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About Austin

Hey Folks,

I created this site to catalogue my blogging and thoughts about the life I want to live, the work that I do as a Content Marketer and Community Builder for Startup Companies.  Along the way, I’ve added a reading list of books that have changed my life (and how I think), that I would recommend everyone read.  I try to share as much and as earnestly as possible because 1) I think that I can get away with it and 2) the more honestly I can share, the more value you will get from spending time here. I want to make it easy to justify coming back.

My goals with this site:

  1. Process and reflect on business and life via the writing process
  2. Share my story in a genuine and accessible way to others in the same way that people have shared their stories with me
  3. Grow a community of loyal readers
  4. Enjoy the process

Who I am

My life revolves around the work that I do as part of WP Engine, a managed hosting platform for WordPress. Jason Cohen, the founder, hired me early in 2012. Previously, I spent time as a marketing consultant, a Product Manager for the likes of Dell and AMD.

In 2011, I turned down a job offer at Google after spending almost 2 years at a startup accelerator / incubator called Tech Ranch Austin where I was responsible for bringing 120 tech startups into the program and helping them validate their ideas and grow. 10-15 of those companies are doing rather well, either funded and growing, or successfully bootstrapping and profitable.

Austin Gunter and Mark Suster of bothsidesofthetable.com

Austin and Mark Suster from Bothsidesofthetable.com

My personal life is intense and focused. I find subcultures to immerse myself in and learn from. I spent 18  months as a Pick-Up Artist in college and then wrote my honors thesis on it. I spent 6 months as a vegan and raw foodist. When I take vacations, I often go to an Eastern Orthodox Monastery. I drink lots of Yerba Maté. I love to cook and throw dinner parties. I grew up in Austin, Texas where I became involved in the startup community there, but I moved to San Francisco in November of 2012 for an opportunity with WP Engine.

WP Engine

At WP Engine, my role is to be the Community Face of the company. This is different than being the evangelist means that I have customer conversations from the “pre-sales” questions that happen more and more on social media channels, to developing relationships with customers long-term for potential biz dev opportunities, I travel and speak at lots of conferences, bring customer feedback to the product team, and a lot more.

Along the way, I’ve developed content marketing strategies for twitter, and content marketing, and blogging that I apply when I need to get in our customer’s heads to

Austin Gunter - #gunteringdiscover what they really care about. I analyze and develop content and product narratives that can drive messaging on social media, online communities, and product marketing. I believe in developing trust online over time, and bending over backward to maintain the trust. I believe that the best marketing on the planet is the kind of marketing that finds out a potential customer’s real needs early and is willing to tell them they *shouldn’t* buy your product if they’re a bad fit.

Writing

My writing has appeared on tech publications that focus on startups and WordPress, such as Inc.com, Smashing Magazine ProBlogger, WPMU, Code Poet and others.

Content and Community

I run Twitter using Buffer, Hootsuite, Prismatic, and Intigi. The accounts we have at WP Engine are @wpengine, and @wpesupport. My personal twitter handle is @austingunter. Find me on LinkedIn as well as Facebook and Google+.

TL;DR:

I love people and ideas and changing the world. I believe we should all be fulfilled in our work, and so I encourage people to take risks, go big, don’t be satisfied with what you have, but rather be confident that the things you want are within your grasp. I build communities. I want to meet you.

Thanks for reading this.

I hope this helps.

Austin Gunter

Austin Gunter and friends

Photo Credit – Michael O’Donnell