I'm Andrew. Welcome!

I work in customer success for the world's leading software and infrastructure companies. I've worked at startups, I teach startups, and I'm excited to share what I've learned along the way!

My Background

I grew up in a small town in Missouri, fascinated by the digital world accessible through our 56k dial-up modem. As soon as we got internet access, I remember fiddling with tools that would allow me to create stuff. The ability to sit in front of a monitor and watch something go from "idea" to "reality" hooked me. After getting a business degree from Missouri Southern State University, I went on to the University of Central Florida to get my Masters Degree in Interactive Entertainment (a fancy phrase for video game development).

Professionally, I would work as a Game Designer at EA Sports in Orlando for a very short period of time before leaving the game industry and getting into digital product management at an education technology startup. That startup would get acquired by another startup, which would then go out of business 15 months later. My family would end up moving to Northern Virginia in September of 2015, where I'd take a job as a Product Manager at the DC location of Pivotal Labs. After two years, I moved on to run customer success at a DC-based startup building Alexa and Google Assistant apps, before moving BACK to Pivotal in a customer success role for our Mid-Atlantic customers. 

While not my "day job," I spend a lot of energy teaching startups, founders, and small teams how to build better software. I've been fortunate to work as an instructor for two local programs, MACH37 and #Black Female Founders, where I conduct workshops and lectures on a variety of topics.

I've launched successful products and massive flops. I've worked with large Fortune 500 enterprises and one-person startups. I've led sessions for CTOs and interns, and I'm excited about sharing what I know to help EVERYONE build their tech-powered products and businesses.

Core Beliefs

There are a handful of guiding principles that lay the foundation for what I teach, why I teach it, and how I deliver the content.
  • Hard, Not Complicated: Building great products is not easy to do, but it doesn't have to be complex, convoluted, or confusing. There are well-worn patterns and philosophies that can make the process simpler, and we want to rely on those whenever possible. 
  • Optimize for Fast, Continuous Learning: Some folks will say, "Fail fast," but I think it's more important to, "Learn fast." You can learn from failures, sure, but too often, folks fail without having learned anything tangible, then they celebrate the failure! Building software often comes with very high levels of uncertainty, so we want to minimize that as much as possible. We do this through designing smart experiments, small chunks of meaningful work, and getting things in the hands of users quickly.
  • Software is Always "done," but Never "Done:" When we're building products, the objective is to get something delightful and valuable as quickly as possible, then iterate often. Do things in a way that doesn't ever break the app, and you'll always have software that feels done, even though there are still tons of features you want to add. As tastes change, competitors arise, and technology advances, your app will always need changes, updates, and improvements.
  • The Right Way is the Way That Works for You: There are countless books, podcasts, interviews, blog posts, and courses that promise success and results. Most of those techniques can work, but all those techniques suffer from survivor's bias. I'm focused on teaching repeatable skills that can de-risk your efforts and increase your chances at success, but I'm certainly not promising results of any kind. It's still up to you to make your own path, so I encourage you to take what I teach and use it to craft your own journey.
  • Use the Right Tool for the Job: If you can't code, that's fine. If you can code, that's fine. If you like Jira, great. If not, that's okay. Prefer a physical whiteboard to something like Miro? Good for you! The point...there are specific tools *I* use in my workflow, but I don't expect you to use those tools exclusively. I will always explain why I'm using the tool I'm using, what alternatives I evaluated, and unless the course is explicitly focused on how to use that tool, you're free to use whatever you want.

My Teaching Style

Some Random Info

My Funky Family

I live with my incredible wife, Rachel, and our two dogs. And my mother. And her two dogs. And my mother-in-law lives 30 minutes away, with her dog. And my brother-in-law lives 30 minutes away with his fiancée. We get together often to eat fantastic food.

Vidya Games

Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Google, Oculus, nVidia, Steam, you name it...if it plays games, I probably have it. There's nothing I enjoy more than a great single-player game. Video games provide me the escape that others may find in a great fiction book.

Sports & Such

I played 5 sports in high school, 2 sports in college, and still enjoy kicking a football around. Recently, I started playing beach volleyball with my wife and our friends. We've even played in a couple tournaments together! (Yes, that's me in the pic.)