Jayne Karolow, director of community, handles project management for LocaModa, a Cambridge, MA-based company that helps brands and advertisers reach, engage and interact with individuals across the Web, mobile and digital out-of-home channels. She also writes LocaModa’s blog at theweboutside.com.
- Describe your personal work space.
In one (hyphenated) word: pile-driven. I prefer to work with pen and paper for brainstorming, list-making, and project breakdowns, so I’ve racked up an impressive collection of color-coded notebooks and folders over the years. Combine this with color-coded project cards and matching task post-its (we use the Scrum process), and my area looks a little like what Rainbow Brite’s desk may have looked like had she worked at a tech start-up.
Also, I get my ‘MORE SCREENS!’ fix through my Chumby.
- How do you get to work?
Sometimes via the T (Boston’s subway system), and sometimes I drive. I plan on selling my car in the near future, so my green factor will be pumped up a bit soon.
- What is an average day like?
I haven’t had an ‘average’ day yet, which I consider a perk. Luckily, we’ve been extremely busy with client projects lately, which keeps up the energy of the team. One ‘average’ thing is the constant banter among the team, courtesy of our open concept seating. As a company, we would make an excellent trivia team, so the conversation is certainly never dull.
- What is essential for you being able to work happily?
I tend to work best in fits and starts, and love when multiple projects are happening at once. A fast-paced day is a good day.
- How flexible are your working conditions?
Is ‘flexible enough’ an answer? I hold myself accountable for getting the perpetual to-do list checked off, so task completion trumps work hours. We’re definitely not a standard 9-5 company; we’re a ‘do the work until it’s done right’ company.
- What do you think your employer looks for in its staff?
Reliability is huge, as is accountability, dependability, and all other nouns in that vein. As with most start-ups, passion and a healthy dose of crazy are also necessary. We also value an employee who can pull a perfect espresso shot.
- Do you have any frustrations you would like to share with us?
Our biggest challenge is staying upbeat and positive in an industry that is constantly changing and often misunderstood.
We’re working with very slippery concepts like interactivity and engagement in a competitive field of media distribution. When you’re surrounded by similar-sounding companies in the mobile marketing and DOOH content arena that are actually doing extremely different (and mostly non-interactive) projects, defining the cross-channel capabilities of our platform and getting clients to use it to its full potential often becomes a stressful battle. It’s only the boldest of clients who are willing to take the ultimate leap and really see the power of leveraging all aspects of the LocaModa platform.
We’re still finding that many clients are hesitant to completely take the social media plunge in a comprehensive, authentic way; it’s unfortunate, as that’s how brands can set themselves apart in a media climate that’s still relatively timid when it comes to integrating user-generated content. The most successful projects are always the ones that take the most risks.
- What do you like best about your job?
We have a fun, upbeat team who keep my job quite interesting. I’ve also really enjoyed watching the DOOH industry evolve over the past four years, and feeling like I’ve been influential in this development in some small way. We’re very focused on establishing best practices in the industry, and it’s satisfying knowing that we’re in the position to shape a relatively embryonic field with the work we’re doing.
- How open is your company to new ideas and suggestions?
I’ll go with ‘very’. We’re constantly swapping articles and ideas about new product features among the team; we also log all feedback from clients and end users, from which we’re always reevaluating our roadmap.
- How much responsibility have you been given?
I’m responsible for deadlines and deliverables on all ends, which keeps me on my toes. I’m also responsible for tracking the pulse of the industry in multiple ways: through the blog and other social media tools, through industry events, and a never-ending stream in my Google Reader.
- How green are you and your company?
We’re pretty darn green. The majority of the engineering team bikes to the office every day, and we’re all active recyclers here. Other than my soft spot for notebooks and index cards, our paper consumption is relatively low. I should probably find a way to build some sort of massive index card tower to make use of our used project cards… perhaps a Boston skyline?