Story In A Bottle Podcast

Matt Lee is currently a Senior Usability Researcher for, but in his remarkable career, he has played many other roles: a Business Administration graduate, a field researcher representing companies like Cannon… and Vicodin, a Usability Engineer for the first Xbox live and Amazon, and User Researcher Manager at Zappos. More than that, however, he is a true advocate for the betterment of the internet, championing the important learnings he has acquired about user behaviors and bringing them to the forefront of each product he’s worked on.


In this episode, we sit with him over a bottle of Hibiki (a Japanese Suntory Scotch) and we hear his story; the good, the bad, and the very very awkward moments that come along with user research. What we learned, is how the digital world is changing; from people not knowing how a mouse works (seriously) to the exponential growth from products to devices and how data can and should be at the core of all innovation. He maintains that more than ever before  “it’s less about getting from A to B.” So, if you’re building a new product or growing an existing one -- you’ll certainly want to hear this.

And if you want even more from him, hit him up @mleeconsulting.

Direct download: SIAB_MLee_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:26am EST

Lindsay Kaplan

This week is another first for Story in a Bottle; for the first time we are hearing the point of view of the arguably unfairly named redheaded stepchild of the internet, social media. (We’ll pause while you process that.) But seriously, who better to represent it than one of the internet’s most beloved redheads, Lindsay Kaplan?


Lindsay joined us for Glenmorangie scotch and shared her experience of growing into the world of social media and communications. She started by way of an English Philosophy and Creative Writing Degree from Brandeis and dreamt of a future in editorial writing. However, a chance interview steered her in another direction and she never looked back. Since then, for better or worse (and we’ll say better), she’s had a host of publishing and PR jobs, including becoming the first Social Media Manager for ELLE. Through the challenges of being on the forefront of social and having to continually prove herself as a worthy seat at the table, Lindsay has certainly triumphed and has invaluable advice to share with the very much lagging industry. After all, it’s this insight and being headstrong that brought her to her current role as VP of Communications at Casper, a sleep startup. We learned so much from our conversation with Lindsay and hope you do too.

For more from her, check out @lindsaykap and @Casper.

Direct download: SIAB_-_Lindsay_Kaplan_v5.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 3:44am EST

Last week we met with Steve Martocci and heard about the challenges of being a first time founder in the early stages of a tech startup. This week, he continues his story (as he and Dan finish the bottle Angel’s Envy bourbon) about the evolution of GroupMe from $850K to $10MM and what that growth meant. This is when it gets real.


He walks us through their growth, utilizing groundbreaking PR tactics at SXSW, to raising vs. partnership conversations with major players in the space, and finally becoming one of New York tech’s biggest exits to-date (and life beyond that acquisition). Steve’s candid account offers invaluable advice for investors and founders alike, and moreover, insight into the very nuanced and complicated realm of the startup world. (We’ll drink to that.)

For more from Steve, holler @smart and see his newest product Splice.

Direct download: SIAB_SteveMartocci_pt2_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:31am EST

Steve Martocci is the co-founder of Splice, a technology platform for music creators which streamlines the fragmented process of creating and sharing music, freeing musicians to spend their time and energy on the creative process. Previously he was a co-founder of GroupMe, a group messaging service that in August 2011 was acquired by Skype, which was subsequently acquired by Microsoft in October 2011. Prior to GroupMe, Steve was a lead software engineer at Gilt Groupe and founded Sympact Technologies and

However, it was over Angel’s Envy bourbon that we learned that Steve’s success can really be attributed to the breakup of Phish. Of course, he had all of the accolades to garner a successful career, Steve graduated from Carnegie Mellon University in 2004 with a B.S. in Information Systems, and has had a string of high profile tech jobs with amazing collaborators which give him his business-savvy and tech know-how. However, it was his love of music that has motivated him and remains a constant thread across his  career.

In part one of our (first ever!) two-part story we learn a lot about those early days in his career and the catalysts that set his trajectory toward the tech superstar we know today.

Direct download: SIAB_SteveMartocci_final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:48pm EST