Meet the Engineering Team: Jeff Clarke, Engineering Manager

Jeff Clarke joins our team with over 15 years of product engineering experience, including several years of building and leading teams at Meta and Etsy. We sat down with Jeff to talk about what brought him to Patreon, what excites him about his role, and his own creative endeavors.

Engineering for creators

Most of Jeff’s engineering career has been rooted in products for creators. While at Meta, Jeff built mobile applications for augmented reality. At Etsy, Jeff and his team created products for buyer-facing experiences, including acquisition initiatives, landings, search, path-to-purchase, and mobile apps.

“Like at Patreon, creators at Etsy are very passionate about their business. They’re people who are trying to make a living making things and want the tools that they’re using to be simple,” Jeff says.

Those previous experiences, the recommendations from former colleagues now working at Patreon, and advice from his partner all led him to join our team.

Creator-first culture

Jeff and his team are building new tools to expand the way Patreon supports our creators. “It’s really exciting to get direct feedback from the people who are using our products – to see how vital Patreon is to them and how we can make their business goals more attainable. It’s truly an incredible gift and is something I wasn’t able to get at other companies I’ve worked for.”

One of Jeff’s other favorite parts of the role is being able to give creators more time to be creative. “Removing friction is a really important part of what we’re building because this is a creator’s livelihood. The more we can do to reduce friction, the more a creator can focus on their work.”

“We want to ensure all the products we launch work together. We’re constantly asking ourselves how we can align the future states of products in ways that allow them to live together harmoniously, without them being dependent on one another,” Jeff says. “It’s all very exciting, scary, and invigorating at the same time. But it’s also why I love coming to work each morning.”

Life at Patreon

Since Jeff started at Patreon, he says he’s noticed how our company values are embedded in everything we do.

Win Together: “I’ve noticed that winning together is top of my mind for everyone who works here. Immediately, I witnessed how welcoming people are with their time and their feedback. Employees are willing to explain how things work, and share how they think we could be more efficient, and how things could work better together. It’s been a value that I felt the moment I walked in the door.”

Make it Happen: In addition to strong collaboration, Jeff also appreciates the commitment and follow-through from other team members. ”We’re still a relatively small company with a small engineering team that has ambitious goals this year. While it’s challenging to accomplish so much simultaneously, I’ve been amazed by the way people have worked together to figure out creative solutions. We’re all dedicated to making it happen and doing so in a considerate way, which is equally as important. It’s remarkable to see.”

Beyond the work

One reason Jeff gravitated toward Patreon’s mission is because of his own experience in the arts. After graduating from Columbia University with his master’s degree in theater, Jeff and a few friends founded an experimental theater company.

“It’s a challenging way to make a living, I certainly gave my mom a lot of gray hairs during that time,” Jeff says. “Even though that’s not my life anymore, I still have friends in that world and have a lot of empathy for the fight of the creative class in this country. That experience gives me all the more reason to want these creators to be successful. I’m honored to be part of the process that does just that.”

Although Jeff is building for all creators on Patreon, his favorite creator to keep up with is Joseph’s Machines who makes unexpected machines. “His work is so fanciful and unique, and it makes me smile every time I watch him.”