As if life weren’t hectic enough between full-time job and MBA, in 2010 I jumped at the opportunity to join Mindspark, an IAC company, where I was offered a Sr. Engineer position. By taking that job, I made my very desired transition from the enterprise software world onto the tech startup world. In New York! The little entrepreneurial boy inside of me, from the country-side of Brazil, couldn’t be more ecstatic!
As part of an extremely talented group of engineers I learned and accomplished a lot during my first months at Mindspark. After approximately 3 months I was offered my first promotion and became the Engineering Director for our Expressions division, with the challenge of executing on a roadmap designed to make many of Mindspark’s aging social expression brands relevant again. I formed a team with 8 engineers and over the course of one and a half years, I delivered 3 new Facebook apps, introduced e-commerce (subscription and virtual goods sales), built a platform that was used to quickly crank out new sites and validate 4 new product concepts, and finally launched the first Mindspark mobile app on iOS, SmileyCentral.
I have benefited from my challenges and the vibrant startup environment, not only to re-tool in terms of web technologies and architectures, but I have also embraced the opportunity to employ various agile development and product management practices that have always sparked my interest and that I had been studying. I successfully implemented SCRUM with my teams and introduced the concepts of Business Model Canvas and Lean Startup which brought me much closer to the business leadership at the company.
By mid-2012, we were through all the critical phases planed in the Expression's roadmap. Somewhat in parallel, Mindspark was already refocusing its investments on a select number of promising new products, including Television Fanatic, Coupon Alert, Almost Cooked, and new mobile application ideas. I was enlisted to manage the engineering teams for all those initiatives. Besides managing five teams, I was also being pulled to contribute to mobile B2B projects under Mindspark's sister company APN.