MVP Spotlight — Matt Murkidjanian

In a new series, we speak with different team members who have been voted MVP to learn more about their experiences working at Active Theory. We recently connected with Matt Murkidjanian to ask ten questions about life as a Senior Producer.

Matt has recently been named MVP by the team for his outstanding efforts and admirable tenacity. Matt has been (back!) with Active Theory for nearly two years and has been a major part of bringing some of the most important Active Theory endeavors to life including IOHK Cardano Summit 2021, Xbox Museum, and HubSpot’s Inbound 2022.

Where are you from originally and where do you call home now?
I was born in Los Angeles, and I call Orange County home now. I haven’t made it very far.

Did you go to school in LA? What degree did you pursue?
Yes, I went to UCLA. I have a BS in Neuroscience. At 17 I was troublingly interested in consciousness and free will.

Can you list some previous positions that led you to Active Theory?
Before I was a producer, I was a backend developer, and I worked at Active Theory! Development wasn’t the right fit for me, but I learned about production and decided to pursue that instead. I worked at the agency Saatchi & Saatchi before I returned to Active Theory two years ago, and I returned because I knew I’d be challenged to stretch myself here.

Can you tell us about your role and what you’re focusing on daily as a Senior Producer?
Production is a somewhat generalist role. The predominant focus of my job is project management, but there are so many other things I do, and ultimately my goal is to create the conditions for my colleagues to do their best work. I anticipate obstacles that might prevent the team from doing their work and try to resolve those issues before they happen. I look for signals of stress in my team and work to remove that stress. In a day I might create a presentation, edit a scope of work, develop a technical specification doc, bug test a site the team is developing, and mentor other producers. Ultimately I spend a lot of time worrying: about projects, about colleagues, and about the business.

In your opinion, what are the three most important traits of every successful team?
Shared goals, honest and direct communication, and feelings of purpose.

What’s the most exciting part about working in the creative tech world at the moment?
The first Active Theory creation I ever saw was Mira. When I came across it, I understood something quite simple but powerful. By using technology in creative ways, we can create beauty, and I mean that in both the aesthetic sense and the metaphysical sense of the word. That’s compelling to me.

What is the most rewarding project you’ve worked on at Active Theory?
Every project is rewarding in its own way, even if the reward is being able to leave the project behind. If I have to choose, I’ll say the most rewarding is the IOHK Cardano Summit 2021. I worked with a team across six time zones and brought this fun experience into the world in about seven weeks. It was a whirlwind, and I came out of it with more confidence in my abilities.

What’s the next skill you plan on learning?
It’s not necessarily a skill, but I’m interested in learning more about product management. Active Theory’s Dreamwave technology is constantly evolving, and we’re currently working on pushing the technology forward as a product, whereas it has mainly existed as a custom solution up to this point.

What is one piece of advice you want to give to our young, aspiring Producers out there?
If you don’t understand something with 100% clarity, investigate and ask questions until you do.

Last but not least, what is your all-time favorite emoji?

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