The Magnify team is a growing band of media makers, code wranglers, and web evangelists who are committed to making video a team sport. If you're interested in learning more, or joining the team, visit our jobs site.
I was a magician in high school, and I always loved the back and forth with the audience. The feedback. When I started working in the media, I found the whole 'one way' thing kind of hollow. I wanted applause if we did well and I wanted rotten fruit if the audience didn't like a documentary or program we produced.
At the first chance I got, I invented a TV series that gave the audience a chance to do more than watch -- but actually participate. It was called MTV UNfiltered, and if you haven't checked it out, you can find it here.
Along the way, I've made a ton of films, documentaries, and web projects for partners including HBO, Discovery, A&E, MSNBC, and CNN. I've also directed a number of feature documentaries, including a film I'm very proud of, "7 Days in September," about how New York was affected by the attacks on the World Trade Center.
Magnify.net is the incarnation of the way I see the media world evolving. Increasingly, the power is in the hands of the audience. The audience engages, shares, ranks, and validates. I always imagined Magnify.net as a platform that would engage, embrace, and facilitate media creating, sharing, and collective knowledge. I'm passionate about the sounds and pictures that real people create, and excited to help create order from chaos.
Content is king. Well...only if you can find it. As the amount of digital information grows exponentially, content starts to look more like a peasant than the king. I'm a firm believer that search algorithms are only getting us part of the way to accurate content discovery, but we need to inject the human element back into the equation to bring content into context. I spent the first 5 years of my career at one of the largest content companies in the world - Thomson Reuters. Heading up roles in content strategy, product strategy and innovation, I welcomed the challenge to deliver meaningful, well organized content to some of the largest financial services organizations in the world. Curation Nation became a 'must read' within the office and it was then that I knew the team at Magnify was on to something special. Born and raised (and still living in New Jersey), I have an MBA from Fordham University's Graduate School of Business and a BA in Economics from Wesleyan University.
I’ve always loved engineering. When I was a kid I got hooked on a RadioShack electronics kit and when I got to college I majored in Electrical Engineering at Penn State. I started out designing hardware, then microcontrollers, and finally software. Recently I’ve come back to hardware design through my hobby coaching my son’s robotics teams.
I applied my engineering skills for many years in the financial space in part because it is an industry that pushes computers to their limits. Traders have tough requirements for reliability and performance, and I think that has shaped my appreciation for software and hardware built to be rugged and fast.
I’m excited about my work at Magnify because I see curated content as the next step in the evolution of the ways we digest information. I’ve been an avid New York Times reader all my life, and I worried that the content industry was shrinking. But the value content curators provide is the analysis and human, editorial judgment that is essential. Magnify has applied that principle to video curation by providing tools and infrastructure to allow people to filter and suggest good quality content out of a growing sea of data. It represents the inevitable triumph of quality over quantity.
When I was in high school, I was bad at math and good at language. In college, I majored in English and French and never took a computer course. I think everyone was surprised when I suddenly decided to become a programmer after a brief and uninspiring career in the fashion industry. It's not as weird as you'd think.
Programming is fundamentally about language. Its the only job I can think of where what you write, the stories you conceive, structure, and edit, literally come alive as you type. Code has a tone, a grammar -- an elegant turn of phrase can collapse 30 lines of spaghetti into an efficient 4-line loop.
After years of working as consultant, mostly for companies that maintain internal applications that only they will ever see, Magnify.net gives me the opportunity to write stories that thousands of people see and interact with every day.
As corny as it sounds, I believe in the fundamental power of storytelling to inform and transform our lives. Armed with a degree in English Literature, I landed my first job in the media business at a fashion magazine back in 1988 in the Hell's Kitchen neighborhood of New York City. Since then, my career has given me a chance to work on some amazing brands - New York Magazine, The Atlantic, People, Real Simple, InStyle, Health, and Essence, among many others. Five years ago, in the midst of my career at Time Inc., I made the move into digital media to launch a site called Health.com, and that led to a role managing the resurgent This Old House franchise across all platforms - digital, print and TV.
My job at Magnify gives me a chance to serve the needs of media, commerce, and other related businesses that recognize the importance of storytelling and the centrality of a curated content experience. With the right tools and talent, any business can have a direct, meaningful and ongoing dialogue with its audience or customers. And that is a powerful relationship to have.
At age six, my mother found me playing with clay and maize stalks. When asked what I was doing, I replied matter-of-factly, "I am building a computer for my airplane." Since then, I have built a functioning computer from scratch, and I now have my pilot's license, but really - I am a numbers guy. I studied Accounting at Fordham University and received my M.B.A. from New York Institute of Technology. Over the course of my career, I have worked in a multitude of industries, from construction to publishing.
I have always been curious about how things work, and am interested in finding better ways of doing things. At Magnify, we are making access to stories simpler and more beautiful than ever. As Controller, I navigate the company through the clouds and keep us on track as we revolutionize story-telling in the digital age. I’ve come a long way from playing in the maize fields in Zimbabwe as a child, and I am lucky to be working with such creative and passionate people.
I've always believed that along with food and shelter, storytelling is a basic human need. Video sharing started on cave walls, we chipped stories into granite, we now capture stories -- literally by lining up little electric blips out of thin air. I believe in the essence of storytelling so much I am a card-carrying journalist. I've shot, produced & edited hundreds of long-form documentaries over the last 20 years. You've seen my work on A&E, MSNBC, National Geographic, CNN, CBS, Court TV and more. I even have awards to prove it!
So what gives with my title today? I also learned that to be a successful creative, you have to be able to run a business. Contracts shape the resources and money you will have to work on a project, the lawyers can actually sometimes pave the way to make things happen. Effective budgets and money management make the difference between profit or deficit. Plus, I like working with numbers, they tell stories in their own way.
Everything I've done leads up to this moment. Magnify.net is here to give a voice to you -- to empower you to tell your story. I couldn't be more proud. Have you shared a video today?
Among groups of friends, everyone has a role. I have always been the planner. It's not always the easiest task to bring everyone together, but when people are able to come to one place to share their stories, it can be truly magical. Today, there are countless ways to connect with one another, and no one even has to be in the same room. Right now, online video is booming more than ever. People are uploading video to the Internet in order to share their lives with each other.
While attending Quinnipiac University, my eyes were opened to the digital world. I received my undergraduate degree in English and my graduate degree in Journalism. While studying Journalism, I learned a valuable lesson -- the world was headed online and video was going to be central to that experience.
The first time I looked at the Magnify.net site, I knew they were on to something special, and I wanted to be a part of this global transition that curation is creating. Now, I am proud to say that I am a part of the Magnify team, where I help manage the online platform that enables so many people share their content, stories, and lives with one another.
I've always been interested in design. I still remember that when I was young, the first web interface that ever wowed me was Pandora Radio. It was the first time I had ever seen something online that was so interactive and well-designed, that managed to transform content from a "traditional" technology (radio) to fit a brand new medium. In that moment, I started to realize the true capabilities of the web. Today, I am a part of transforming video content into a curated experience.
While studying Human Factors and Information Science at Cornell University, I became particularly interested not only in design, but in examining how people interact with designed products and environments. As someone who enjoys the challenges inherent in bridging the gap between design, technology, and users, working in user experience for Magnify is the perfect role.
I’m one of those people that just can’t rest until I’ve figured out a problem (yes, I’ve spent 6 hours on the phone with tech support setting up a wireless network). Naturally, this makes me the go-to person for any questions that start with “Why won’t this work?” I have been interested in technology ever since I built my first web business in my sophomore year of college. Now I have the opportunity to work on a product that can truly shape the way video content is consumed on the web.
Born in Belarus and raised in Boston, I studied Economics and Finance at Bentley University. I spent a few years pursuing a career in finance, but was quickly drawn back to the world of tech entrepreneurship. The infinite possibilities of innovation in technology were too appealing for me to ignore. I worked at a startup called Yodle, where I learned how larger organizations sell their product and manage their client base. Later, I joined a 5-person startup as a Sales Director, where I worked directly with the tech team in building our product while interacting with clients at the same time.
It was in this role that I developed an appreciation for having synergy between business development and technical development in a company. My background ultimately led me to my function at Magnify – making sure that our clients have a fantastic experience using our product by being fully aware of our benefits and technical capabilities.
Believe it or not, there was a time when I would have been one of the least tech-savvy people you would have ever met. I was a history major and a photography minor in undergrad. Working in the tech industry, a field that is built on being cutting edge wasn’t exactly in my “plan”… But, something clicked when I first saw the Magnify website, and when I visited their offices, I knew this was where I was meant to be. As it turns out, technology isn’t so scary.
With a background in business development and account management, I love being involved in growing businesses and driving success. I also know that, to be successful, you have to work with a product you truly believe in; this is why I love my job at Magnify. Video is really the future of business growth. Whether it is harnessing community interaction and audience engagement, or simply just finding a better way to tell your story, video is, and should be, the medium. I’m really excited to be part of a team that feels the same and is leading the way in the video world.
And, tech world, I’m here to stay.