Meet Edward Highfield, our Head of Product
Edward Highfield, a lifelong passionate fan of arts and culture, started his product career in NYC working at TheaterMania.com and has since brought his experience to social media products, product marketing, email marketing, and even game design. His well-rounded experience in entertainment and people connection makes him a great fit to lead the WordFly team and application into the future.
As Head of Product, Edward will work with the team to set the course of product development and will foster a culture of innovation around email and message marketing, secure technology, client support, and product design. You can meet Edward at the soon-to-be-announced WordFly Conference later this year or possibly even sooner as he begins to get to know our amazing clients.
We recently had the chance to catch up with Edward where he revealed that like many WordFlyers, he shares your affinity for peanut butter and chocolate. So, yeah, obviously this is the right guy for us!
10 Questions with Edward
What most excites you about the future of WordFly?
The email industry is a robust and growing industry and I think some might find that surprising. But the stats don’t lie, it’s a very effective communication and marketing tool. There’s a lot to be excited about there already, like machine-learning and data-driven decision making, but I think there will be a lot more to dig into in the coming years. What really gets my creative mojo going is thinking about WordFly as a digital messaging platform that isn’t just about email, but also about support and innovation where digital messaging (and marketing) can be any touch point between a business and a customer. I see that changing a lot in the coming years and I would like to see us innovating in that regard.
It’s Saturday night pre-COVID, which arts events might we find you at?
Oh, there are so many things I’d be doing this coming Saturday night. In reality I had tickets to The Book of Mormon, and that’s a bummer. But you could just as easily catch me at a concert or at the ballet. If I was in NYC, I’d be at Sleep No More.
Which project are you most proud of?
There are quite a few that I really like, but I’m most proud of the work I did at TheaterMania from 2006-2014. We really had fun and experimented with new ways of delivering content to theatre fans of all types. We had a Facebook trivia game, an iPhone app, a sister UK website, and even a classifieds section. But one of the most fun was the TheaterMania digital magazine that we published every other month or so. We did exclusive stories, photoshoots, longer-form pieces, and videos that we couldn’t just do on the website. I was proud of how the team came together to do something largely outside of our typical wheelhouse and really pulled it off.
Any kiddos, doggos or other lifeforms in your home?
We don’t have any pets, but we have two stir-crazy children. One eight-year-old boy and one fourteen-month-old girl who was born on my birthday last year. Best. Birthday. Present. Ever. Oh, also PNW spiders.
What kind of music do you like to work to?
I have a playlist called Killing Time that has chill, downtempo music on it. Think Portishead, Sneaker Pimps, Lorde, Phantogram, Bat for Lashes, Massive Attack. I work to that a lot. Writing to it now, actually.
My first concert was Metallica at Giants Stadium in NJ. A bunch of my friends and I rented a limo and piled into it with our flannels, backwards hats, and ripped jeans, rocking out all the way from Upstate NY (and back). It was great and so very, very loud.
I used to shoot video for TheaterMania.com, in addition to doing the development and product work, so I’ve had all manner of celebrities in front of the camera. Jude Law was one of the nicest celebrities we interviewed. We were doing the Tony Awards press junket and some big celebs would skip the online news outlets. But he made sure to go around to every single press team that was set up, even the very small ones. He was on it, super energetic, and even shook my hand. It was very nice of him.
Early career influences?
I really enjoy making things. I come from a background of making things first with my hands— doing set design and props for movies and music videos—and then transitioning to digital products. The things I learned making props for actors have been really useful for making digital products as well. Things should ‘just work’ and work well, and you should have backups in case anything breaks!
3 things you can’t live without?
Peanut butter & chocolate (it’s one thing), the ocean, and music.
Do you collect anything?
I collect LEGO. I really enjoy building sets and creating things with my kids, although my daughter is more into taking things apart right now!