Spoken, Not Stirred

Austin Smith

If you’ve ever dreamed of your hobby becoming a career, Austin Smith’s story will resonate with you. Growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, Austin’s earliest interest was music, which led him to be the music director at his dad’s church at the ripe old age of 13. Going on to study music Washington University, technology was just a side interest that he didn’t know could be a career.

Over Zinfandel from Ridge Vineyards, Austin talks about the most formative experience of his career, how hacking his customer service job with technology helped him realize that maybe it was time to turn that side interest into a job, and how working on technology for The Observer and The Economist led him to form Alley Interactive with his business partner, Matt Johnson, to simplify life for the people creating journalism and to help people connect with the world around them.

What You’ll Learn:

- How going with your gut, being willing to figure it out as you go along, and partnering with the right people can lead to a great business.

- How working in a service job early on helps you relate to people throughout your career.