of the Week
After a few years in book publishing and
a year in traditional advertising, Laura Allen knew she had to make
a break for the Web. She quit her agency and fled to San Francisco,
hoping to figure out what to do with her life. To find the peace
that her decision demanded she boarded a bus called "The Green Tortoise"
and landed in Yosemite National Park. There, standing face to face
with a beautiful waterfall, Laura decided never, ever to work at
a job she couldn't love 100%.
Upon re-entering the real world, Laura submitted
her resume to nynma.org. Shortly thereafter she became the first
hire at Internet startup CheetahMail, a company that connects communities
on the net via email. The company is now 20 strong and Laura is
the director of marketing.
When did you first
discover your love and/or obsession with computers and technology?
I became interested in the Internet in 1994
when I was working on my Master's Degree in Media Studies though
The New School. It was an introductory class and while most of the
other people in the class had computers and some sort of Internet
access, I was still working on a Brother word processor because
I was broke. I credit my professor, Hazen Reed, who is a co-founder
of a Web design company called BitFlip,
with giving me the confidence to learn about the Web. Before taking
Hazen's class, I was one of those computer-phobic people who would
rather throw the computer out the window than figure out how to
In 1997, after a two year stint in book publishing,
I started work at a small advertising agency which also offered
Web development as one of its services. After just a year plus in
traditional adverting, I knew that there was no future in old school
advertising and knew that the Web was where it was at.
How do you earn a
Director of marketing for high tech startup CheetahMail.
Do you consider yourself
Yes, but only in the cool sense. There's no tape
in the middle of my glasses.
What is your favorite
What do you do when
you are not working?
Network via "Bernardo's list," go see live shows,
hang out with my friends, work on my video project and of course
surf the Web all day and night.
What's your motto?
Live every moment as if it were your last.
Who would play you
in a movie about your life?
I'd choose one of the cool chicks with dyed hair
that hang out in the East Village. Tattooed and cool, like me!
What would be the
title of your autobiography?
Never say never.
Who is the person
you most admire?
My mother. (how's THAT for geeky!! It's true
When and where were
you the happiest?
On a hippy bus called the Green Tortoise with
31 strangers in Yosemite.
If you could have
one super power what would it be?
I just wanna fly. Although x-ray vision would
be a close second.