which uses advanced touch technology as well as collaborative whiteboard apps for web, iOS and Android devices. It has changed the way I collaborate in meetings no matter where I am.