Meet creativeLIVE Director of Product Management Lesley Grossblatt

Lesley and her family live in San Francisco, CA
Lesley and her family live in San Francisco, CA. Photo courtesy of Marge Maghoney.

Curious who’s hanging out behind the scenes at creativeLIVE? Every week, in addition to profiling our incredible students, we’ll also profile one of our brilliant co-workers. From producers to editors to product engineers and even our executive staff, we are going to introduce you one-by-one to the hardworking team working hard every day to make creativeLIVE’s clock tick. Today, we are proud to introduce you to Director of Product Management Lesley Grossblatt. Lesley is an innovation leader responsible for creating delightful products that have direct affect on revenue, user satisfaction, and subscriber growth. Prior to creativeLIVE, Lesley worked for Nextdoor, Intuit and Netflix — where she worked on one of the best streaming platforms ever created.

What do you do at creativeLIVE?
I’m a Director of Product Management. I work with the engineering and design teams to decide how our website should work and look. Never a dull moment. 🙂

What inspired you to go into product management?
I wanted to work in technology, but had no background in engineering or business. Back in the dot com heyday, I talked my way into a marketing job, and a couple of weeks later, the one product manager in our company left to take another job. My boss asked me if I wanted to be the product manager, and I said “Sure . . . what the heck is that?” Turns out, it was a good fit for me because I love solving problems, understanding what makes people tick, and coming up with new and better ways to do things. Basically, all the things a product manager does!

Why is your job hard/fun/ rewarding?
It’s super rewarding because I get to not only come up with ideas for things that people will use and love, but see them come to fruition.

What did you study in school?
I majored in English in undergrad and went to law school right after college.

What was your first job and where else did you work before creativeLIVE?
My first job was working for my mom in her hotel gift shop when I was about 8 years old. I spent a few summers working at the cash register for part of the day, and part of the day lounging by the hotel pool.

Do you have creative hobbies?
I write and play violin.

Who or what inspires you in your creative endeavors?
Nature inspires me — the diversity of colors, textures, shapes you see all around you. People like Seth Godin inspire me to take chances, speak up, and tell the truth.

Who is your favorite creativeLIVE teacher and why?
I love Porter Gale. She’s so down-to-earth and gives you tons of practical advice.

If you were a creativeLIVE instructor, what would you teach?
Maybe something around coming up with crazy ideas/brainstorming in groups.

What’s the strangest/most awesome thing you’ve ever done for a job?
The strangest thing I’ve ever done in a job was take customer service calls for The Sharper Image catalog (I’m dating myself here, I know). I’d get calls from all kinds of strange people who would ask me completely inappropriate questions.

Where do you see education going in the future?
Education is going to become much more experiential and multi-disciplinary. Learning by doing will become much more important than reading books, sitting in lectures, and taking exams.

What’s your favorite family tradition?
Every night, before we go to bed, my kids and I snuggle up and read books together. Nothing better.

Most life-changing (non-creativeLIVE) class you’ve ever taken?
My 4th/5th/6th grade combined class was unbelievable. Mr. Davis was the most amazing teacher. He taught me everything there is to know about opera, Brazil and balancing a checkbook. I learned more in those 3 years than in all my other 17 years of formal education combined. Years and years later, all of us who got to be in Mr. Davis’ class still talk about how awesome it was.

For more from Lesley, make sure to check out her insightful Tumblr and follow her on Twitter @lesleyk.


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Topher Kelly is a San Francisco-based freelance writer and editor at CreativeLive. Follow Topher on Twitter@Topher_LIVE.