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Hack To Start
Episode 31

Sam Gerstenzang

Director of product @imgur, the Internet’s visual storytelling community. Prev. @A16Z

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

Sam Gerstenzang had a passion for computers early on and went on to study symbolic systems at Stanford. He first started working in startups with the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and later joined the deal and research team at Andreessen Horowitz. He now leads growth and product at Imgur and shares his insights on product growth, VC, and more.

Main Objectives For This Episode

  • Learn more about Sam.
  • Learn more Imgur - specifically how they're empowering visual story telling across the web.
  • Learn more about how Sam product development & growth at Imgur.
  • Discover what tools Sam uses on a daily basis.

Episode Overview

Sam Gerstenzang is the Director of Product & Growth at Imgur, a simple image sharing platform. They currently see more than 140 million monthly uniques and 60 billion monthly image views.

Sam had a passion for computers early on and went on to study symbolic systems at Stanford. He first started working in startups with the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed and later joined the deal and research team at Andreessen Horowitz. He shares his insights on products, growth, VC, and more.


What You'll Learn In This Episode

  • How Sam got involved in startups like The Huffinton Post and Buzzfeed.
  • How he uses his background in Venture Capital to help grow Imgur.
  • How he approaches product development and growth at Imgur.
  • And more!

Some Of The Questions We Ask

1:30
Where are you from, what did you study and how did your passion for entrepreneurship start?

4:23
You currently the director of product at Imgur. For those listening who might not know, what is Imgur and how did you get the opportunity to be a part of the team?

7:00
Imgur currently has 140 million monthly uniques and 60 billion monthly image views. What’s next for Imgur in 2015?

8:29
How do you continue to build and grow Imgur? What’s that process like?

10:25
You’ve said that you “think about how people read and read about how people think”. Why is that? Do you think it impacts how you approach building products?

15:40
You worked on the deal & research team at Andreessen Horowitz - a venture capital firm that has invested in startups like Airbnb, Facebook, Foursquare, Github, Lyft, Skype, Pinterest, RapGenius, Nicira and many others. How did that opportunity come up? And what were some of the major deals you were a part of?

22:21
Where do you see the biggest opportunities for entrepreneurs? Any technologies or industries that really interest you?

24:28
What apps, books, devices or tools are you obsessed with right now?

26:16
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

Sam on Twitter
Sam on the Web
Imgur on the Twitter
Imgur on the Web
Andreessen Horowitz Tyler Copeland on Twitter
Franco Varriano on Twitter

Devices, Apps & Books

Oculus
Creativity Inc
Red/Green

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