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Meet Tyler Denk

Builder of the Week

Creator of Big Desk Energy

Senior Product Lead at Morning Brew

Denk

On how he ended up at Morning Brew

  • At the University of Maryland, he started a company called VentureStorm with some friends, connecting entrepreneurs and startups with software developers
    • Learned to code in the process of building VentureStorm
  • Shut down VenturStorm, and one of the co-founders of Morning Brew, Austin Rief, reached out and asked him to build a feature
  • Started off at Morning Brew on a contractual basis and it quickly turned into 60-70 hours/week building basically everything for them
  • Eventually they offered him a job as the second employee, running product growth and tech

On being employee #2 at Morning Brew

  • Looking back, joining Morning Brew seems obvious because of all the success they have had, but at the time Tyler was hired, they only had an email list of 50,000 and were working out of a closet-sized office in a co-working space
  • It was anything but a sure thing, but there was so much potential and the question was just whether they could execute and continue to grow
  • What attracted him was the blank canvas and the ability to test his hypothesis and really have an impact on the results of the company
  • Was able to see the positive feedback from subscribers early on and it gave him a lot of confidence in the company
    • He also had read Morning Brew for 2 years before becoming an employee

On Big Desk Energy

  • Tyler spends a ton of time listening to Spotify, and one day a song came on that he wanted to listen to all day long, so he created a new playlist
  • From there, as he Spotify kept recommending similar songs he began to find more songs that were "chill enough to be background music while you're working, but upbeat enough not to put you to sleep" and he named the playlist Big Desk Energy
  • Eventually, the Spotify playlist gained a few hundred followers, and then a few thousand followers, so he bought the BigDeskEnergy.com domain
  • Taught himself to code in React and had the idea to build a website for Big Desk Energy with a Windows '95 vibe
  • While everyone else was watching Tiger King, he built BigDeskEnergy.com

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