My Name Is Amy Ellis — This Is Why I Joined Aha!
As a kid, I loved pretending to run a newspaper. My sister and I each covered different beats — like what our cats were up to and events in the neighborhood. Then we proudly distributed the paper to our stuffed animals. Telling stories and sharing our knowledge was thrilling. This passion for writing and communicating eventually led me towards a career in marketing.
For me, the most rewarding part of marketing centers around education — it is all about helping others understand how to solve their problems.
In college I majored in journalism and public relations. After graduation, I began managing PR at the Center for Puppetry Arts — the largest museum in the U.S. devoted solely to puppetry. It was exciting to learn about this fascinating art form and teach journalists what was special about the center. Besides gaining coverage in major publications, I also had the privilege of working with the Jim Henson family when they decided to donate their collection to the museum.
Next up was a brief stint as a project manager at a marketing agency. I quickly realized, however, that I missed the creativity involved in writing and sharing information firsthand. So I joined Mailchimp (as their second marketing hire!), where I spent the next five and a half years leading marketing efforts around their API. This entailed managing strategic integrations and partnerships, sponsoring events, and launching the first $1 million integration fund — so developers could build their own apps to connect with the API.
This is when I realized my love for working with engineers. It was gratifying to help them discover all they could accomplish with the platform.
Over the years I took on partner and product marketing roles at other companies. Eventually I became a director of product marketing at a software development startup in Atlanta. While I enjoyed the offerings and people I worked with, I also saw firsthand how challenging it is for venture-funded companies to be truly customer-focused. I always took notice when businesses decided to do things differently and operate within their means.
This is how I discovered Aha! — it was refreshing to find a fully remote, self-funded, and profitable company. I was not looking for a new position, but when the opportunity to join arose, I jumped at the chance. From my experience at Mailchimp, I understood all the benefits that come from focusing on customers and not having to worry about pleasing investors. I was impressed that Aha! was bold and confident enough in the value of their products to eschew VC funding and a sales team.
I joined Aha! because I wanted to work at a company that aligns with my personal values — people first, bootstrapped, and focused on long-term, sustainable happiness.
Now as a product marketer, I focus on Aha! Develop, our fully extendible agile development tool. You can find me writing best practices articles, creating quick tips videos, and hosting live tutorials. I also partner with the product team on our weekly product launches, sharing new features and functionality with our customers.
One of my favorite things about Aha! is the emphasis on cross-functional collaboration. I always learn something valuable from our engineers and product folks, as well as my marketing teammates. Being on a team of such high performers pushes me to be my best. Everyone is generous with their feedback and time — I have deepened my understanding of what developers need and honed my communication and writing skills.
Being able to work from where I am happiest is another huge plus. During the pandemic, my family and I moved from the city to a small farm in rural Georgia. Now we care for a goat, pig, chickens, and our most recent addition — ducklings. To my surprise, some of my coworkers (like Tom Bailey) also own these animals, and we are able to exchange information and advice with each other.
Each day I focus on helping our customers attain the most value from our products. It is truly a joy to empower people to understand all they can do with our suite of product development tools — so they can achieve their best and be happy doing it.
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.