Google’s head of creator relations is leaving to join link-in-bio platform Koji.
Paul Bakaus will become San Diego-based Koji’s first head of creators—the same way he was Google’s first head of creator relations.
Bakaus originally joined Google in 2014, working on developing tools for its in-house browser, Chrome. By 2020, his experience leading developer teams for Google had shown him the company’s goal of open access to information “didn’t really work out anymore in a world where most modern content is created by content creators in closed-off social media apps,” he tells Tubefilter.
He ended up pitching the Google for Creators program with the goal of providing outreach, marketing, partnerships, and community-building to the ever-growing number of creators using Google’s platforms.
The program ultimately helped “set Google’s overall creator strategy” and “supported Google’s engineering and product organization by building several creator facing products, such as Web Stories for WordPress, a Canva-like visual editor for the WordPress ecosystem to build tappable stories that are part of the open web and make the creator money,” Bakaus says.
Koji, meanwhile, was co-founded in 2016 by Veoh founder, former Google product manager, and former MySpace CTO Dmitry Shapiro. It entered the link-in-bio sphere in early 2021, and to date has raised more than $36 million to develop “mini-apps” for a variety of creator-supporting purposes.
Bakaus says that as head of creators, he’ll be running Koji’s community, marketing, business development, partnerships, creator education, and developer relations, plus define Koji’s overall product strategy.
“[T]hat’s a very broad set of responsibilities,” he says. “The good news is that I’ve worn all of these caps in some capacity in the past, with my career trajectory leading me from engineering to product and marketing.
“If anything,” he adds, “I’d say that combination of a deep tech background layered with these product and marketing skills on top make me uniquely qualified to drive creator success at Koji.”
In a blog post about his new position, Bakaus wrote that he chose to join the company because of “the sheer raw potential of their vision.”
“It’s a link-in-bio startup on the surface, but if you roll back the curtain, there’s a powerful mini app platform supporting creators, developers and creator startups,” he said. “And it’s that platform, and the promise of having it power the next generation of creator economy startups, that truly excites me.”
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