Jared Nieuwenhuis’s long and varied career all goes back to his first passion: Games.
He began playing soccer as a child and went on to play in college and then professionally in Europe. But that didn’t last forever and Nieuwenhuis eventually was drawn to high-tech.
“I caught the technology bug during the height of the dot-com era and I wanted to be in that space,” he said. “It was very exciting to see the changing way people behave online, how interactive entertainment was transforming how people spent their free time.”
Nieuwenhuis worked for a number of gaming and game-related companies including Vidiator, Dijji, and Mobliss. During that time, he worked on the mobile launches of products like Deal or No Deal and the New York Times Crossword Puzzle. He went on to work for Sandlot Games, where he led the company’s rebranding efforts.
Now, Nieuwenhuis serves as Marketing Director for Her Interactive, the Bellevue, Wash. game developer behind the Nancy Drew games.
We caught up with Nieuwenhuis for this installment of Working Geek, a regular GeekWire feature. Continue reading for his answers to our questionnaire.
Current Location: “I feel fortunate to be able to work and live in Bellevue.”
Computer types: “Surface Pro 4.”
Mobile devices: “iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro, Samsung Galaxy Tab 4, Amazon Fire HD.”
Favorite apps, cloud services, and software tools: “Some of my favorite apps (in no particular order) include Starbucks, Alaska Airlines, Dropbox, Netflix, Prime Now, Waze, Uber, Google Docs, Audible, and WordPress.”
Describe your workspace. Why does it work for you? “I like to keep my workspace clean, organized and uncluttered. I find I am able to really focus and be at my creative best when my workspace is structured and orderly.”
Your best advice for managing everyday work and life? “I think everyone tends to manage their everyday work/life differently but what works for me is to always make lists, get everything on the calendar, be flexible, develop routines, and value your time. No one else will value your time as much as you.”
Your preferred social network? How do you use it for business/work? “My preferred networks would be LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. However, I manage our company’s entire social media presence and thus also touch other networks like Pinterest, Instagram, Vine, etc.”
Current number of unanswered emails in your inbox? “Unfortunately, it’s at 231 right now. This is no badge of honor as I make it a point to respond to everything in a timely manner.”
Number of appointments/meetings on your calendar this week? “23.”
How do you run meetings? “I make the objective of the meeting clear, I only invite those that are critical to the objective and I stick to the agenda. I start the meeting on time and end it on time. I respect people’s time and never want to waste it. Lastly, I follow-up with an email within 24 hours that confirms action items, deadlines, tasks, etc. I want to make sure everyone is on the same page after the meeting.”
Everyday work uniform? “Jeans and a fitted shirt or sweater.”
How do you make time for family? “It sounds simple enough but make family time a priority and get it on the calendar. If it’s not on the calendar, chances are it won’t happen. This is a simple principle that is often overlooked. Family time should never be an afterthought.”
Best stress reliever? How do you unplug? “FlyWheel, bike rides around Puget Sound, spending time with my wife and daughter, watching Wisconsin Badgers Football and volunteering at LifeWire — a non-profit that provides services that help domestic violence victims free themselves from abuse.”
What are you listening to? “At the moment, I’m listening to Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam – ‘A 1000 Times.’”
Daily reads? Favorite sites and newsletters? “WSJ, Politico, Mashable, TechCrunch, Marketing Land, Seattle Times, AdAge, Business Insider and GeekWire.”
Book on your nightstand (or e-reader)? “Millennial Moms: 202 Facts Marketers Need to Know to Build Brands and Drive Sales and Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City by Russell Shorto.”
Night owl or early riser? What are your sleep patterns? “Historically, I have been a night owl but my wife is an early riser … which pretty much is turning me into an early riser as well.”
Where do you get your best ideas? “Not so much a question of where as when. I’m constantly inspired by what I observe in everyday life or the creativity of others. But I usually have my best ideas after a rigorous workout or intense bike ride.”
Whose work style would you want to learn more about or emulate? “Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has always impressed me. How she manages to effortlessly juggle all the demands on her time is quite impressive.”