Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Joey and I am originally from Huntington Beach, CA. I graduated from CSULB with a Computer Science degree in 2013. After college I worked as a software engineer at DirecTV and then LA-based startup FreedomPop, before co-founding Repost in 2015. I currently live in Los Angeles with my fiance, who I also met at CSULB back in 2012.
What are you doing professionally?
Currently I am serving as the CTO of Repost Network. Our mission is to help artists make a living through their audiences online. We do this primarily through our creator platform, which we develop in-house. Our dashboard product enables artists to distribute and monetize their content on digital platforms like SoundCloud, YouTube and Spotify. In addition to that, we provide tools to help globalize, protect and market the content. In exchange for these services we take a revenue share, which we feel incentivizes us to help the artists earn as much revenue as possible.
What steps did you take toward self-employment?
Even as a computer science student, my ultimate goal was always to be a startup founder. To do that, I knew that I would need to become a solid engineer and that I would need to network. While I was still in school, I aggressively pursued work experience. I found that, in general, if you have a good attitude and are able to learn, companies will take a chance on you. I hacked away on personal projects and managed to do four different internships. My final internship at DirecTV ended up becoming a full-time job once I graduated.
Working at DirecTV helped me land a job at an LA-based startup, FreedomPop. Back then, the dev team at FreedomPop was only six or seven people, so during my time there, I learned a ton. In my free time, I continued to learn and network and eventually, I was able to co-found Repost.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
There are so many aspects of what I’m doing that I find rewarding. First and foremost, we are helping artists earn a living through their craft. There are thousands of artists who depend on Repost to help pay their bills, so to be able to help people at scale is awesome. On the professional side of things, I’m extremely passionate about software development, entrepreneurship and the music business, so every day is a challenge and an opportunity to learn more.
Did you envision doing this kind of work while enrolled?
I knew that I wanted to work with software and become an entrepreneur, but I honestly didn’t see myself working in the music industry. Having said that, it’s been a fun challenge to bring my tech expertise to an industry that is traditionally pretty antiquated from a technology perspective.
You were recently acknowledged in Forbes' "30 Under 30" in the music industry - what has that been like? Have you received any additional accolades for your work with Repost Network?
This is the first major accolade I’ve received for my work with Repost and the fact that it’s Forbes 30 under 30, which I’ve been an avid reader of since it came out in 2011, is both humbling and surreal. I’m really honored to be recognized and I think it just goes to show that we are making an impact in the music space.
What was the biggest transition after receiving your diploma and graduating?
I expected the transition from Computer Science student to software engineer to be a difficult transition, but it was surprisingly smooth, which is a testament to real-world education I received at CSULB. I would say the most difficult transition I’ve had to go through is from being a software engineer to actually managing other software engineers. It’s true what they say, software is easy, people are hard.
What was the most useful skill or experience that you gathered from college?
The problem-solving skills I learned from getting an engineering degree are by far the most valuable skills I learned in college. Once you train your mind to think like an engineer, a lot of the problems you encounter in the workforce become easier.
Why did you join CSULB Alumni?
I may not live in Long Beach anymore, but CSULB is always going to be a part of my story. It’s where my career journey began. It’s where I met my fiance. To stay involved, I follow CSULB on social media and occasionally attend a mixer or sports event.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, I’ll be happily married and solving interesting problems.
Any advice for the Class of 2019?
Work hard and prioritize opportunities that are going to help you grow personally and professionally.