AJ Balance, Product Manager in San Francisco, CA, United States
AJ Balance

Product Manager in San Francisco, CA, United States

Member since April 9, 2020
AJ is a hands-on entrepreneurial product and business leader, with ten years of experience with startups and large companies. He has an MBA from Stanford and was the co-founder of Dispatcher, which sold to Uber. He led the product management of Uber’s driving team and oversaw the shipping features with more than $1 billion of business impact. He has experience in mobile/web software, hardware, AI/ML, innovation, business strategy/planning, transportation, gig economy, and media/entertainment.
AJ is now available for hire

Expertise

  • Business Analysis
  • Business Planning
  • Business Strategy
  • Innovation
  • Product Management
  • Product Roadmaps
  • Product Strategy
  • Startups

Education

Employment

  • Lead Product Manager

    2016 - 2019
    Uber Technologies, Inc.
    • Led the Uber driving product team (a cross-functional team of 40 people) and managed three product managers.
    • Launched user experience and back-end features for Uber drivers with $1 billion of total business impact (revenue increases and cost reductions).
    • Fixed a critical driver experience feature, which increased global Uber trips by over 1% ($500 million).
    • Manufactured and launched a new hardware device for drivers with wide adoption and hundreds of thousands of units produced.
    • Designed and launched a new driver incentive which increased spend efficiency (cost) by $100 million/year.
    • Launched an experimental new ridesharing product and scaled to $50,000 monthly gross revenue.
  • Co-founder and CEO

    2014 - 2016
    Dispatcher, Inc.
    • Identified the opportunity to bring technology to long-haul freight trucking, set the company vision, and led early product iteration to find product-market fit.
    • Raised $2 million of seed capital from top Silicon Valley investors such as Harrison Metal, XSeed Capital, and Stanford University.
    • Scaled the business to an annual gross revenue of $13 million with thousands of users and enterprise customers.
    • Built and managed a team of eight full-time employees and 23 full-time contractors.
    • Negotiated contracts and partnerships with major enterprises including Anheuser-Busch, White Castle, and Exactuals, LLC.
    • Led and negotiated the company’s acquihire to Uber technologies.
  • Product Manager

    2011 - 2013
    Gigwalk, Inc.
    • Led and managed new feature development, metric tracking, and design and implementation for all Gigwalk products–web, iPhone, and Android.
    • Oversaw the design and development of a self-serve job-posting product, growing self-serve revenue from $500 to $50,000 per month.
    • Designed, implemented, and launched a worker-job matching algorithm, doubling customer-worker transaction rates system-wide.
    • Spearheaded the design and implementation of a comprehensive worker reputation and incentive system, decreasing worker flake rates by 60%.
    • Developed a skill and endorsement system to promote viral user acquisition, reaching 30% engagement across an active user base.
  • Corporate Strategy Analyst

    2009 - 2011
    The Walt Disney Company
    • Built the valuation and merger integration analyses for Disney's $4 billion Marvel Entertainment acquisition, $600 million Playdom acquisition, and $4 billion Lucasfilm acquisition.
    • Led and developed the corporate China strategy for gaming, mobile, film, TV, digital, and whitespace investments in Shanghai (February-May 2011).
    • Assisted in the development of a comprehensive 5-year corporate growth framework with supporting strategies and analysis for Disney's 5-year strategic plan (presented to the board of directors).
    • Developed growth and market strategies and analyses for ESPN International, Disney in China, ABC Television, and Theme Parks Divisions.
  • Investment Banking M&A Summer Analyst

    2008 - 2008
    JP Morgan
    • Prepared, created, and managed buyer materials, management presentations, process documents, and data room for live M&A deals.
    • Built and developed a full financial model and bid analysis model for live sell-side M&A transactions involving special purpose acquisition companies.
    • Assisted in the development of full financial models for live sell-side M&A transactions.

Education

  • Master's Degree in Business Administration (MBA)
    2013 - 2015
    Stanford University - Palo Alto, California, USA
  • Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations, Management Science, and Engineering
    2005 - 2009
    Stanford University - Palo Alto, California, USA

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