Follow the Leader How BuzzFeed’s CTO leads with Paste
As a seasoned executive, Peter Wang uses Paste to unify teams and stakeholders across a vast organization
Peter Wang doesn’t rush his words. He doesn’t seem like someone who’d be invested in the success of online personality quizzes either. But there we were, meeting over video chat, checking out a Paste deck on BuzzFeed quizzes that he recently presented to the company’s revenue team.
For Peter, a seasoned executive who joined BuzzFeed as Chief Technology Officer early this year, context matters. “I talked about the background of BuzzFeed quizzes,” he explained, showing me the colorful deck, to illustrate “where we were versus where we are.” Sometimes these presentations lay the groundwork for new products, like BuzzFeed Quiz Party, which takes the concept that the brand is famous for and adds a social spin.
Peter oversees technology for all BuzzFeed properties, from engineering, product, design, to data and project management. “There’s quite a few pieces to figure out,” he said, but the goal is consistent––to unify teams and stakeholders across a vast organization, from product roadmaps to goal-setting. “Of all the things we’re doing, how do we know what’s making an impact? I’ll use Paste to show objectives to help us measure progress."
“Paste helps me focus the messaging, like a tweet that forces you to edit and be succinct.”
— Peter Wang, BuzzFeed
Right now Peter is preparing for an internal team meeting where he’ll give a talk on how leaders can provide ‘engaged feedback,’ and he’ll share updates on Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging efforts within BuzzFeed's tech organization.
“I prefer to make my deck in Paste. It's way faster," he says. "I just go in and drop in some thoughts to get started. The decks set the tone and framing of the message. It’s the anchor, and I’ll speak to it. Paste does this really well for me.”
Peter has followed the trajectory of Paste since its launch and is a longtime fan of Paper®, frequently using both together. “I’ve watched Paste grow up. It’s beautiful, it’s fast. The design is very thoughtful and opinionated. It’s helped me focus the messaging, like a tweet that forces you to edit and be succinct.”
As a veteran of growth stage startups and corporate environments alike, Peter has scaled teams and built products in a range of industries––financial services, ad tech, media, commerce, and health. He’s done a lot of presentations. “I’ve made all kinds of decks with Paste: decks for All Hands, board meetings, team meetings, product launches, AMA’s. Even my introduction to BuzzFeed was a deck I made with Paste.”
The details aren’t lost on him either, like the mobile device frames in Paste that automatically format images with a click. “I used to buy various device backgrounds, like iPhone 6, iPhone X templates,” he lamented. “I would buy them, export them, overlay the images on top, export that and then put it in the deck. It was a huge time-drain. So I love the device frames. Now I can take a screenshot [of app designs] and just drop them in.
As we wrapped our call, Peter asked about the original crew who worked on early iterations of Paper and Paste, and seemed pleased to hear some members remain (and others returned, like myself) to carry the torch forward. “I can feel that the team has a really specific vision,” he mused. “Paste is a different paradigm of thinking compared to other presentation software that’s out there. I keep rooting for you guys. I use the tool and happily share with the company. People see Paste working.”