Anil Dash
Anil DashCEO, Glitch

Who is a person that opened doors for you in your career when they didn’t have to?

Anytime is a good time to show gratitude. Sometimes just one person can really make a difference in someone's career. Let that person know and share your response on Twitter.
Niv Dror
@anildash amazing to see what you started on Twitter. People who have helped open doors in my career: @Sacca for inspiring me to go into startups. I was a CPA out of college and worked on Lowercase. Chris started out as a lawyer and the story of how he got into tech really inspired me, and made a big impact on my career and how I approach things. P.S. never underestimate the power of fav'ing tweets. @Besvinick for grabbing coffee at The Creamery in 2013 – back when I didn't know anyone – and there was no reason for meeting (and for all the advice over the years). @HowardLindzon for agreeing to get on a call years ago to get to know each other, and is now a mentor/friend. @BastiaanJanmaat for hiring me at DataFox when I had no obvious skills (other than cold emailing) @Naval for replying to my emails and sharing the first article I wrote for DataFox in 2013 (helped me get the job) then asking to meet for coffee a week later when I wrote Mentored by Silicon Valley Luminaries (this was a big turning point in my career). @rrhoover for agreeing to a 30 min call when "I had some ideas" about one of the first products on Product Hunt (there was no reason for him to do this, but we got to know each other....) @benrbn for taking a chance on me when Meerkat was blowing up. I joined 3 days before SXSW, and this was the most intense/special time of my career. Combining the last 3: thank you to Ben for talking to Ryan about me joining Product Hunt, thank you to Ryan for giving me the opportunity. Thank you to Naval for acquiring Product Hunt and for replying to my first cold email in 2013 about pitching AngelList to my surgeon during surgery and working at AngelList. Thank you to @nivi for being instrumental in plugging me into the AngelList ecosystem and teaching me how to talk in the AngelList voice, and the advice on everything.
Full Stack Dev @ Product Hunt 😺✌️
@anildash I'm just getting started and for me it's @kwdinc : Who has been guiding me for the past 4 years or so. He is the one who told me about Product Hunt and gave me an invite 😀 😊 @rrhoover & @andreasklinger : Thanks for believing in me. 💖 PH Team: For making me better everyday 💫 Lucky to be surrounded by you all 🙏
Mo Rajabi
@anildash @kwdinc @rrhoover @andreasklinger @rahulmfg Happy on your new job Rahul! Super happy to see someone like you made his way to join PH! I hope you can inspire others and pay forward as much as you can.
Full Stack Dev @ Product Hunt 😺✌️
@morajabi Thanks 😊 🙌
Ryan Hoover
Founder of Product Hunt & Weekend Fund
Great topic. While cliche to say, there are so many people to thank but two brothers immediately come to mind: Tony and Andy Yang. I was fortunate to land a marketing internship in college at a gaming startup in Eugene, OR. It was a dream job that turned into a full-time career in Portland after college. After some months working with my boss and VP of Product, Tony, he mentioned they were hiring for a product manager and eventually offered me the job. He saw my interest in product and potential (I had no idea what I was doing). I'm thankful he gave me the chance and this shift change the entire progression of my career into a field (product management) I love. Fast forward a year, the startup I joined was doing well and I eventually decided to leave. Andy Yang, a former exec at the company, had moved to San Francisco to join PlayHaven. We reconnect and like Tony, he took a chance on this green PM and offered me a product role at the ~10 person startup. Living in SF has opened many doors that wouldn't have been reachable without Andy's support. I worked with him for 3.5 years before starting Product Hunt.
Derek Van Oss
Experience Design Lead @ Five & Done
@anildash I had a big break getting into tech - a recruiter (Stephanie Krejs) at The Creative Group fast-tracked me into my first role at a startup in the year 2000 a week after I graduated high school, I was 18 at the time. However, I also had a big break in breaking BACK into tech, which I wasn't sure I'd be able to do or not. Long story, but In March of 2002, 5 days before my 20th birthday while I was working as a front-end developer on the retail eBusiness Concept and Design team at Verizon in Irving, TX (we built v1.0 of - I had a hemorrhagic stroke. My brain was bleeding and I lost half of my vision in both eyes (homonymous hemianopsia). Months later I had a very risky brain surgery to intervene with the continually bleeding artery in my brain. The surgery saved my life, but I woke up with the left side of my body paralyzed from head to toe. I didn't know if I'd ever work again, in any capacity, tech or otherwise. I had started my career so strongly though, and I didn't want to put it to rest, so I pushed and pushed through recovery in physical/occupational therapy for a couple of years until I felt ready to maybe work again (half blind, with only one functional hand and a weak leg). A co-worker of mine from my days at Verizon (Craig Wright) referred me into a role on his team where he had moved to at Tribal DDB in Dallas. His referral to the gentleman (Jeff Gentry) who became my manager there, reignited the fire in me to continue blazing the tech trail I had started on following high school graduation. My work at both Verizon and at DDB helped thrust me forward into working at another 2 dozen places over the next 15ish years including Amazon(Seattle), NBC/Universal(NYC), Sony(LA/SF) and agencies like SapientNitro(LA) Razorfish(Chicago), Saatchi&Saatchi(LA) and Team One(LA). If I hadn't been given the chance to break BACK into tech after having a stroke and the onset of limited mobility, I'd likely not still be doing it today, all these years later. I'm still half blind and still type with one hand, but those who gave me the chance to prove that I could still do the work are the ones who kept me moving forward.
Emily Hodgins
COO @ Product Hunt
@anildash I'm very luck to who have had a number of wonderful mentors during my career to date. I am very grateful to all of them for opening doors for me early in my career, and to those who are still nurturing me, guiding me, feeding my confidence, believing in me and for generally being wonderful people. Two people who have been instrumental in getting me to where I am today are Heather Dickinson and @Corley Hughes. Both took chances on me and both have mentored me throughout the years. I am grateful to have had both of them as my boss along the way, and even more grateful to still be able to call them both my friends.
Jordan Thibodeau
@anildash I was the first in my family to graduate from college. Before then I lost my mother at the age of 14 to ovarian cancer, never knew my father, flunked out of two high schools after my mother died. After graduating from continuation highschool where I was told I could either get a job working for UPS or McDonalds, I decided to go to community college. I worked a full time job, while taking care of my sick grandmother. After she passed, I became homeless for a period of time. Due to help from the community, I rebounded, I was accepted into Santa Clara University, the Mercury News wrote a story about me. A recruiter from Google, Tammy Samut, read my story and became my career champion. With help from another recruiter Tara Pramme I was able to gain a temporary role at Google. With help from my director Keith Wolfe, I was able to become a HR professional working in Google's M&A team. Not a day goes by when I don't appreciate the blessing that it is to work at Google and know such wonderful people. You can read the news story here:
Founder & CEO, Hustle Crew
@anildash If it weren't for my first boss Richard Jones (now CCO of PixonEye) hiring me at Groupon I never would've joined tech and who knows where I'd be now. If it weren't for @natalieisonline I probably never would have finished my book #DreamBigHustleHard and I owe @Ems_Hodge a magnum of champers for convincing me to join Product Hunt and opening the door to let that happen... so many others I could probably publish a career gratitude book *starts scribbling*
Kai Gradert
Designer at a Startup
@anildash Kai Krause, founder of MetaTools ( He offered me a job in California straight out of college in Germany. He also gave some of the most practical life advice: “Just buy a ticket and fly out here. Everything else will work out.” I was on a plane 48 hours later. The two big lessons for me: give people a chance, and take a chance. Things will work out.
Hooman to Sando
@anildash @kaigradert that's so cool!
Vinish Garg
Co-founder @OutcomeConf @MajorArcs
@anildash Thanks for opening it! In my early career, people who really showed me direction and light are: @scottabel When I found his blog in 2007-08, and how he was way ahead of his times. He has been an inspiration and a reference for me, and he is very approachable, and friendly. Apart from The Content Wrangler, two other persons who introduced me to my professional world in (2008 I guess) in the true sense are: (a) Tom Johnson (of idratherbewriting), running one the world's leading blog in tech comm - he inspired me to write and I learnt and evolved a lot after I started blogging (investing in content, relationships, community development). (b) Mark Baker (EPPO), his writings on content strategy, and on content in general fascinated me. All of them triggered the *writer* in me and soon I was writing. :) @rrhoover Of course when the opened ProductHunt access to me for commenting, so early in the product. My learning curve is punctuated with a big directional arrow of the PH logo. :) @danmartell First as a platform, and then Dan's writings have been amazing.
Ryan Hoover
Founder of Product Hunt & Weekend Fund
@vingar thankful for all your contributions over these years! 🙏🏼
Founder/CEO TundraBaby LLC
@anildash Rich Tremitiedi, fire chief emeritus, Hoboken fd, showed me the door. Dr Denis Oneail NFA, opened the door for me w/a fellowship to HKS. Linda Kaboolian, Prof. @HKS pulled me through the door into the MCMPA program. I had support from some along the way and now. But through it all, God was my co-pilot.
Andrew Horn
Founder // CEO -
@anildash This is such an awesome idea and I love how far it's spread...let us know if you ever want to bring this into the realm of video and we'll gladly donate the platform so people can send video messages. i.e.
Lenny Hu
Designer and Product Guy
Wow, good topic. I immediately think of @bgxc, who hired me for my first design gig after after only reading a few of my blog posts. And @rrhoover, who gave me feedback on my crappy product ideas back in 2013, and later got me me to the first cohort of tradecraft. Might not be in tech without these two!
Ryan Hoover
Founder of Product Hunt & Weekend Fund
Michael N. Magan
@anildash I felt compelled. @dsenyard Gave me my first PM job. Thanks for seeing some product promise in me.
Libryia Jones
Project Manager
@anildash He's not on social media, that I'm aware of but the Founder/CEO of the first "real job" I ever had, Michael Sheridan, gave me loads of free space to take initiative, make real contributions to the company's strategies and kept an open door for my ideas while I was still in college. I designed their customer service training program, I conducted RFPs for 3rd Party Benefits Administrators and managed the transition to the one selected, I designed marketing strategies, taught Professional Development courses, developed reporting standards, and sat on Steering Committees to design new functionality in our proprietary software. I was given a voice and a direct line to affect change very early in my career and it's completely shaped how I work. I act like an Executive or an Owner no matter what my role is. I'm so grateful he trusted me and gave me the opportunity to add real value.
Taylor Majewski
@anildash resurfacing this 🙌 @sophiaamoruso for writing #GIRLBOSS, which I read while commuting to an internship I hated during college. She changed the way I think about entrepreneurship and is still an inspiration for me all the time. Then I'd have to thank Maria Katris and Tessa McLean. Maria is the CEO of Built In and hired me out of college to write about startups, which has set the tone for my career ever since. Tessa was my editor at the time and taught me so much about writing, interviewing, editing and managing it all.
Marva Jackson Lord
@anildash I was inspired by Marlon Stephen @CulturalChemist from when they were just known as nuNet. He opened the door to me developing skills as a digital marketer before it was a thing
Boyd R. Jones
Venture Partner, Co-Power Ventures
@anildash Unfortunately, I never had a mentor. :(
Tkachenko Arthur ~UA~
Building code for Food Tech projects
@boydjones Be my mentor in that case
@anildash This is real in everyone's life. Especially who had no idea of what they're up to, where to land but always wished they could make situations better. There were times I had to sleep on floors without a rug. When in college, one of my friends hooked me up with canon's ambassador who was then looking for persons to take care of his website (content and marketing wise). That was the first time someone put trust in me and offered me stuff to take care though it was entirely out of my league. I practised enough, wrote enough, way too many edits, gotten rejected multiple times for crappy write-ups I had written and the story goes on. Followed by a comfortable job in a startup which apparently gained pretty good visibility, heard mainly because of customers spotted out some of my works as real useful pieces. And an ample of experts mentioned that my works about future tech hold some nice perceptions. Well then, I dove into full-fledged writing and self-branding. It's going fine now. The persons aren't here on product hunt but I would like to mention their name, they are Vinoth and Dharmachandru from India.
Jenny Judova
All about London Startups
@anildash Someone has been listening to Masters of Scale :P And if not then great minds think alike because they spent one of the episodes discussing the question.
Senior Front End Developer
@anildash @itguy614 for starting me down the Drupal path and @k2dsquared for starting me down the web development path many, many years ago.