As we continue to improve our user experience for our creators and their patrons, we wanted to give a behind-the-scenes look at the people building Patreon. In this series, you’ll meet the Mobile Team led by Shannon Ma.
Mark joins Patreon as one of the latest Staff Software Engineers. Focusing on mobile iOS applications, he brings a wealth of experience from companies including Twitter, Meta (formerly Facebook), and Instagram. We sat down with Mark to learn more about him and see how his first 45 days were going.
Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I grew up in a town with fewer than 10,000 people.
- Oprah briefly interviewed me as a kid.
- My dog Ludo is named after my fiancé’s and my favorite musician, Italian composer Ludovico Einaudi.
You’ve worked with many notable companies throughout your career. What made you excited about joining Patreon?
It was a combination of the team and the mission. I’ve worked on mobile applications in the social media space for most of my career. In the recent stages of my career, I’ve been consciously trying to find a strong balance of social good and a constructive business model. Patreon felt like a natural progression because we’re just cutting right to the chase, enabling direct transactions between content creators and their audience. It’s so much more pleasant when the tangible output of your work is something that you’re intrinsically and fully committed to. I’m also convinced there’s a ton of potential in the mobile product left to realize, and I really wanted to be a part of building it.
You’ve been with Patreon for about 45 days. How’s the journey so far?
I feel like I came in at such an ideal moment. I started before our 2022 company-wide, virtual kickoff which gave me the opportunity to immerse myself in Patreon’s mission and strategy. I really got to experience the culture and see how creativity is interwoven throughout the company, from leadership down. We’re in the midst of a couple of really significant initiatives with our mobile apps. Being able to come in on day one and feel like I could get my hands on it and start helping solve challenges was amazing.
It can take upwards of six months to feel even remotely productive in big tech companies. At Patreon, it took me six hours.
That’s incredible. What do you think contributed to that?
I think that’s a testament to the team and what they were able to do for onboarding to make sure that I felt technically capable and comfortable just jumping in and contributing. I haven’t had to ask for a whole lot of permission here. The team feels like a symphony: we’re all driving towards a shared vision, working fairly autonomously but still organically in sync with one another. That’s been incredibly refreshing.
What has been the biggest surprise about joining the Mobile Team?
For me, it was that philosophical alignment with respect to how we build together and how we approach technical decisions. We’ve assembled a very humble, passionate crew of people who are focused on building high-craft experiences for both creators and members.