Mark Allen Product Management / Design / Taco Enthusiasm
Based in Austin, TX and actively exploring options for my next project. Some areas I find super interesting at the moment:
- Making it easier to record personal data. You and I carry a supercomputer full of environmental sensors and an always-on data network around with us 24 hours a day. There is so much more we can do with that.
- Creating better digital health and fitness tools. I’ve spent the last three years working on health and fitness apps, and I’m more interested in the space now than when I started. I firmly believe there are several multi-billion dollar companies yet to be built in this category.
- Applying machine learning and statistical analysis in new places. I’ve been lucky enough to work with some great data scientists who made our products much smarter. Learning how to think about products from a machine learning perspective is a game changer.
- Virtual reality. The Oculus Rift DK2 I bought a year ago was advanced enough to convince me there’s definitely something here. I’d like to try making a small game to learn more about the medium.
- Remote work and building productive teams. I’m intrigued by companies that have a remote culture and how that changes the nature of work. Similarly, one of my most enjoyable challenges in product management is building teams and development processes that deliver long-term performance.
- Automating the boring and/or hard parts of life. I think a lot of the current hype about bots focuses too much on chatbot styles of interaction and not enough on automation. I’m excited to see where automation can go beyond just virtual assistants and Slack bots.
- Digital coaching. I’ve been around enough really smart people working on this problem to realize how hard it is to pull off effectively and economically, but I bet whatever I make next will have some aspect of coaching.
Outside of technology, I’m catching up on my reading queue, traveling (next up this spring: Tokyo, Berlin, and Southern Utah), and working on becoming a better runner.
As part of the Under Armour Connected Fitness group I worked on a variety of fascinating projects. I managed the MapMyFitness family of applications and launched the world’s smartest running shoe. At MyFitnessPal I helped our community of over 100 million people improve their health by making nutrition tracking easier. Prior to that I worked at Yelp and Ancestry.com. I graduated from Utah State University with a BFA in graphic design, and spent the early part of my career as a UI/UX designer before transitioning into product management.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, let’s talk! I’m always happy to share what I’ve learned and love finding people with similar obsessions.