Meet our new VP of Product, Tristan Huntington!
TextNow is entering its teenage years. We’re pumped to turn 13 in 2022, and other than Derek who co-founded the company, nobody has been here longer than Tristan Huntington. Tristan celebrated 10 years with TextNow last year, and over the past decade he’s been a driving force on our mission to democratize phone service. As we scale our wireless offering, we spoke to our new VP, Product about what’s next for the free-est phone service anywhere.
Congrats on the promotion! Tell us about your new role.
Thanks! As VP, Product, it’s my job to set the vision and direction for our service overall, including the app, new features, calling, and messaging. I’m responsible for making sure that our teams are all aligned on our goals so we can execute against that strategy.
A big part of the job is communication. The key to a successful team is making sure that everyone understands how their roadmaps and responsibilities align with TextNow’s overall goals and how they are helping us achieve the long term vision outlined by Derek and the senior leadership team.
Other than Derek, you’ve been at TextNow longer than anybody. How have things changed at the company over the last couple of years?
When I joined TextNow, there were less than 10 people. We all sat in the same room with the servers and worked strange hours and ate cheap ramen. It’s been really exciting over the last couple of years to watch us transition from a startup and enter the scale up phase. The growth has been incredible, and I’m really excited about how many talented people we’ve added to the team.
We’ve hired really smart people across the board, and I think we’re really well positioned to continue to grow rapidly as we improve and expand our free wireless service.
From the beginning, TextNow has done an awesome job of making a cool product available to millions of people, and I think we can do the same thing in the wireless space. I think we’re set up to become a leader in the industry for people looking to cut the cord from their big carrier but still have access to high quality, affordable phone service.
We surpassed 200 TextNovians in January, and our Chief Product Officer Dave Chiang told us recently that hiring remains a top priority this year. What types of people succeed on your teams at TextNow?
My goal is to hire amazing people who know more than I do and can raise the bar for our teams.
We want people who understand the overall roadmap, but then execute on their own path. We’re looking for independent thinkers, hard workers, people who are collaborative, and are passionate about our mission to democratize phone service.
I think it’s summed up in TextNow’s core values: we are looking for people who take action and ownership, who are resourceful and scrappy, and want to build cool stuff with a great team.
What are you most excited about for 2022?
I’m really excited about our wireless product, our Free Nationwide Talk & Text plan. We’ve worked for a lot of years to build and refine a unique product. We spent last year making big improvements to the quality of the service, and we’ve moved to an upgraded network that makes our service compatible with a lot more devices. I think we’re on the precipice of rapid growth as a wireless provider and we have some cool things planned for this year to help us get there.
We’ve worked out a lot of the technical challenges, we’ve created great partnerships, and I’m excited to continue to bring free, high-quality phone service to more and more people throughout the US and, hopefully, eventually Canada.