The Consumer Matters is the blog of Leslie Grandy, aka Gearhead Gal.  My passion is creating and delivering compelling products that delight customers through simple and elegant user experience design.

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Leslie Grandy has been working since 2009 as a start-up advisor and product strategy consultant. She combines sixteen years in technology product marketing and development with thirteen years of previous experience in motion picture and television commercial production, to create innovative solutions that drive measurable results for both B2B and B2C companies. In the high-technology leadership positions she has held, Grandy has proven her ability to develop, position and launch high-tech products and develop highly rewarding marketing strategies in the Internet marketplace. 

Grandy most recently served as the SVP, Digital Media Product and Development for Discovery Communications, where she led the teams responsible for delivering the companies owned and operated experiences across web, mobile and TV Everywhere platforms.

As Vice President, Product Development at T-Mobile, Leslie led the launch of the first Android/Google developed phone, the T-Mobile G1, and shepherded release of no less than six versions of the company’s iconic Sidekick device, deemed by Forbes.com as a “Hall of Fame” handset along with the Razr and iPhone. Realizing innovation is a hallmark of Leslie’s development teams, as further illustrated by the launch of the first Blackberry device in a flip form factor.  On the service side, her product development team included the T-Mobile franchise service, My Faves, which grew under her leadership to over 10M subscribers. She was also named to Puget Sound Business Journal's TechFlash Top Women in Technology list.

Prior to T-Mobile, Leslie served as Apple’s ecommerce Director for the Americas, attaining more than $2B revenue annually. Leslie came to Apple from consulting roles for Forward Consulting, providing ecommerce guidance to companies like Turner Broadcasting System, Microsoft, and DivX. At Infospace, she served as its Vice President for Product Management of Search & Directory; Grandy led her team to define and deliver award-winning applications for the industry leading meta-search provider. Prior to joining Infospace, Grandy served in multiple senior management positions in RealNetworks' Consumer Division, including General Manager, Consumer Marketing and GM of Media Acquisition, where she launched multiple versions of RealPlayer and RealJukebox, as well as GoldPass, Real's first Internet media subscription service, and the forerunner to the highly successful RealOne SuperPass offering, which acquired more than one million customers during her tenure.

Before her stint at RealNetworks, Grandy served as Director of Marketing at WorldStream Communications, and was responsible for all aspects of marketing programs, including WorldStream's advertising, branding, creative services, direct marketing, event promotion, product management, public relations and Web presence. Grandy has been a contributing columnist to technology publications on the topics of successful webcasting and eCommunication. Grandy's tenure at Worldstream was preceded by a term as the Director of the Application Development and Management Customer Unit at Visio Corporation, now a division of Microsoft. During her time at Visio, Grandy successfully launched versions of Visio Professional, Visio Enterprise and an SAP R/3-specific solution, Visio Business Modeler.

Earlier in her career, Grandy worked in the Washington State Department of Trade and Economic development, where she led a Governor's trade mission to Hollywood to attract motion picture production to Washington. Her efforts resulted in the productions of $52 million dollars of trade revenue associated with films including Sleepless in Seattle, Disclosure, and Crimson Tide. Before moving to Washington State, Grandy had an extensive career in the motion picture and television commercial industries in Hollywood. While at Pacific Western Productions in Los Angeles, she budgeted and supervised motion picture production activities for Producer Gale Anne Hurd and Director Brian de Palma, and assisted on or oversaw such productions as The Abyss, The Waterdance, Raising Cain, and Tremors. Grandy began her career as a freelance Assistant Director, Producer and Production Manager, working with television commercial clients including Ford, Frito-Lay and Coca-Cola.

Grandy is a member of the Director's Guild of America and earned a Bachelor's degree in TV and Film from Northwestern University as well as a Master's of Business Administration from the University of Washington.

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About this site

As a consumer, I love high tech toys. I am passionate about the ones that make it easy for me to love them by the way they improve the quality of my life, whether its deepening my relationships, enriching my experiences, or increasing my productivity. When I discover new technology that does hit that bar, and does it in a truly innovative way -  through great aesthetics, elegant interactions, or technically simplifying what was once complex or hard to imagine - then I become a brand fanatic.  For me, new technology always holds that promise of a first date. Could this be the one that will change my life forever?

Professionally, I have worked in ecommerce, product and marketing roles for some great brands like Visio and Apple, enabling me to evaluate my personal consumer experiences through that lens.  I like to produce products and experiences that create brand fanatics. And I prefer to do it in an innovative and enduring way, that has a positive impact on consumers' lives. I am fascinated by what products companies do choose to make, why they choose to make the ones they do and what type of business visionary enables a great product or service to actually reach and delight consumers.

In a past life, I also worked in film production, and I am a member of the Directors Guild of America. Perhaps that's how I developed a designer's "eye", working on commercials and feature films with some pretty great cinematographers like Richard Kline ("Body Heat"), Mikael Salomon ("The Abyss") and Stephen Burum ("Mission Impossible"). Working on set, I appreciate the challenges of bringing great creative minds together to collaborate on budget and on schedule. And through experience on movies like Terminator 2, I understand the development and maintenance of a "franchise" brand.