I started a new job as Director of Engineering at MTTR at the beginning of January. I’m really excited about the company and the work. I want to tell friends and colleagues why.
I’ve been concerned over the last few years about how our technology, especially media technology, is hurting us personally and socially. News content and headlines are optimised to shock and upset the reader, keep us clicking, and keep us watching. But media platforms rarely provide an outlet for that surge of adrenaline, so we turn to social media to say outrageous, hyperbolic things in order to discharge the emotion, which in turn excite and upset our friends and family.
We get into this sick, exhausting cycle: outrageous news item, high-energy responses. We feel frazzled and helpless, yet addicted to the excitement. Like lab rats, we just keep pushing the reload button, looking for another jolt of energy.
I don’t think news is supposed to be that way. I think it’s supposed to be a tool that lets us inform ourselves, come to conclusions, and plan our actions as citizens and members of civil society. I believe that being more informed can help us have better, not worse, lives.
I’ve tried to manage my own news input in different ways, but I’ve been frustrated by the tools I have at hand which are all focused on the joy-buzzer of excitement and engagement. So I was interested and relieved when the team at MTTR reached out to talk about working with them.
MTTR is taking a new approach to media that focuses on broad topics, diverse points of view, and deep understanding. We consider exploration and sense-making as a journey that readers take together, and that we can support each other in. And coming to decisions about what actions to take based on what we learned is an intrinsic part of that process.
I’ll be leading the Engineering group at MTTR to build out the platform for content. I’ll be working from home in Montreal, with a team spread out literally around the globe.
If you think this sounds interesting, sign up for the waitlist on mttr.is and I’ll make sure you’re included as our tools roll out over the next few months. I’m especially interested to hear from friends and colleagues who have taken their media experience into their own hands, and what they’ve done to improve.
And, of course, I’m hiring a team of engineers to make this successful. If you’re a product-focused software engineer into purpose-driven startup work, willing to try new things to get the right features for users, please check out our careers page. You can also drop me an email at evangelo -at- mttr -dot- is.
Thanks to everyone who’s given me suggestions and advice over the last few months about career changes. I hope you’ll all be as excited by MTTR as I am as our features come out over time.