Skillz Employee Spotlight: Sam Baker, Associate Product Manager
“What free time?”
We asked Sam Baker what he liked to do in his free time, and received this incredibly Sam-like response. His answer (and simultaneous chuckle at his own insurmountably busy lifestyle) was perfectly him, and we should have seen it coming from a mile away. After all, Sam is famous around the office for his driven, hardworking nature.
You can’t expect anything less from a man who lives and breathes for a challenge. It’s the challenge that makes his job as Associate Product Manager so enjoyable, and the rigorous yet exciting environment that makes Skillz his ideal workplace.
“The people here are of such a high caliber,” says Sam about Skillz. “They’re passionate about our goal of making eSports for everyone, and constantly encouraging me to learn more and work harder.”
Sam came to Skillz about 10 months ago to join our Marketing Analytics team. Although he enjoyed measuring our marketing performance and experimenting new ways to boost revenue, he had always wanted to work in product management and expressed this interest to the company. When a suitable position eventually opened up on the Product team, Sam seized the opportunity right away.
“Skillz is really open to mobility within the company. If you prove that you’ll excel in the role that you want, they’ll encourage and help you get that role. It’s great for someone like me who wants to stay at Skillz and continue to work toward our mission, just in another function.”
Today, Sam is the APM for the Skillz Developer Portal, as well as our internal Admin Portal. He works to optimize both products for a hassle-free, user-intuitive experience, so that developers can easily build and manage their own mobile eSports and Skillzians can efficiently grab the information they need to do their jobs.
This all keeps him pretty busy, but when he does happen to find a bit of free time, Sam likes to play golf, “Starcraft,” and his favorite Skillz eSports titles.
“If I was stranded on a desert island and could only have three Skillz games on my phone, I would choose Tether Studios’ Cube Cube, Playmotive’s Smash 100, and Coeus Creative’s Real Money Pool. I find those games to be fun yet challenging.”
We weren’t lying – even when he’s relaxing, Sam’s all about a good challenge. But, as he likes to say, “if it’s not difficult, it’s not fun,” and we’re pretty fortunate to have teammates with this kind of drive and appetite!