Five Questions With: Patrick Madden

January 20, 2022

At ChangeUp, we’re inspired daily by the people we work with. This led us to launch “Five Questions With” – a monthly series that spotlights a different employee, asking them five questions that we hope sparks some inspiration in you too. Next up, get to know the newest member to our team, Retail Technology Strategist, Patrick Madden.

What are you currently reading or listening to?

I recently began listening to the Armchair Expert podcast which I’m really enjoying. A recent episode I found particularly interesting was an interview with former Google CEO, Eric Schmidt. His new book “The Age of AI And Our Human Future” outlines how ever-advancing technologies are transforming society. One of the pillar themes he focuses on is a concept called artificial general intelligence; the notion that one day computers will be independently creative and capable of setting their own priorities and objectives. This really resonates with me because if you look back 15 years, much of the technology that exists today is so far beyond what people thought was achievable at the time. That’s the beauty behind technology; forever evolving, improving, and pushing the envelope of what is possible. 

You spent years working in retail technology at J.Crew. What made you want to move to the agency side and join ChangeUp?

Retail is an amazing industry and the past few years have shown us that it’s incredibly dynamic and constantly evolving to meet the demands of the consumer. Fashion retail is only a subset of the broader retail world and there’s so much innovation and experimentation in verticals like restaurant and automotive. Coming from the retail side, I always found that an outside perspective was tremendously helpful in spotting gaps in execution or highlighting opportunities for improvement. I’m excited to be that voice to our clients and help them think outside the box of what could be possible. 

What do you believe is the biggest challenge retailers need to overcome in today’s landscape?

Agility. Retailers that don’t push themselves to be at the forefront of customer experience will be left behind. It’s about creating purposeful, memorable, and convenient interactions between brands and consumers. Technology in retail can be an especially daunting notion too, particularly when the status quo has sufficed for so long. Yet as consumer preferences shift, innovation will become essential for retailers to effectively serve customers through their preferred channel. 

What are you most passionate about outside of work?

I love to travel. Whether a quick local weekend trip, a cross-country road trip, or an international vacation; nothing gets me more excited than getting out into the world and experiencing new things. I’m fascinated by the intricacies of different cultures and amazed that even within the United States there can be very distinct regional differences in the way people go about their lives. 

What are you most looking forward to working on at ChangeUp?

I’m excited to collaborate with some of my favorite brands and retailers. Working in tandem with our world-class design and strategy teams, I look forward to bringing powerful new experiences, concepts, and formats to life!