My Name Is Bryan McCarty — This Is Why I Joined Aha!
When I was 15 years old, I became a bit obsessed with Jones Soda. If you are not familiar, it is a quirky beverage company that offers unique drink flavors in a cool glass bottle. But what really captivated me were the labels, which featured photos sent in by real-life customers. Though I could not articulate why at the time, I was inspired.
Looking back, I now understand my reaction — this was a new approach to marketing, one that told a story while building a community.
So it seemed like a natural fit to begin my career in advertising as a copywriter and digital strategist. I worked with some amazing brands, including Audi of North America, Outdoor Industry Association, and Valspar. I loved telling stories that deeply resonated with people.
But something was missing. I did not just want to write about brands and products — I also wanted to tap into my passion for technology. So, I transitioned into a product marketing role at a fintech company that created technology for financial institutions across the U.S. We were essentially digital vendors, creating solutions for community banks.
When the fintech company was acquired by Jack Henry & Associates, a leading provider of financial software solutions, the leadership team asked if I would like to move into a product manager role. The chance to define and grow a new product management team? I had to say yes.
I was excited to learn how to build products and immerse myself in a new discipline.
This was when I became an Aha! customer — I proposed and led the implementation of the product roadmapping and management software for our business unit. Aha! drastically changed how we built product and thought about the strategy behind it.
But it was not just the Aha! product that resonated. I read a blog post about the Complete Product Experience — the idea that it is not just technology that people love, but the overall experience with your company. I was energized by this holistic point of view.
Then in 2016, Aha! launched Roadmap.com — the first community forum built expressly for product managers. I was impressed yet again. Aha! was clearly dedicated to serving product managers and helping them be their best. I created an account immediately.
I was grateful for everything Aha! had built. Not just the product that made my job easier but also the company values that matched my own — responsiveness, continuous learning, and doing meaningful work. I was so grateful that I even wrote a success story for the Aha! website.
So when I saw the open role of product marketing manager, I knew I had to apply. The interview process moved quickly. Each person I met with took diligent notes and worked hard to understand me — not just my resume. We were speaking the same language and getting excited about the same things. I felt like I belonged.
This was exactly what I was looking for — building and serving a community while marketing a meaningful product.
Since joining the Aha! marketing team, I have connected with product managers around the world through Roadmap.com. I also get to flex my marketing skills — working on weekly product launches and creating content and resources to help product managers do their jobs better.
It is clear that we are building a company that people love and want to be a part of. And it all takes me back to that inspired feeling I got when I was 15. But this time, I get to be part of telling the story — first as a customer and now as a teammate.
That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.