As a kid, growing up in Venezuela I loved lots of stuff. Here’s a brief list of some of them: TV, books, graphic novels, writing stories, painting, riding my bike, soccer, basketball, telling jokes, music, movies, doodling, the rain, food, desserts, surfing, board games, arcades, computers, and video games.
I went to a Catholic school, fell in love with religion, asked too many questions, fell out of love with religion, read a lot, fell in love with philosophy, wrote short stories, started a short-lived booze business for dry parties, did the whole teenager thing, became political, protested the government, wrote poems, graduated, and moved to Boston.
Fresh outta college
I started my career as a journalist because writing had always brought me joy, but I soon found out I disliked the feeling of being a professional witness to other people’s lives. I needed to be able to create, and reporting the news didn’t cut it.
So I went into political strategy with a creative twist. After all, I’d always had an interest in politics and I did love writing. I planned communication campaigns and wrote and produced content for politicians in the US, Venezuela, and different Latam countries. I loved this part of my life and I was great at it, but I didn’t love it enough to risk facing the wrath of a dictatorship. So I decided to play it safe.
I went corporate for about 4 months in a consulting firm before realizing I hated it. I did market research for big tobacco and a lot of PowerPoint presentations. The tape was red and plentiful. Thankfully, I had a side project creating the brand of a new tech startup a friend was building. This changed everything.
Build, baby, build
I came up with a name and a brand identity, we came up with a plan for launching in México City, and the product idea sounded beautifully simple. Tinder for blue-collar jobs in Latam. What could go wrong? That’s for a different post, but Alana.jobs sure helped me grow.
Branding rapidly turned into UI and that got me excited about UX. I was hooked. For the first time, I felt the rush of building something from zero to one that could impact millions of people. I worked with the founders, the tech team and our two in-house designers to build a great product through two years of successes, failures, and constant iteration.
To be continued…
(If you read this far and were let down by my abrupt ending, I apologize. I promise I’ll finish this story soon enough)