Ana has a keen sense of the power of storytelling. She’s strategic, imaginative, and insightful.Shoaib Makani,
CEO and Co-founder of KeepTruckin
Why is a strong narrative a critical factor for the success of a company?
ANA — A strong narrative is fundamental because people need to be inspired to believe in you and your vision, especially early on. A compelling story encourages people to work for you, invest in you, and buy your product. If you break a strong narrative down, it begins with a quest. A hero and an enemy, or a challenge, to be overcome. I feel like all founders are heroes in their own right, embarking on adventures and conquering obstacles. Founding and growing a startup is an epic journey, and crafting a narrative that creates an emotional connection with audiences is essential.
What do you find working with founders to be such a rewarding experience?
ANa — Founders are so inspirational. It is so exciting to hear their vision, and witness their resilience, grit, and determination. They defy these crazy odds to build something special and it’s touching when they share their stories with you.
One of the things I really enjoy most about my role at Index is that I get to work with so many different companies and founders, across so many industries—from artificial intelligence to speakers to food. I feel lucky to get to know them and help them execute on their vision.
What are the best lessons you learned over your journey from Bucharest to Silicon Valley?
ana — I left Romania for Georgetown University and it was a tough transition. New culture, new language. As an immigrant, I learned the hustle mentality. To get out of my comfort zone and push myself to achieve the things I wanted. It’s hard to feel safe when you’re plugged into a foreign culture without a prebuilt infrastructure to support you, but it has served me well in my career. It forced me to create a network that supported me and my goals and to constantly learn and embrace new things. I can’t think of a better place to live and work than Silicon Valley, where people are always innovating.
Ana leads marketing and communications in the U.S., where she enjoys working with founders and entrepreneurs at portfolio companies on their comms goals and challenges. Prior to Index, Ana was Head of Comms at Dropbox for nearly four years, during which time the company scaled from 400 to 2,000 people. While there, she built and managed the first global comms team, leading a wide range of activities from corporate events to product launches to managing crises and various policy issues.
Previously, Ana managed communications at Jive Software and HP Software and held senior roles at Outcast and Hill and Knowlton. Ana holds a B.S. in humanities in world affairs and a certificate in Latin studies from Georgetown University. Originally from Romania, Ana has lived in four different capitals of the world and currently lives in San Francisco with her husband and daughter.