It's Time to Get Outside

March 16, 2021


This week, I started the next chapter of my career, working as an Engineering Manager at Hipcamp to help people get outside. I'm beyond thrilled at this new chapter and can't wait to get started. The story and mission of Hipcamp are inspiring and have a direct translation of my previous opportunity of growing teams and community at Untappd. So carpe diem, and let's get outside! Read below on what I’m most excited about in this opportunity.

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When I left Untappd back in January, I was a little distraught over my next move. I had worked on Untappd for a third of my life - it was ingrained in what I did and it was my public persona. How would I ever have anything greater than this?

When I started looking for new opportunities later that month, I tried to use the following principles for finding my next gig:

  • Large Impact / Social Good Impact
  • Thriving Community
  • Consumer-Facing Product

I used these principles to guide my search to find companies. At first, the process was slow. I wasn't getting much interest with anyone. I had interviews at a few places, but nothing seemed to stick.

I was browsing Glassdoor and found an opportunity at a company called Hipcamp. My former co-worker Rob Brink had told me about this site, which is essentially an Airbnb for Camping. I started doing more research and found that all of my three principles were met and exceeded.

I was lucky enough to get through to the interview process and got to meet an incredibly passionate team. Founder and CEO Alyssa Ravasio was amazing and truly inspirational when talking about the progress and the vision of the company. Their mission was to get people outside and enjoy the outdoors. They main KPI was "nights out", and that was the important mission. I got a chance to talk to my future boss, Khang Tran, about how he views engineering and was blown away by the level of professionalism, process and growth opportunities. It reminded me of the early days of Untappd where we focused on getting the user to try new beers that got them outside their comfort-zone.

It was starting to click and I could see myself working and growing beside this amazing leadership team. There was clearly a ton of passion and excitement about the product and business and it was infectious.

A lot of people have asked me - "Why wouldn't you want to start your own company again?". The sad truth is that starting a company is LOT of work and you are constantly in the grid. As a husband and a father with two small kids, I wanted a better work/life balance and the ability to spend time with my family. Having already started a company, I have the "founder mentality", as I like to call it. All that passion and work ethic and drive I had as co-founder of Untappd is still in me and I can still use that in any specific role I play at any company. As I interviewed at Hipcamp and got to know the employees there, I felt these qualities would be a huge asset to the team.

At the end of the day, I was fortunate enough to test the waters and talk to other companies about their job opportunities as well, but the choice remained clear - it was time to get outside. I accepted the position of Engineering Manager at Hipcamp and I firmly believe that life is short, and working for something you believe in makes a huge difference. Hipcamp felt like family I had never met. Their values aligned with my own and they have a strong vision for the future for sustainability and leaving the land in a better space then we left it.

I haven't had a "first day" in almost eight years and I couldn't be more excited to dig in.

Oh and Earth Day is a company holiday. Imagine that!