One of the reasons I love surfing is that every session and even every single wave is completely different and unique. As I paddle out to start a surf session, I have no idea what the ocean’s vast waters will bring me that day with each wave I try to catch. There are choices I can make that help influence what my rides will look like – I can choose which break to surf; I can select my board; I can change out my fins – but I’m heavily at the mercy of Mother Nature and Neptune. And yet at the same time, I have this feeling while I’m surfing that I’m actually in some small way taming the wilds of the ocean, channelling its power and riding atop it. There is no way to adequately describe this thrill.
StumbleUpon draws many parallels to this in my mind. The web – like the ocean – is vast and unpredictable. My interests – like my boards and the many surf breaks that line the coasts of California and our great planet – are varied. And with every Stumble session that I browse, I’m never quite sure what new and surprising twists and turns I’ll discover. And yet as I use StumbleUpon and it continues to find new and interesting things for me that I never would have found on my own, it feels special, unique, and powerful. It’s not “control” over the Web per se, but there is definitely a magical quality to being introduced to an awesome new thing on the Web that’s perfect for me. It just feels special.
For this reason, I couldn’t be more excited to join StumbleUpon this week. My role will be to help define the future for StumbleUpon, listening to our more than 25 million users and our more than 75,000 advertisers, and anticipating what the rest of the world will want from us as they learn to discover the vastness and awesomeness of the Web through us.
As a product manager, my job is to identify and solve problems for customers. And at a macro level, StumbleUpon is solving an incredibly exciting problem: there is an ever-growing, nearly infinite amount of media available to discover and no easy way to find what’s new and interesting to me. StumbleUpon has stepped in as your personalized guide for the web, providing a simple interface across all key devices to help you easily discover new, surprising and engaging content and information matched to your interests.
And as for surfing? Well, as I see it, we’re building intelligent channel surfing for the digital era, and I couldn’t be more excited to make that happen.