Meet the community team: Sam Haveson, product lead
January 19, 2023
A musician and product manager builds new experiences to help creators and fans build enduring communities on Patreon.
We recently spoke with Sam Haveson, who joined Patreon late last year as Product Lead for the Community team. She and her team are working on new experiences to help creators and fans build enduring communities.
Sam came to Patreon after nearly 5 years as a Product Lead at Twitter, where she led the Consumer Product team — championing, building, and scaling creation and conversation products across Tweets and Media that support millions of users. Before that, Sam worked on photo and video products for Alexa-enabled devices at Amazon.
Combining Art and Science
Since her childhood, Sam has always been passionate about music. Having a mother who is a classically trained pianist and nurse, Sam grew up with music constantly playing around the house. This love eventually led Sam to pursue her own passion as a musician while also pursuing a career in product management. “I’ve been really fortunate to be at the intersection of art, business and technology my whole life,” says Sam. “It's such a rewarding career, and I love being creative, analytical as well as technical all at the same time.”
While there are so many options within product management, Sam has always found consumer-facing products her favorite. “I really enjoy working on self-expression products, media products, photo and video experiences, social media, and content engagement. I love focusing on products and technology that light up people's lives. This inspired my work at Twitter, and prior at Amazon. “
"Creators are really owning their futures — they're owning their finances, they're owning their audiences, and they're owning their creative work. I’m excited about this renaissance that we're seeing."
That passion for the consumer, as well as her admiration for Patreon CEO Jack Conte, is what drew Sam to Patreon. “Jack has always been someone who inspired me because he is a musician and artist first. He brought that to life with Patreon and helped other creators do the same. I was really drawn to this business model that unites profit and purpose.”
Like many at Patreon, Sam believes we are experiencing a second renaissance where creators own their outcomes. “Creators are really owning their futures — they're owning their finances, they're owning their audiences, and they're owning their creative work. I’m excited about this renaissance that we're seeing where creators are getting to own the end-to-end journey of making the art, getting feedback on that content, and building really rich communities. As a creative myself, I find it quite interesting because many people have felt that they need to succumb to the algorithm or the trend of the month and ultimately, that's not sustainable.”
As the Product Lead for the Community team, Sam is surrounded by what she describes as an exceptional team of designers, engineering managers, software engineers, data scientists, product marketers, and researchers. “It's just an awesome feeling to know that not only have I joined an outstanding global team but that the team I work with on a daily basis cares about what we are building and raises the bar on talent.”
A focus of this newly formed team is to tap into the creator’s direct-to-fan relationship while enriching relationships. “We can deepen the direct-to-fan relationship and make it even stronger, all while building out the fan-to-fan connection,” explains Sam. “Being a fan of the same creator is a touchpoint and a conversation starter. This creates an ability to connect with someone who's just like you, who shares similar interests because of that affinity for a creator.”
Beyond the Work
As a singer-songwriter, Sam is currently working on her debut EP. “I love music. I love the process of writing and creating music. I'm really enjoying working with production to bring a song to life. It gets me really excited.”
In addition to her passion for music, Sam also values the importance of diversity in technology, whether it’s encouraging more women to get into the space or mentoring those who want to learn more. She’s also very passionate about financial literacy and ensuring people can find and drive their own financial outcomes.
As far as her favorite Patreon creator to support, Sam loves Jacob Collier. “He is a prolific and genius musician. He’s a producer, singer, and songwriter who also plays a bunch of instruments and collaborates with a lot of other great musicians. I get a ton of value being a patron of his work.”