Innovators: Zappos Director of Engineering, Will Young

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Innovators. They come in many forms. They dream big but they aren’t just dreamers. They form raw ideas into cool products with disruptive business models. They shatter entire industries and leave established leviathans running scared with their tails between their legs. The Innovators interview series connects you with the most driven people on the planet. What makes them tick? What advice do they have for tech founders? What tools do they use to get the job done? Read on to find out. 

As the Director of Engineering, Will currently leads the San Francisco team, goaled with developing partnerships and building great products through experimentation, incubation, and off-roadmap projects. Will’s innovative and practical solutions fuel his passion for technology and interest in solving business problems. He is also one of the most prolific donut eaters in Zappos history (23 donuts in 20 minutes).

Prior to joining in 2010, Will gained over ten years of experience in creating great web experiences. He has worked as an independent consultant, as well as for leading organizations including Yodlee Corporation and Sapient Corporation. In these roles, Will played an integral role in designing and implementing large-scale enterprise applications, product management, scalable application development, process definition, direct client engagement, as well as plan and scope management.

Will has a Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.

What do you enjoy most about your work and why?

I work out of our Zappos IP Inc (part of the Zappos family) San Francisco office. Our office has the very fun but challenging task of trying to figure out the future of online retail. We’re constantly experimenting with different ways people might want to discover products, interact with our brand, and have fun while shopping. I really enjoy being surrounded by a team of extremely talented and creative people who are constantly brainstorming new ideas. It’s inspiring and we all push each other to think beyond today’s current shopping experience.

Where does your entrepreneurial passion come from? What drives you, inspires you, excites you?

After living in San Francisco for the last 13 years, it’s impossible not to feel an entrepreneurial passion from the great people in the SF community. It’s one of the main reasons why Zappos wanted to open an office in SF: to get back into that startup vibe and be inspired by the hustle and energy of SF ...

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