Patreon Welcomes Former Googler, Utkarsh Srivastava, as Senior VP of Engineering
We’re thrilled to announce that Utkarsh Srivastava has joined Patreon as our new Senior VP of Engineering. Utkarsh joins us with over a decade of experience building consumer communications products, and led teams at Twitter and, most recently, at Google where he elevated the messaging, video, and phone calling experience for Android users around the world.
The creator economy is piping hot and as we work to build the space and resources for creators to make a world for their art and their members, we couldn’t be more excited for Utkarsh to join our team.
Here’s what he had to say about Patreon and the opportunity ahead:
Tell us about yourself and some of your achievements.
I came to the US for graduate studies at Stanford (I’m originally from India). I’ve been fascinated with computer science for a long time and love building software. For the last decade or so, I’ve been focused on building communications products first at Twitter and then at Google. Twitter was a revolutionary communications product where, for the first time, we democratized the ability for creators to talk to a large audience. My role was to improve the quality of the main feed based on ranking and relevance — it was a fun project where we were able to really focus on showing users the most relevant content to them.
For the last 5 years, I’ve been at Google where I’ve worked on improving communication products for billions of Android users. We elevated the messaging experience to be a much richer and more secure one, and worked on high quality video-calling to help people stay in touch during the pandemic. We also innovated a lot on the phone-calling experience which can often be forgotten in the smartphone experience. We were able to create innovative features like holding the line for you on customer support calls and blocking spam calls.
What drew you to Patreon?
The mission and the people.
I talked to Jack a long time ago when Patreon was just getting started, so I’ve been following the company for a while. The company’s mission of being the go-to destination for creators to run their business their own way and build a deep connection with their fans really appeals to me. I’m excited to help realize that vision.
I was also blown away by Patreon’s leadership team and their ability to put creators first. The origin story of the company with Jack being a creator himself, and the deep customer empathy that comes from that is fascinating. I’m convinced that this is the right team to build against this vision.
What excites you about the creator economy?
I believe we’re still in the early days of a sea change in how many creators there are, how they run their business, how they connect with their fans, and how they build a community. Patreon is at the forefront of this transformation and I’m excited to be a part of it!
I also have a personal connection with a budding creator — my 11-year-old daughter uploads her music videos on YouTube. She is also passionate about saving wild tigers, so we had this fun idea for her to collect funds to donate to this cause via song requests from friends and family. It was a really fun way for me to observe her creativity up close and personal, and develop an appreciation for the future of the creative economy.
What’s something most people wouldn’t know about you?
I’m an aspiring musician (although nowhere close to the skill level of any creator on Patreon!). I was briefly part of a band and played guitar at Stanford while getting my PhD. I’m thinking of picking up guitar lessons again — I hear that we have regular creator visits and performances at Patreon HQ, so maybe I can get some tips!
As you embark on growing the engineering team, what engineering values are you going to lead with?
I’m passionate about building software that is both dependable and delightful to use. Creators rely on us to run their business, so we will continue to work hard to make sure that our software is available whenever they need it.
Beyond that, we will work to make every interaction with our software a delight — an absolute joy to use for creators and patrons alike. Building such dependable and delightful software takes skilled engineering with a high level of craftspersonship, and those are the attributes I will strive to maintain and grow as we embark on growing the engineering team.