After over a decade within the promoting business, Alex Golec joins Patreon as an Engineering Supervisor in our Creator Progress group. He beforehand spent 4 years at Reddit, the place he led the Adverts ML and Optimization groups. And earlier than that, he spent six years at Google as a software program engineer. Preserve studying to learn how Alex turned a Patronaut, his favourite a part of his job, and the way he places creators first.
Creator turned Patronaut
Through the pandemic, Alex wrote an open supply library to assist these trying to commerce on TDAmeritrade. He created a Patreon account to supply help for his group. “I knew that individuals had been going to need technical assist, however earlier than I knew it, I had a full-on funding group on Discord,” Alex says. “I didn’t count on something and I used to be amazed that the group I had based was keen to pay me actual cash and help my work. It’s been extremely gratifying and has allowed me to keep up the library and group.”
From there, Alex needed to be taught what it’s wish to work at Patreon. The extra he spoke to the workforce, the extra he realized he needed to become involved. “Patreon has tens of 1000’s of hours of patron-only work that actually doesn’t exist wherever exterior of Patreon,” Alex explains. “As soon as I discovered that, I spotted Patreon was rather more than a funds processor.”
Alex says the function and workforce listed here are totally different from his earlier engineering experiences. “At Patreon, we are attempting new issues. We’ve a creator inhabitants and a member inhabitants that we’re nonetheless studying about, all whereas concurrently constructing merchandise for them each. And the way we function displays that. We’ve a whole lot of test-and-learn experiments. As somebody who enjoys discovery within the scientific course of, it’s been an actual deal with.”
Since creators use Patreon to construct and develop their companies, Alex explains that it’s extremely necessary to earn their belief. “We’ve to deal with them with the utmost respect as a result of we offer them with a system that enables them to help themselves and their households.”
With regards to promoting platforms, it may be tough to provide creators the eye they deserve since you’re coping with a three-legged stool — your customers are one leg, your advertisers are one other, and the corporate is the third. “Customers are inclined to really feel the adverts expertise is a distraction from the content material. Creators are sometimes ambivalent about adverts as a result of they don’t management what adverts are proven or the influence they’ve on their communities. And as a platform, you need to enhance your small business outcomes. Balancing these three issues might be difficult,” Alex says.
In the meantime at Patreon, Alex says, “our work instantly helps creators construct profitable companies, and if somebody turns into a member, their expertise is enabled by our work. In consequence, creators can belief Patreon in a manner that they won’t essentially have the ability to belief a giant platform,” he says. If you’re on different platforms, and also you’re serving an algorithm, your success relies on that algorithm. If you’re on Patreon, you’re instantly serving your followers, and your success is a results of the well being of your group.”
As Alex dives deeper into his function, he acknowledges that his workforce has a whole lot of foundational work to do collectively. “From constructing serving stacks for advertising pages, to constructing experimentation and measurement layers, to constructing enterprise intelligence layers to know what’s occurring within the broader creator financial system, there’s a problem to make a distinction and ship outcomes.”
Fortunately, Alex’s expertise as a creator has taught him the best way to take heed to the folks round him, and he faucets into that talent to verify his workforce can leverage their craft, scrappiness, and talent to pivot. “My job is to concentrate to the issues that individuals round me are saying. I take that and remodel it into visions for what’s potential, the best way to encourage and excite folks, and naturally, the best way to ship outcomes.”
Considered one of his favourite elements about his job is the best way everybody works collectively. “There’s a beautiful directness to our collaboration. I’m studying much more as a result of I’m uncovered to the work of people that I beforehand solely noticed distantly at different firms. I get to work instantly with groups like Gross sales, Advertising and marketing, Design, and Information Science. The instruments and processes we’ve put in place to assist each other is the key sauce that makes us profitable.”
Past the work
Alex is an skilled musician and a much less skilled golfer. He’s been taking part in guitar since he was a child, and lately, you would possibly simply catch him in Central Park performing jazz together with his associate. As for golf, he not too long ago moved to Westchester, residence of (what he considers) the most effective golf programs in New York State.
As a musician, Alex clearly admires numerous different artists. However his favourite Patreon creator doesn’t have something to do with music in any respect. It’s a chemistry video creator known as Explosions and Hearth. “For some purpose, chemistry by no means actually grabbed me whereas I used to be at school, however watching this nearly makes me need to purchase some glassware. Nearly.”