GlossGenius Employee Spotlight: Michael Ortali

Meet Michael Ortali, Senior Staff Software Engineer at GlossGenius. He recently joined our engineering leadership team in April, and is responsible for helping to ensure that our engineering team focuses on creating the right tech solutions and features for our customers. Read below to find out what compelled him to join GlossGenius, what he’s excited about, and where he thinks the company is heading in the future.

What Attracted You to GlossGenius?

It’s a great question. For me, there are three main reasons: the company’s mission, the industry, and the people.

GlossGenius’s mission focuses on empowering beauty and spa professionals, solopreneurs, and businesses by providing solutions tailored to their unique needs. This notion of empowerment has been present throughout my career from YouTube to CashApp. Being part of a mission-driven company means that the work you do is for the benefit of others. Ultimately, we're enabling our clients to achieve their dreams and goals.

Aside from the company’s mission, our industry and user base is fascinating: many businesses are LGBTQ+ or BIPOC-owned and women-led. Their stories are humbling, and their resilience is exceptional. As engineers, the systems we build can enable them to be more successful by letting them carve out additional time to focus on what matters the most: their craft and their clients.

Equally important to the industry and mission are the people who work at the company, make the day-to-day decisions, and build the products. Since GlossGenius is a remote-first company, getting to know some of your future coworkers is essential. From Danielle (CEO) to Christopher (CTO), everyone I talked to during my interview process was deeply passionate about the industry and user base. We had fun and engaging discussions about the sector's future and its evolution over the last decade.

There are countless other reasons behind why I joined, but these are the main ones that attracted me to GlossGenius.

What's Your Favorite Thing About GlossGenius So Far?

That’s an easy one! GlossGenius is a startup, and that means everyone wears many hats and has the chance to impact multiple areas of the business. As individuals, it’s an opportunity to learn, try on that entrepreneur hat, and develop new skills.

From an ownership perspective, I’m excited about this because it echoes a lot of my experience at Pinterest. We’re a small company with a plethora of initiatives and areas everyone can contribute to.

For example, even though I’m part of the engineering team, my contributions don’t have to stop there. I spend 20% of my time improving company documentation, working with our hiring team to strengthen our onboarding processes, and developing a company-wide incident management response strategy.

TLDR: anyone can be a jack of all trades. 

What's Unique About Your Role at GlossGenius?

I joined as a Senior Staff Software Engineer, collaborating closely with Christopher (our CTO) and other engineering leaders. My focus is on scaling the technical organization and supporting our different teams in achieving their goals. What’s unique about my role is that I act as a senior leader without direct reports.

This means I oversee the organization, participate in the day-to-day activities, strengthen our processes, and participate in defining the company strategy (roadmap, hiring, and expansions). If a team needs some additional support, I can go deep with them, identify opportunities, and help navigate technical challenges.

It’s super exciting because the role mixes depth and breadth and provides the freedom to collaborate closely with leaders and engineers across the company.

How Do You See the Growth of the Company?

GlossGenius is at the beginning of its journey. We have an outstanding market fit, and our customers are deeply engaged with our products. We’re poised to grow and scale rapidly, which is a great problem to have and something we should proactively solve for.

In 2022, I see the company focusing on expanding its engineering and product teams while maturing its existing product line. We have some upcoming key features shipping soon – from deposits to easier tipping – and we’re making key investments in improving our technical stack, for example, moving to a more robust cloud provider and setting up better monitoring tools.

Beyond 2022, and as our user base continues to grow, we’ll have a lot of challenges to solve. Some will be from a technical perspective – how can we build an infrastructure that can handle the scale of our industry – while others will be around building innovative products and solutions to answer the complex needs of our users and help them run their businesses more efficiently.

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