Business Development and Growth

Wait, What?
New York City, New York (US)
May 01, 2019
Metro Area
New York
Full Time


WaitWhat — the joyful startup of former TED executives June Cohen and Deron Triff — is a media invention company committed to creating highly-differentiated, premium content that changes the cultural landscape. Where most media companies focus on a specific genre, format or demographic, WaitWhat is betting on a strategy aimed at creating diverse content experiences that scale across mediums; designing media properties whose value builds over time; and eliciting the “contagious emotions” of awe, wonder, curiosity and mastery.

WaitWhat’s inaugural media properties include the critically acclaimed podcast Sincerely, X, the 2018 Webby Award-winning podcast Masters of Scale, and it’s newest series, Should This Exist?. Once we establish a property’s "first format”, we begin to scale it horizontally by building out an ecosystem of adjacent media products and experiences.

Having recently closed our Series A round of funding with the backing of some of the most treasured, amiable independent investors and venture funds around, we’re building out a team that’s as diverse as it is creative — bright talented storyteller-inventors who share the desire to create the very best media experiences in the world. In doing so, we’re channeling our energy to fulfill what we believe is the greatest need of our time: to feel lit up and alive. Everything we produce will have those “wait, what?’ moments that spark your curiosity and change your understanding of the world. We believe in harnessing the energy around us — from partners, from colleagues, from the wider culture — to accelerate our work.

WaitWhat is founded upon a culture of possibility-thinking, courageous experimentation, originality, integrity and diversity. A diverse team — along the dimensions of gender identity, ethnicity, religion, native language, sexual orientation, age, ability, learning style and other factors — is not merely the right thing to do, but essential to telling richer stories, reaching wider audiences and creating media properties that thrive in the modern world. We believe that supreme kindness, tolerance, honesty, humility, and “yes and...” style conversations produce a flourishing, joyful and valuable organization. Join us!

Your role is clear: help us grow and connect more deeply with our audiences through extremely well put together collaborations with like-minded organizations that can bring even greater scale and impact for the media we bring into the world. You will work with Deron in building, stewarding and super-serving partners to hold them fully accountable to delivering their commitments with excellence in ways that are supportive, energizing and life affirming — making them a hero in their own story, not just ours.

The role will involve: (a) keeping track of an extensive amount of tactical details that are the building blocks of larger strategies, (b) ensuring nothing falls through the cracks, (c) habitually observing what’s working (and not working), (d) optimizing performance based upon what data is telling us, (e) anticipating and confidently surfacing issues the moment they arise, (f) proposing solutions and workarounds, and (g) remaining calm and confident throughout it all -- across a multiplying number of partnerships. You must love start-up culture (i.e., managed chaos and burning fires don’t throw you), have the DNA of an inventor to imagine collaborations that others cannot see (yet!), and be ready to work fast and hard without compromising quality. Read on if you’re still feeling courageous.



  • Manage and bring supreme care to existing WaitWhat partners (i.e,, Harvard Business Review, Quartz, Axios, among others) for whom your attention will turn these early-stage collaborations into flourishing, scaling, enduring relationships that yield outstanding results.
  • Balance speed and quality to vet inbound proposals and opportunities that are increasingly coming to WaitWhat — all of which requires expeditious decision-making and responsiveness to redirect the energy coming at us into great benefit.
  • Dream up partnerships to take the “first format” of a WaitWhat media property (for example, a podcast) and completely rethink how the content assets of that initial body of content can be reimagined into other media products and experiences.
  • Develop a sweeping range of editorial collaborations and distribution partnerships with organizations that have significantly larger or differentiated footprints than WaitWhat has access to — all designed to widen the audience and build new kinds of engagement experiences around our core content.
  • Believe deeply in invention. “Reject labels. Reject identities. Reject conformity. Reject convention. Reject definitions. Reject names.” (Ming-Dao Deng, Tao)
  • Execute the above recognizing that WaitWhat is embarking on a period of hypergrowth, which we will ride fully for all of the good that can come from it, for as long as it lasts. Without attracting attention to yourself, and by building up others, you will champion these efforts with wisdom, confidence and perseverance.



  • 5+ years of experience leading organic growth initiatives and developing editorial and/or product development partnerships that have highly inventive qualities that enable them to break out.
  • History of success in creating and leading sophisticated go-to-market strategies for media experiences and products, the likes of which, in many ways, are new to the world.
  • Deep understanding of metrics, goal setting, and data analysis to make informed decisions quickly, and pivoting when necessary.
  • Direct experience in negotiating and structuring partnership agreements with support from legal counsel, but largely led by your ability to draft contracts that are exceedingly well put together and bring clarity to the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved.
  • Experience with multi-platform content distribution, with particular emphasis on podcasting, content licensing, publishing, television and online video, and live events.
  • Understanding how to conceive and execute successful paid media campaigns.
  • Inventive thinker with strong problem-solving skills who can react fast and smartly to close loops, stay on top of the details, and keep Deron continually informed in ways that are efficient with his busy schedule.
  • You naturally turn your face toward the sun and believe that actions in life can be reduced to two factors; positioning and timing. When stillness is appropriate, you are still. When opportunity presents itself you are ready to seize them without hesitation or inhibition.



This is a FT position, based in downtown Manhattan. We offer a generous benefits package that’s competitive with larger companies (We believe in taking care of our team.) We work long hours, but we also rest. (Our whole company closes for 2 weeks in the summer and the week between Christmas and the New Year, so we can recharge). We’re committed to 50/50 gender balance, and diversity of all kinds — in our media properties, among our investors and on our team: women, minorities and anyone with an unconventional background are strongly encouraged to apply. Also, we only hire extremely nice people.

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