Hi. My name is Dave Schappell (my wife took the above photo, and it is one of the very few that looks good, so I use it a lot 🙂 ).
My Amazon story started in May 1998, when I joined as an MBA Summer Intern after the first year of my Wharton MBA. After a few weeks working on the Amazon Music launch, I told my hiring manager (future Amazon CEO Andy Jassy) that if they were going to give me a full-time offer at summer’s end, that I’d take it ‘now’ and join immediately as a Product Manager (and not return to complete my MBA). With that big move behind me, I feel like I was whisked away on a journey that, in retrospect, is hard to believe. I participated in the launches of many successful (and not successful) products and services, made lifelong friends, and truly made history.
I left Amazon in 2004 and after working with two smaller companies (Unitus and JibJab), I founded a VC-backed local education marketplace called TeachStreet. While TeachStreet didn’t achieve the success we aimed for, we were fortunate to be acquired by Amazon in 2012. During my second “boomerang” stint at Amazon, I helped build the Amazon Web Services Startup Business Development team, which helps high-potential startups and investors accelerate their adoption of AWS. Along the way, I became an active angel investor/startup advisor and was fortunate to be involved with General Assembly, Twilio, Downstream, JibJab, Skilljar, Gamesight, Tomorrow, Sweatcoin, Stackin’, Floreo, MyPerfectColor, Pantastic, AdPractitioners (parent to Consumers Advocate and Money.com), HiHo and many more.
Now, I’m semi-retired in Wolfeboro, NH (on gorgeous Lake Winnipesaukee) and the Invent Like An Owner podcast/website is an effort to stay engaged and create something that I think will be interesting and useful to others. Let me know what you think 🙂
About Dave Schappell (in bullet form)
- Grew up in Pennsylvania
- Lived in Philadelphia, Seattle, Los Angeles, London and now Wolfeboro, NH
- Penn State University – B.S. Accounting – 1990
- University of Pennsylvania – attended the Wharton School MBA program from ’97-’98
- Arthur Andersen – ’90-’93
- Commonwealth Bancorp – ’93-’97
- Amazon.com – ’98-’04
- Unitus – ’05-’06
- JibJab – ’06-’07
- TeachStreet – ’07-’12
- Amazon Web Services – ’12 – ’16
- MyPerfectColor ’18 –> (Custom Color Spray Paint such as Pantone PMS 7710 C Spray Paint)
Dave Schappell is the creator of the Invent Like An Owner podcast, where he talks with the Amazonians who helped build Amazon.com into one of the world’s most valuable companies. He was formerly the Director of Business Development at Amazon Web Services, focused on the early-stage startup community, from 2012 to 2016. Prior to that role, he was the Founder and CEO of TeachStreet.com, led marketing and product development at JibJab and Unitus, and also worked with Amazon.com from 1998 to 2004, when he led Amazon Marketplace product development, managed the Associates program, and more. Dave has invested and advised a number of early-stage startups, including several founded by former Amazonians such as Twilio, Skilljar, Floreo, Downstream and more. He has a B.S. in Accounting from the Pennsylvania State University and attended the MBA program at The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Some online videos:
- Startup Day 2009 – “Building the Product”
- BizTechDay Seattle 2010 – “Revenue – What is the Best Way to Charge your Customers”
- Edukwest – June 2010 – “Interview with Kirsten Winkler”
- Edukwest – March 2011 – “Interview with Kirsten Winkler”
- Nextcast 7 – April 2012: “Talking about TeachStreet, working hard, Seattle tech”
Some past presentations:
- What does the Business Person in a Startup Do? – June 2011
- How to get hired (Job or Intern) – March 2011
- Hiring and Firing Startup Employees – January 2011
- Taking your Startup from Free to Paid – December 2010
Some photos of Dave Schappell: