About Us

The Reverb Team

Our History

Inspired by founder Erin McKean’s 2007 TED talk, the company we now call Reverb incorporated on Leap Day in 2008. Back then, we were called Alphabeticall, Inc., but we changed our name to Wordnik on the launch of the world’s biggest dictionary site, Wordnik.com, in 2009. As we’ve expanded from single words to blog posts and beyond, we’ve changed our name again to reflect our focus on the effect of the connections between words. At Reverb, we’ve always been about blending technology and words to give readers the most meaningful experiences possible.


Tony Tam CEO & Technical Co-Founder

Favorite word: grizzly

Tony is the CEO and technical co-founder of Reverb, where he leads development efforts of the site's innovative word navigation system. He is a member of the MongoDB Masters group and leads the Swagger API Framework open-source initiative. Prior to joining Reverb, he was a founder and SVP of Engineering at Think Passenger, a provider of customer collaboration software. Before that, he was lead engineer at Composite Software where he helped develop the company's first- and second-generation query processing engines and led the research and implementation of their patented cost-based federated query optimizer. He also led software development in the bioinformatics group at Galileo Labs, a drug-discovery company based in Silicon Valley. Tony received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from UC Santa Barbara and his MBA from Santa Clara University. He can be reached at tony@helloreverb.com.

Erin McKean Founder

Favorite word: erinaceous

Before starting Wordnik.com and Reverb, Erin McKean was editor-in-chief for American Dictionaries at Oxford University Press. She is author of Weird and Wonderful Words, More Weird and Wonderful Words, Totally Weird and Wonderful Words, and That's Amore (also about words), as well as the novel The Secret Lives of Dresses. She has served on the board of the Dictionary Society of North America and on the editorial board for its journal, Dictionaries, as well as on the editorial board for American Speech, the journal of the American Dialect Society. She also serves on the advisory boards of the Credo Reference and the Dictionary of American Regional English. She has a A.B./A.M. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. She rants about dresses on her blog (A Dress A Day), and is disconcertingly bad at Scrabble (but surprisingly good at roller-skating). She can be reached at erin@helloreverb.com.

Don Jaworski Advising COO

Don is the Advising COO of Reverb, where he guides operations across all products for Reverb. Don's career in the technology industry spans 30 years of product, engineering, general management and executive experience at leading companies such as NetApp, Brocade, Engine Yard, Cacheflow Inc., Nokia Internet Communications, Ipsilon Networks and Sun Microsystems. Don currently serves as an Advisor and Board member for a number of early stage companies. He has a B.S. in Computer Science from Bowling Green State University and an MBA from Santa Clara University. He can be reached at don@helloreverb.com.

Katie Cushmore SVP Product & Marketing

Favorite word: mistpouffer

Katie Cushmore is a veteran product and marketing professional who has worked with prominent social media and technology firms on the west coast, and has significant start-up experience. She began her career in media at Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, focusing on traditional media for consumer brands. She was a partner at two digital firms, Black Bag Advertising and the online arm of Odiorne, Wilde, Narraway and Partners, specializing in online consumer brands and social media serving clients such as Amazon, EA, HP, Sony, Intel, Travelocity, Google, and Toyota. She served as Marketing Director at Yahoo, was the first Sales MarCom hire at Twitter, and was VP of Marketing at NetShelter, the largest network of independent technology blogs. Katie received a BA degree from Bates College and an MA degree in Counseling Psychology from The Wright Institute. She can be reached at katie@helloreverb.com.

Marco NicosiaVP Engineering

Favorite word: chortled

Marco has been involved in the Internet industry since 1996. He comes to Reverb from Beats by Dre in Santa Monica, where he launched their e-commerce and consumer intelligence efforts. Previously, Marco was Director of Engineering for Engine Yard, a Platform-as-a-Service, which supported several Internet companies from start through superbowl commercials. Marco was responsible for building Yahoo!'s Apache Hadoop service, an effort which spanned 30,000 computers. He has also served at Walmart.com and Inktomi. Marco holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He can be reached at marco@helloreverb.com.

Rami Habal VP Product

Favorite word: serendipity

Rami came to Reverb from cloud security leader Proofpoint, where he was an early employee and instrumental in growing the business to an IPO filing, holding various product and marketing roles. Prior to Proofpoint, Rami held positions at Mohr Davidow Ventures, Cisco, Hughes Electronics, and several startups. Rami has also cofounded two non-profits, started three businesses, and serves as an advisor to early stage startups in Silicon Valley. In addition to an MBA from MIT and an MPA from Harvard, Rami has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Virginia. Rami is passionate about form+function, the post-pc mobile hypernet, discovering new things, Moleskine notebooks, and jazz. Follow him on Twitter at @rhabal. He can be reached at rami@helloreverb.com.

Board of Directors

Roger McNamee, Executive Chairman of the Board, and Co-founder of Elevation Partners

Jon Feiber, Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures

Mike Maples, Jr., Managing Partner, Floodgate Fund


Product Team
Most Used Word Customer
Word Game of Choice Bananagrams
Average Team Member Birthplace by Lattitude/Longitude 35.27943533, -56.43669133
(off the coast of Bermuda)
Other Product Team Vitals:

Lifetime number of iOS devices owned: 8 Average heel height: 3 inches Average number of apps per phone/iPad: 42 Number of Evernote notes per person: Percentage of whiteboard photos as a percentage of iPhone photo roll: 45% Ratio of product features conceived : implemented: 33.7:1 Non-product jobs held by industry sector: academia, entertainment, retail, public service, finance, travel, clergy

Best Product Ideas Conceived, by Location:
Engineering Team
Most Used Word Ship it
Word Game of Choice We write our own word games with the Wordnik API.
Average Team Member Birthplace by Lattitude/Longitude 29.1571025, 45.5268485
(near Kuwait)
Other Engineering Team Vitals:

Average caffeine consumed per day in lbs: 23 lbs.* Top foods by miles traveled before it gets to Reverb: beer 0.0001 miles, burritos 0.001 miles, curry 0.003 miles Average beats/minute of favorite music: 368 BPM Average number of wheels used to get to work: 2.28 wheels Average marathons per person: 0.75

*1 pound of beans = 3 gallons of coffee = 16 cups per gallon. Team consumes 46 cups per day. 2 cups = approx. 1 pound.

Our Engineers' Favorite Text Editors:
Marketing Team
Most Used Word Super
Word Game of Choice Apples to Apples
Average Team Member Birthplace by Lattitude/Longitude 44.983334, -93.266670
Other Marketing Team Vitals:

Average number of Twitter followers: 500+ Adjectives per hour: 125 APH Distance in feet to closest engineer: 4.75 Swag catalogs delivered per day: 3 Design "suggestions" per day: "I'm not a designer but..." Ratio of people punched per week : wanted to punch per week: 0.066:13 Favorite blogs by subject: Marketing 1%; Zombies 25%; "Homeland" 50%; Random Tumblrs 20%; Technology 4%.

Favorite Length of Tagline by Number of Words:
Business Development Team
Most Used Word Sign here
Word Game of Choice Scrabble
Average Team Member Birthplace by Lattitude/Longitude 46.650025, -13.296928
(off the coast of Poland)
Other Business Development Team Vitals:

Average number of wristwatches: 11 Average number of tattoos: 11 Ratio of miles run : miles being chased: 1:2 Number of emails that start with "I'm reaching out to you because": All Distance in feet to closest engineer: 2 Weirdest thing ever sold: old curtains Biggest deal closed, measured in pounds of pennies: 55,555 lbs

Expense Report Items, by Meal Type:
Business Operations Team
Most Used Word Done
Word Game of Choice Words with Friends
Average Team Member Birthplace by Lattitude/Longitude 38.7143925, 63.808
Other Business Operations Team Vitals:

Number of times per day "no problem" is said: 38+ Amount of time employees’ favorite food is in the snack cabinet: 100% Paperwork vanquishment rank: black belt