Entrepreneur, Social Media Pioneer, and Mission Driven Optimist
At my core I would like to think that I am a mission driven person who chooses opportunities where I can “do well by doing good,” by my community, my country and my family. This is Booster.
I set off after graduating from Hamilton College in 1994 with a desire to make a difference and saw politics as a means to do so, with my first job after college as a staff member on a Governor’s campaign in my home state of Massachusetts. The experience was invigorating, inspiring and eye opening. I worked tirelessly including two jobs initially to pay Boston rent (my parents graciously paid for my student loans in the meantime…), and realized my mission of gaining invaluable campaign experience, but not an ongoing job in politics or government (campaigns end after the election and my candidate lost). My mission driven ethos continued as I joined the Clinton-Gore 1996 re-election campaign where I worked in five states over twelve months. Upon re-election I moved to Washington DC to work for their administration at the Department of Defense working on the highly politicized “landmine” issue and then on relations with Japan whom houses the most U.S. military personnel outside of the United States, and some of the most gracious people in the world. These experiences were definitely “beyond my pay grade” (I made very little…) as I represented the government at the United Nations in New York and Geneva, traveled to Japan frequently to meet senior Japanese government officials, and had many incredible and meaningful work and life experiences. I even happened to be in France around the time of Princess Diana’s tragic passing leading to a viewing of the impromptu shrine for her in Paris as I was working on the humanitarian cause she was dedicated to, landmines.
Then, in the late 90’s the Internet and the tech industry overall started to take off in Washington, DC due to America Online’s (AOL) local presence. My optimistic nature and mission driven core kicked in once again and I started to dream of the ability to connect with people in a much wider, yet still highly personalized, way through the Internet. I thought of all the political utility and parallels such as the potential to take campaign door knocking to new heights by virtually communicating with so many more people at once, and the ability to revolutionize communications as we know it by reaching voters directly versus through intermediaries like pitching stories to traditional media outlets. Those were the days…and the very early days of social media…when one could truly reach all of your friends and family online, and you knew whom and what were real (mostly). So, I left this incredible opportunity working for the Clinton Administration to once again join a high risk low paying opportunity, this time helping found a social media startup. We took the company from the brink of failure in the early days (many people didn’t think the Internet, let alone social media, was anything meaningful, let alone revolutionary) to eventually the biggest social media management agency in the world before we sold it. The time was right for me to step away from social media as I was losing my internal mission driven spark since I felt the ability to help empower people’s voices online were getting lost as it was becoming increasingly hard to get ones voice heard even amongst one’s personal network, let alone wider audiences. In hindsight, social platforms were rightly evolving their platforms and revenue streams giving brands, organizations and individuals unprecedented opportunities to buy media to target, reach and influence select audiences beyond their personal networks. The targeting capabilities transcended media overall, and social media evolved into requiring both an organic and paid strategy based on one’s goals, objectives and budgets.
This next phase of the social media revolution gave powerful media buying tools and capabilities to those who had the expertise and budget to maximize these capabilities. Social media buying agencies emerged as a result. The platform’s changes in revenue models led to greater influence with entities with budgets. These entities could pay for the experts and deliver the budgets to truly maximize the social platforms. In the short term it arguably handed social media influence back over to the powerful who dominate traditional media channels – those who had money and/or existing celebrity – political campaigns, brands, corporations, the wealthy via PACs and celebrities. Americans whom for years had the same ability as the wealthiest corporation, politician, individual and celebrity to reach and influence others by using their digital voice to inspire were relegated to the digital desert unless they could utilize media buying tools. Although users can still organically get their voices heard, it is made easier when one can conduct a media buy. This realization is what spawned Booster.
Booster’s mission is to democratize digital influence by giving people the (super) power to “boost” social posts that matter. We are giving everyday Americans the same power and tools that larger organizations have to support the content, candidates and causes that matter most to them.
Through our crowdfunding technology Americans can generate a digital budget and effectively use the same tools campaigns, PACs and corporations access to promote their message.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” – Declaration of Independence
Booster is giving Americans back their unalienable right to once again be on an equal playing field on social media.
My (social) mission is back in Booster.