12 things we’re thankful for in 2013: Rapt Media’s year in review


As we prepare ourselves for tomorrow’s mélange of cooking, schmoozing, eating, and more eating, we thought it was important to pause and reflect on where we are as a company going into our third year.

Since January 2013, we’ve closed a significant round of funding, added six new full-time talents to our team, rebranded from FlixMaster to Rapt Media, and created innovative, engaging Interactive Video (IV) projects with Maybelline, Philips/Ogilvy, HBO, Gaiam TV, Kara Ross New York, and The Learning Care Group.

But rather than just post a laundry list of our accomplishments, we wanted to take it to the team behind Rapt Media to see what they’re thankful for this year. Here’s what they said in our year in review:

Erika Trautman, CEO

When I think of what I’m thankful for, I think of how far the team has come in the last year. We’ve grown in so many ways and I absolutely love how our company feels these days. The team that we have now is such a solid, smart group of people doing interesting work, and I feel the value add from each individual. It’s just amazing. We brought on six new full-time hires this year, and now have someone making intelligent, innovative decisions at all levels of the business. All startups have their challenges, but we’ve weathered them; and the team and product are better than they’ve ever been.

Click below to read the rest!

Basho Mosko, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development

The most exciting thing in the last year has been settling into our position as industry leaders. We’ve focused our business solution to meet the needs of customers, landed on consistent messaging around our offering, and firmly cemented our presence in the marketplace. We’ve discovered who our customers are, what they’re looking for, how we solve their problems, what unique advantages we bring to the table, and the true value of the technology we’ve developed. Those discoveries are now reflected into the people we’ve hired, the features and products that we’re releasing, the clients that we’re working with, and the messaging that we’ve got going out.

Brannan McGill, Vice President, Design

Rebranding from FlixMaster to Rapt Media in August marked a significant turning point for us as a company. Recognizing both the elevated quality of projects that our customers were producing, and our own growth from an Interactive Video toolset to a comprehensive video solutions company that is leading the industry, it became clear that we’d outgrown our name. The team moved quickly to respond, and it was cool to see everyone collaborate to make it happen – with very few hiccups – all the while improving on our editor and video playback.

Also, with the new hires this year, I feel our team is really coming into its own. Hiring is always risky, but we must be doing something right because as our small team expands, one new member at a time, I’m honestly left wondering how we ever got by before. We’re moving very fast, and yet the team is feeling upbeat and energetic.

Caleb Hanson, Product Director

We’re getting to a really exciting place with Interactive Video in general. Previously, we were having to spend a lot of energy selling people on the benefits of using IV, but now it seems like people come knowing about it and wanting it, and we get to focus on educating them about what they can do with our platform. There’s a learning curve for all new categories of products, and IV is no different, but it’s exciting to see that it’s moving more into the mainstream. Considerable press and media attention around IV, including the recent Forrester report “Move Beyond Awareness with Interactive Video” are pushing the population to that tipping point where people are realizing it’s a real thing that they need – and need help doing right – which is where we come in.

Jenni Ch’ng, Junior Web Developer

Coming on about nine months ago as a junior Web developer, I’ve not only grown tremendously as a dev but have also witnessed the growth of the dev team as a whole in becoming more streamlined. I’m thankful for having mentors I really respect. My teammates are not only patient with me as I learn and grow, but they also acknowledge my hard work.

Justin Trautman, Systems Architect

During the same time that we rebranded the company and website, we also completely rewrote the player code to be leaner and more powerful, which was no small task. We also implemented comprehensive media security measures, and rolled out a beta version of an iPhone playback solution, the first of its kind in the HTML interactive video market segment.

Susan Keith Bleekman, Vice President, Sales

Coming with 17 years of experience in the cable industry, I’m just really thankful to have found such a vibrant, cutting edge, and relevant company as my next career base. My last position was at MTV as the SVP of Sales Strategy and Development, and I worked on a lot of new products in the online video space. I feel that where Rapt Media is now is where the future of online video, engagement, and entertainment is – and that’s really exciting. If I had crafted my dream job, it would look like this. Rapt Media is where I saw the trajectory of online video going, and IV is a move to what’s creatively possible in an online environment.

Chris Howarth, Marketing Specialist

One of the things I’m most thankful for is our new office because it represents the growing success and identity of our company. It’s cool because we actually needed it to accommodate our growing team, and to me it signified that we had reached a new milestone with Rapt Media and had (literally) outgrown our old skin. I also really like the hardwood floors for optimal office chair sliding and the fact that I can finally look out a window from my desk.

Hector Rodarte, QA Engineer

Joining the Rapt Media team, and moving from Los Angeles to Boulder about 2.5 months ago, I’d have to say the thing I’ve been most thankful for so far has been an easy transition. It’s a totally different lifestyle in Boulder. We moved to Colorado for a better quality of life, and so far that hasn’t let us down. Without the infamous L.A. traffic, the commute is much shorter, and I love taking the bus with my EcoPass. I actually have time to play with my kid when I get home. Plus, since we’re a smaller company, we’re able to have great chemistry and great teamwork, and we’re just moving a lot faster and getting a lot more done.

Jonathan Woodard, Vice President, Engineering

This year, one of the biggest highlights for me was our partnership with Ogilvy. Ogilvy came to us with an idea for an IV for its client, Philips. The cool thing was that Ogilvy really got our technology without us having to explain it. They literally came to us with a diagram of all the branching videos. We helped build what they had envisioned, and the outcome was fantastic. Launching in four languages, it spanned the EU, and, even with the difference in time zones, we weathered the launch without any major issues – just some very early mornings on our end.

Jen Bergen, Content/Web Producer

Though I’ve only been a Raptor for three weeks, I’m thankful to be working for a female-led company. In my five years working in the field of technology journalism, I never once worked for a female CEO, and it was rare when I met one in my reporting. The talented women who work at Rapt Media span all departments, including sales, dev, and content. It’s refreshing to see these women staking their ground in the male-dominated world of tech startups.

Oh, and I’m also thankful for the open BYOD (Bring Your Own Dog) policy, since I’ve yet to get a dog of my own and can get my pup fix at the office.

Cameron McCaddon, President

I’m thankful that we’re still growing after three years considering 92 percent of startups fail after the first year. Thanks to a happy team, a world-class product, great culture and communication, and this fantastic new office, not only have we beaten the odds and continue to operate after three years, but we’re in the best shape we’ve ever been.

So, as you can see, we have a lot to be thankful for – including your support. Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving from Rapt Media. 

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