Jared is the very first person I would call, if I ever had to find someone to replace me as CEO. I have never worked with someone who blends intelligent, strategic decision-making with raw horsepower as well as Jared. And he does it gracefully, rallying everybody around him along the way.
One with an insatiable taste for personal and professional growth (and good food), Jared is always early. Whether it’s exploring the Web as a kid, fast-tracking his education, spotting trends in their infancy, or helping emerging companies, he seeks and achieves progress. After working in leadership roles at some of the greatest companies in the Valley, Jared looks forward to leveraging what he’s learned to help the next wave of entrepreneurs change the world.
Jared grew up in Saint Louis, Missouri where he developed a fascination with computers at a young age. Armed with an AOL login (albeit at 9.6k bps), he would spend hours exploring the keyword-based landscape of the internet that AOL had created. Just a few years later, internet speeds had increased 100x and the world wide web reached way beyond AOL. Jared nearly lived on the internet: making money surfing the web with AllAdvantage and attempting to launch a website building business from his bedroom.
Highly motivated, Jared enrolled at Saint Louis University while still in high school, using university-level courses to complete his final high school requirements. Once he cleared graduation from Crossroads College Preparatory School and finished his freshman year at Saint Louis University, he was able to move closer to the epicenter of tech. Jared transferred to The University of San Francisco where he helped start the first Business Honors Cohort program and became President of the American Marketing Association. Jared completed his B.S.B.A in Marketing and graduated at the top of his class, summa cum laude, in 2006.
But before his time ended at USF, he discovered a then-nascent Yelp, and started writing restaurant reviews prodigiously (Jared is a true foodie). He quickly became a member of the “Yelp Elite.” Through one of the company’s famed meet-ups, Jared made a connection that would change the course of his career. He was introduced to and befriended by one of Yelp’s board members, Keith Rabois. It was Keith who encouraged Jared to think about working in start-ups, giving Jared advice that ended up being among the best in his life.
After a stint in business development for a real estate investment company, Jared joined his mentor at a rapidly growing company called Slide as a Business Development Manager. He quickly rose up the ranks in business and then product. Jared focused on growing Slide’s reach to more than 155M uniques/mo. He also set up partnerships and integrations with the broad number of social networks that existed at the time and led Slide’s exploration of music sales. To improve monetization, Jared helped design and launch new ad units across Slide’s products, including one of the first flash in flash semi-transparent overlay-to-video units and the ad infrastructure to support it. As Facebook became an increasingly important part of Slide’s reach and business, Jared focused on managing that relationship and figuring out how to grow on the platform.
His work did not go unrecognized. By mid-2009, Jared was named a member of Slide’s executive team and he began leading a new full-stack team to build a payments engine optimized for virtual goods and associated risk mitigation. Once he launched the payment engine, Jared took over as the Executive Producer and General Manager of Slide’s largest community on Facebook and led the cross-functional team of 40 to grow the product and revenues.
In August 2010, Google acquired Slide and Jared assumed the role of Director of Product. At Google, Jared focused on developing Slide’s consumer products at the intersection of mobile, social, and local; most notably launching PhotoVine. Jared also helped transition the Slide team to become part of YouTube before leaving in late 2011.
In September 2011, Jared joined Square as the General Manager. He started with a small, full-stack team focused on identifying major levers to both amplify and change the trajectory of the growth of the company. His team owned all on-boarding flows and expanded on-boarding to be both in-app and cross-platform, significantly increasing activation rates. They also launched “Faster Access to Funds,” guaranteeing next-day funding for all swiped transactions and making Square the fastest merchant payment service in the industry. Jared also built a dedicated retail team from scratch to ultimately scale retail as a distribution channel to nearly 40,000 stores internationally.
Key growth partnerships within Jared’s group included Obama for America, The Romney Campaign, Salvation Army, and Angie’s List among others. His team also grew the paid customer acquisition foundation and developed a multi-channel strategy across search, direct mail, display, and national television - more than 4Xing paid acquisition while maintaining consistent payback periods.
As he transitioned into the VP of User Acquisition and Business Operations role, Jared’s team expanded to cover paid marketing, marketing events, distribution partnerships, retail, fulfillment, risk, chargebacks and payment operations. During Jared’s tenure he grew his team to more than 70 people and helped Square grow its payment processing business from $2B annualized to more than $10B, activated accounts from 800,000 to more than 3M, all while optimizing risk metrics to the best in the company’s history.
Jared feels fortunate to have had so many incredible opportunities over the last decade and he looks forward to continuing to spend time working with and learning from amazing entrepreneurs.
When not working with start-ups, you’ll find Jared with his partner trying new restaurants in San Francisco, cooking, doing yoga, rock climbing, or simply enjoying the amazing California outdoors.
I can always rely on Jared - he has got a ton of business fibre, product instinct, and can help me on a well-rounded series of challenges that I face while building my business. He is just the brainiest person in the room: put him in front of a whiteboard and you'll see why. It is a ton of fun to brainstorm with Jared.
Brian Wong, Kiip CEO
Jared has a unique ability to understand business problems quickly and come up with creative ideas on how to solve them. He has shown impressive leadership and the ability to get things done in his prior operating roles and passes those skills and confidence along to startups he works with. With Jared, I always feel like we can execute on the ideas we come up with, no matter how aggressive they are.
Jay Shek, Centzy CEO
Areas of Interest
consumer internet, SMBs, mobile, local, risk, payments, secondary markets, inventive SaaS
Square: VP of User Acquisition and Business Operations
Google: Director of Product Management
Slide: Executive Producer/General Manager
University of San Francisco, BSBA, Marketing, Valedictorian