Welcome to Startup Stories, a series that takes you behind the scenes to share what working at a startup is really like. Our mission at Thrive Market is simple: to make healthy living easy and affordable for everyone. But fulfilling our big dreams take a team of dedicated, inspiring, funny, and tenacious people who show up to work every day eager to make a difference.
Today we’re introducing you to our Director of Marketing Analytics, Jack Kuo. When he’s not eating an odd but satisfying snack in the kitchen (find out what it is below!) he’s drinking coffee and telling stories about our members through data. Read on for our interview!
Let’s start with the basics. Can you describe your role at Thrive Market?
I like to think of my role as a data storyteller, mostly because I find that people doze off unless I describe it that way. But it’s also the truth! My role at Thrive Market is to use data to tell the story of our members’ journey, and find ways to improve that journey as it relates to all the different ways we interact with them.
Is there anything people misunderstand about your job, or something that might surprise members to learn about your work?
Most people think of analytics professionals as data geeks who spend countless hours sifting through rows and rows of data, which is true. But what’s often overlooked is the creative aspect. I have to figure out how to get a point across to others using simple, easy-to-understand data visualizations.
What do you enjoy most about focusing on analytics all day, every day?
I think it’s getting to know our members through looking at patterns of actions, and being able to paint a picture of people that I’ve never met through the way that they interact with us.
What does a typical day look like? Do you have any routines or rituals that help you feel your best? Or a favorite nibble to grab from the kitchen, perhaps?
A typical day for me starts by dusting off the cobwebs with copious amounts of Thrive Market French Roast Coffee. Then, it’s all about answering business questions, depending on what campaigns are running. My absolute favorite snack is an apple with lime juice and cayenne pepper. I often get curious looks when I make it, but I encourage everyone to try it. My other favorite is coffee. (Is coffee a snack?)
What inspires you to live a healthy lifestyle? Is there something in particular that drew you to Thrive Market?
I think what inspires me to live a healthier lifestyle is honestly just reading and hearing the stories of what other people are experiencing. Seeing how energized our members are about sustainability, protecting the environment, and being healthy is contagious! Working at Thrive Market gives me the opportunity to hear those stories all the time, and the chance to feel like I’m part of it.
When do you feel most successful or proud of your work?
Definitely when I can see the impact of my work. I love it when an insight I’ve provided, or a data point that I unearthed, is used to make a decision that moves the company forward. I imagine it’s kind of like the pride you feel seeing your child go off to school on the first day!
Give us a peek at what you eat during the day—breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack!
Breakfast for me usually consists of a Bob's Red Mill Oatmeal Cup with bananas and a large cup of coffee. I love to cook, so for dinner my fiancée and I are usually whipping up our go-to weeknight dish of Thai Pad Kra Pao or, if I’m feeling up to it, trying to perfect my Spaghetti Bolognese recipe.
What’s one thing you want others to know about Thrive Market, that they might not learn from ordering, reading the blog, or visiting the website?
One thing that people on the outside might have a hard time discerning is how much the folks who work here truly care about giving back to the community. Most companies believe that giving back is “a good look,” but to find a group of people that truly want to make a difference is rare.
Last but not least, what’s your favorite Thrive Market product and why?
Without a doubt, it’s Ayoba-Yo Spicy Beef Biltong! If you’ve ever been to South Africa, you know that biltong (which is similar to beef jerky) is the go-to snack of every South African. Short of getting the real thing, this is a great way to enjoy your biltong fix. It also makes a great pre-workout snack!