AP Alumni Spotlight: A Fond Farewell to Daniel Feinberg

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A cornerstone philosophy at Acceleration Partners (AP) is: right person, right seat, right time.

The right people are those who share your company’s core values.

The right seat means that the employee is working in a role that allows them to operate within their greatest skill and passion.

The right time means that the right person is serving in that role at a time when the company needs their unique abilities.

This concept came from Jim Collins’ bestselling book, Good to Great. While the idea has been around for a long time, many companies don’t follow its wisdom. I’m proud to say that, at AP, we do. In fact, it’s an integral part of our hiring and promotional methodology and, as you’re about to read, how we help our team members find a career path that’s the best/right fit for them – even if it’s no longer at AP.

Steps to Success

Daniel Feinberg, one of our highly regarded team members, is bidding his AP family a fond adieu today.  3 years and 9 months ago, Daniel started working with AP as a consultant, performing an extensive affiliate program audit for one of our large clients.

While working on this project, Daniel clearly demonstrated his aptitude for affiliate marketing, data analysis and professionalism working with clients. As a result, AP founder, Robert Glazer and General Manager, Matt Wool quickly realized that Daniel was the right person for the Senior Associate seat they needed filled.

After supporting and managing a few different client accounts for our affiliate team, Daniel was promoted to Manager and oversaw multiple programs, including Gazelle and Target.

“This was an interesting time period for me,” recalls Daniel. “In addition to managing these two programs, we brought on another large client that had three individual affiliate programs. I was helping set up and manage that behemoth program, which was very challenging due to the complexity of the company’s attribution model. And this was all during Q4! I honestly felt overwhelmed and unsure of myself, but thanks to the support of AP leadership, I got through that tumultuous time and came out on the other end more experienced, confident and self-aware.”

Due to the challenges associated with the account and Daniel’s ability to think outside the box, he ended up managing this new client and each of their three individual affiliate programs full-time.

In 2014, Daniel was also selected to be a part of Acceleration Partners’ first AP Fellows cohort.

“AP Fellows made it possible for me to focus on my growth and connect with other team members who also wanted to develop themselves personally and professionally,” says Daniel. “It was actually during AP Fellows that I started to reflect on what I enjoyed most about my role at AP and what I wanted to pursue professionally, which was digging into data, trouble-shooting and making sense of really complex information. I’m an out-of-the-box kind of thinker who likes to see big ideas grow into a reality. AP Fellows really helped me realize this.”

Around this time, Daniel met his wife, Laura and they married in June of 2015. As newlyweds, they desired to live abroad in Israel for several months to grow together as a couple and spend time with Daniel’s siblings. Thanks to AP’s flexible work culture, Daniel was able to coordinate with his team and clients and continue managing his accounts while living in Israel.

“This was an amazing opportunity and it couldn’t have happened without the help and support of the AP team. Due to the time change, I was able to have the whole morning in Israel to explore, take classes and spend time with family. Then in the afternoon until midnight or so, I was able to work on my client accounts. I didn’t get a lot of sleep, granted. But it’s an experience I’ll never forget and so happy I got to take advantage of,” shares Daniel.

Just before his journey to live and work remotely in Israel, one of his clients built out an internally-managed off-shore team to manage a lot of the complex data and attribution needs of their program. As a result, the complexity, product development and in-depth data analysis was no longer necessary. Unfortunately, that was the part of the job that Daniel, now a Senior Manager, had come to enjoy the most.

In line with our culture of transparency, Daniel was open with his manager about this, which led to a very productive discussion. At the time, AP did not have a need for an analyst, so we began to work on a hybrid position for Daniel that would bridge his account management role with an internal analyst role.

As fate would have it, another company also had a need for a more data-focused role, as well as the type of expertise that Daniel had developed over his years in affiliate marketing; they reached out to Bob to see if anyone from his network might be a good fit.

From AP to Apple

The Apple iTunes affiliate team sent Bob Glazer (AP’s founder) a description for a data- and product-focused job opening they were looking to hire for. After working with him for many years, Bob thought that Daniel might actually be a perfect fit, but wanted to gather other ideas as well before reaching out. Bob sent the job description to a few members of the AP leadership team asking them if they had anyone in mind. VP of Client Services, Sarah Johnson, responded right away that she thought this position at Apple just might be Daniel’s dream job.

With his belief validated, Bob gathered the leadership team together for a quick call. Everyone was in agreement that while AP did not want to lose Daniel, he deserved to be given the opportunity to apply for it and have the full support of AP behind him. Bob scheduled a call with Daniel to tell him about the role and that he’d be more than willing to recommend him to his contact if he was interested in the position.

“Bob reached out to me and said, ‘First off, I want you to know that we don’t want you to leave AP, but there’s an amazing opportunity at Apple that we think you’d be a great fit for. Again, by no means do we want to lose you, but I’d feel terrible if I didn’t pass this opportunity along. So if you’re interested, then I’ll send my letter of recommendation introducing you to their hiring team,’” recalls Daniel. “Obviously I wasn’t looking to leave, but the position sounded perfect – and how often does a chance to work at Apple come along? So I thanked him for thinking of me and told him that yes, I’d be interested in him making the introduction.”

The letter of recommendation that Bob sent to Apple on Daniel’s behalf was so glowing that one of the interviewers told Daniel, “I wanted to see for myself why Bob wrote you such a great letter of recommendation!”

“It’s really rare for a company to share an opportunity that’s more beneficial for their employee than it is for them. AP is inspiring to me. I also think it speaks to Bob as a person as well as AP as a company,” said Daniel. “It’s been an incredible ride and I am eternally grateful to this company and the people within it for all the work, resources, and processes that were put in place to assist in my personal and professional growth and development.”

Daniel, we will miss you, your humor, your dedication and your killer dance moves. It’s been wonderful to work with you and see how you’ve grown. We wish you all the best in your new role as Partner Technology Manager at Apple!

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