Story In A Bottle Podcast

Drew Grant has spent the better part of her professional career at the forefront pop culture; from her early days as an editorial assistant at to establishing one of Observer’s most successful verticals, it’s a niche subject matter where her personal interest and voice thrive. Over hard root beers provided by ABC Wine Company, she recalls some of the more exciting moments of her career: from her early childhood inspiration that got her interested in entertainment news (spoiler: it has to do with Jurassic Park) and how it ultimately paid off, meeting President Obama (twice!), and the unique opportunities and editorial liberties she’s been given, including most recently becoming the Arts and Entertainment Editor of the New York Observer. She attributes her success to staying true to her passion & voice and never taking herself too seriously - we attribute it to her natural talent.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why childhood influences shouldn’t be ignored.
  • The value of having a scripted response (and perhaps more than one) in potentially overwhelming situations.
  • The importance of finding ways to evolve while staying true to yourself - for both businesses and individuals.
Direct download: SIAB_DGrant_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 11:06pm EST

Firat Parlak is a true problem solver, but his path to becoming a professional User Experience Designer came about through a series of unconventional steps. As a 14-year-old, he immigrated to the United States from Turkey, landing in New York City with equal parts ignorance and motivation. Determined to make a life for himself, he spent all of his energy focusing on high school, after school language classes, and working as a Flash developer through the contacts he made scouring Craigslist. What culminated was a refined sense of problem-solving, both personally and professionally, and an unprecedented self- and circumstantial- awareness with which to approach those problems. Today, as the founder of Awesome, a mobile design agency, he is now applying these life lessons not just to the work he does with his team, but also by educating others. His most ambitious education project is a program aimed to bring the vocational studies of User Experience to the incarcerated, a challenge given that the audience has no access to modern technology and internet. Over sauvignon blanc provided by ABC Wine Co., he explains that while his journey has been winding, he maintains that with passion “not everyone is made for UX, but anyone, not matter who you are, could be made for UX” as long as empathy remains the core of what you do.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why emotional intelligence can be just as important as formal training and education.
  • Key advice for getting started in UX and the first decisions you should make.
Direct download: SIAB_FParlak_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 12:27pm EST

If anyone has been at the forefront of innovation in media and technology for as long as the World Wide Web has existed, Elizabeth Osder can certainly claim that title. Growing up in Englewood, New Jersey, one of her earliest memories was spending time in the local print shop with her mom - a graphic designer - basking in the scent of the ink and sitting in awe of the prints she’d made; it was those experiences that inspired her to become a journalist. However, as she delved into her studies and career, particularly in photojournalism, she ultimately had the realization that the infatuation was not actually with the printed materials she made, but rather telling the story mattered to her most. Over diet ginger beers, Elizabeth talks about how it was this mantra that has kept her at the forefront of technology; from helping launch the first version of the New York Times online, shaping the digital focus of NYU and Columbia University’s journalism programs, and today as she helps reinvent video strategy and experience for local news companies. While her path has certainly been winding and the industry is ever changing, her charge remains: never lose sight of the bigger picture - the story.

What You’ll Learn:

  • The most important key to creating the best work is to put together a team of professionals that can solve the problem.
  • Why tenure is a killer of innovation.
  • The danger in people caring more about where they are doing something rather than what they are doing.
Direct download: SIAB_EOsder_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:14pm EST

Direct download: SIAB_CBrown_v3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 2:20pm EST