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Hack To Start
Episode 118

Chris Messina

Developer Experience Lead at @Uber; invented the hashtag; former Googler; ❤ product.

Listen to this episode on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Music

Chris Messina is the Developer Experience Lead at Uber and pretty much an internet celebrity. From literally inventing the hashtag, to being a top Product Hunt user, to blogging on Medium, to his very own chatbot - The MessinaBot, we’re super excited to have him join us for this episode. Chris started his career with an interest for both art and technology. As a champion of the open web, Chris started off his career as a consultant before joining the Mozilla Foundation and helping them get their first 100 million downloads for Firefox. Afterwards, he launched some of his own startups and side projects before eventually joining Google to work on their social products (Buzz & later Google +) as well as building their developer brand. Today, Chris is the Developer Experience Lead at Uber - where he works with many different teams to help make it easier for developers to leverage Uber’s logistics platform. Chris also coined the term “conversational commerce” in 2015 and wrote what’s become one of the cornerstone posts for this new wave of technology and interface design. He continues to write about, experiment, and share his thoughts on bots, messaging, AI, voice, and the growing trend behind the many forms of conversational commerce. Chris joins us to share his story, how he got into startups, what it was like at Google, why he decided to join Uber and what his role there is all about, how he saw the conversational commerce trend emerging, why he’s so interested in bots & messaging, and much more!

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about how Chris got interested in user experience & startups
  • Learn more about what motivated him to champion the open web
  • Learn more about what it was like working at Google and building their developer brand
  • Learn more about motivated him to join the team at Uber and what he's working on
  • Learn more about what Chris means by conversational commerce and how he saw the trend emerging
  • Learn more about how Chris thinks about messaging, bots, AI, and the future of software & technology
  • And more!

Episode Overview

Chris Messina is the Developer Experience Lead at Uber and pretty much an internet celebrity.

From literally inventing the hashtag, to being a top Product Hunt user, to blogging on Medium, to his very own chatbot - The MessinaBot, we’re super excited to have him join us for this episode.

Chris started his career with an interest for both art and technology. As a champion of the open web, Chris started off his career as a consultant before joining the Mozilla Foundation and helping them get their first 100 million downloads for Firefox. Afterwards, he launched some of his own startups and side projects before eventually joining Google to work on their social products (Buzz & later Google +) as well as building their developer brand.

Today, Chris is the Developer Experience Lead at Uber - where he works with many different teams to help make it easier for developers to leverage Uber’s logistics platform.

Chris also coined the term “conversational commerce” in 2015 and wrote what’s become one of the cornerstone posts for this new wave of technology and interface design. He continues to write about, experiment, and share his thoughts on bots, messaging, AI, voice, and the growing trend behind the many forms of conversational commerce.

Chris joins us to share his story, how he got into startups, what it was like at Google, why he decided to join Uber and what his role there is all about, how he saw the conversational commerce trend emerging, why he’s so interested in bots & messaging, and much more!


Some Of The Questions We Ask

2:26
Where are you from and what did you study?

3:01
How did your passion for tech, user experience and entrepreneurship develop?

4:04
How did you start your career? What were some of your first jobs out of school?

8:01
You ended up joining Google for a few years starting in 2010. What was that experience like and what were some of the projects that you had a chance to work?

13:29
You’re currently the Developer Experience Lead at Uber. Can you tell us a bit more about how you created the opportunity to work at Uber and what your role entails?

16:08
You work with several teams within Uber, as well as developers outside Uber leveraging its technologies & network. How do you go about balancing internal/external strategies & executing on them?

18:16
What’s next for the Uber Developer platform? Are there any cool things you can share with us?

22:54
Over a year ago, you wrote a pretty awesome Medium post, saying that 2016 would be the year of “conversational commerce” (or #convcomm). What lead you to seeing this emerging trend ahead of others and why do you think it’s taken off so quickly?

28:05
What is it about bots & messaging that you’re most excited about? What do you think this medium will evolve into? What do you think some of the most successful bots to-date are?

33:50
If you could send yourself a 5 min message back in time to yourself before you started your career - what would you tell yourself?

37:05
What’s are some of the most recent apps/bots you’ve downloaded or used?

43:41
Any last thoughts or personal mottos that you live by that you think others should know about?


Here are some of the most important links and resources mentioned throughout the show.

Twitter Handles & Websites

Chris Messina on Twitter
Chris Messina on the Web
Chris Messina's Bot
Uber on Twitter
Uber on the Web
Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps, and Books

Conversational Commerce
2016 will be the year of conversational commerce
Lazyset
Purple
Icon 8
[Westworld](https://discoverwestworld.com/ ?HackToStart)
Persona Synthetics
Luka

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