My name is Brandon Watson, and I am currently responsible for the Kindle software at Amazon. That means I work on product management for the Kindle reader experience across all third party devices, as well as Kindle software experiences on our first party Fire tablet and our eInk devices. I have a real focus/passion on building great products, and consider myself incredibly fortunate to be asked to join the Kindle team, a product for which I was already on record with the paper of record as loving, my inclusion in which was a result of this post. My areas of passion are mobile computing (not limited to phones), and developer ecosystems.
My first startup was AskMe.com, which was Yahoo! Answers about 6 years too early. We sold that business. After that, I changed industries to work at Soros Private Equity, where I learned a ton about the other side of the table, investing over $70 million, mostly in technology related businesses. Post Soros, I decided to take a management position at RLX, one of our portfolio companies. We sold that business in 2005 to HP. I then went on to found IMSafer, a consumer Internet company focused on protecting kids online, in early 2006, built the company up to 150K customers, and sold that business to a company in the UK in 2008.
After that sale, my wife and I wanted to get back to Seattle, and, quite honestly, with two kids under age three at the time, I needed some time to breathe. Once me we made the decision to return to Seattle, I found a great position at Microsoft working on the launch of Azure, and eventually moving on to building out the developer ecosystem for Windows Phone, and having responsibility for product management of the developer platform and developer tools.
I have a very dusty engineering degree and an economics degree from the University of Pennsylvania, as well as an MBA from The Wharton School of Business. I have to be honest, I’m not sure I’m using any of what I learned in school.
In my free time, I listen to music, read a ton, mess around with Python & C#, train for Ironman, half Ironman distance triathlons and mountain bike races, and, most importantly, spend time with my wife and three awesome kids.