Careers rarely go according to plan. In Job Hacks, we shake down experts for the insights they cultivated on their way to the top of their field.
This week, we spoke with Ondriona Monty, who is the Chief Marketing Officer for Dots, a mobile gaming studio. Monty spoke with Inverse about creating her own job positions, the challenge of working in an ever-changing industry, and more. Monty’s most recent collaboration was a video with BMX star Nigel Sylvester as part of an ongoing series celebrating creators who align with the Dots spirit.
You’ve had an interesting career path — you’ve got the kind of job that wouldn’t have existed pre-internet era. How did you get your start?
I studied creative writing in college, and I thought I wanted to be a writer. But I also wanted to make money, and those two things don’t necessarily go together. I applied to a bunch of jobs, everything from marketing related roles to publishing. I started as a junior project manager and found I’ve got a knack for people. From there, I was working for an open source creative platform based in Berlin. My individual interests lie in culture and fashion — I was born in New York City; my wife worked in fashion — and they had to collide at a certain point.
I’ve been lucky enough to work for companies where I don’t have a proper job title. For a while I was freelance, and I also started my own company. I had a short stint where I worked for a Facebook marketing developer, I had a nine-month kick where I was consulting short-term.
Since the area of brands is constantly in flux, what’s the most challenging part of your job?
When you look at the evolution of modern technology and communication systems and brands, it’s an interesting challenge. This landscape is changing, there’s all this new-model stuff. But, I’m innately obsessed with human psychology and behavior: what makes us want things and want to tell people about them.
And how did Dots come into play for you?
I’ve had an interesting ride in not a very long period of time. I was connected to Dots through Betaworks, the original incubation program. We’re looking to build a brand, not just ephemeral games that leave the market after two months. Were in this really interesting space. When you look at the category of “mobile games,” I don’t consider us competing with mobile games. We’re entertainment. We’re an experience driven company. We make sure we respect the user, and ensure things are always thoughtfully designed.
Is that what’s behind the video with Nigel Sylvester?
“Play beautifully” is our mantra, and it’s not just related to gameplay. The challenge is, how do you not get overexcited about all the things we can do? It’s about taking that proclamation of identity and evolving that into a series of content and products that have impact.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.