Eric M. Ruiz

Writer, Marketing Strategist

United States

Eric M. Ruiz is an LA-based writer and marketing professional from Modesto, California. Most recently, he was part of the Marketing team at Netflix where he helped partners across Latin America—like Telmex, izzi, and AT&T—integrate with the streaming platform.

Prior to Netflix, Eric spent six years at Waze (and Google, after the billion-dollar acquisition in 2013), where he launched the company’s first partnerships and marketing campaigns in the U.S. and Latin America. He also led the launch of the Waze Carpool app for U.S. Spanish-speaking audiences.

His work has led him to interview numerous CEOs, NYT Best-Selling Authors, renowned academics, and professional athletes. Eric’s curiosity and people-first mentality have allowed him to cultivate a world-class network.

His essays on identity, belonging, and culture have appeared in Fast Company, Observer, Entrepreneur, and Howler Magazine. He’s also appeared on NPR Latino USA to discuss his ideas on diversity.

Eric has an A.A. from Modesto Junior College and a B.A. in International Business from San Diego State University. Prior to graduating from SDSU, Eric spent a semester at the University of Barcelona, where he furthered his studies in economics and history.

U.S. Hispanics and the "funny" Spanish we speak.

"Damn," I muttered as I paced back and forth in my hotel room. I flipped my notes and re-started my presentation. " Hola estimados, como estan?" We were less than two hours away from the official launch of Waze Ads in Mexico.

Stop Reducing People to an Identity.

There's been quite a bit of controversy surrounding author Jeanine Cummins and her latest novel, American Dirt. The story is about a mother and son who fled Mexico after a violent run-in with a cartel. The book garnered much pre-release hype, with author Don Winslow calling it "the Grapes of Wrath of our time" and Oprah adding it to her Book Club.

What I Learned From Being a Broke, Unemployed Graduate

I did what they told me to do. I went to college. I took out loans. I graduated on time. So why, three months after graduation was I still jobless? The summer of 2010 was supposed to be my summer.

Fast Company
How Being Pessimistic Can Help You Succeed

I'm an eternal optimist. I seek out the upside in any situation, sometimes to the chagrin of my coworkers. Once in Brazil, the hotel we were staying at had a bed bug outbreak. While my American colleagues panicked, I reminded everyone that while we had bed bugs, at least we were together, and on the beach in Brazil!

Why Cam'ron's Hey Ma is Peak Nostalgia

We've already used Spotify plays to measure the popularity of older music, so let's quantify nostalgia too: tracks that were popular in their day (ranking high on Billboard), but rarely played today (fewer plays on Spotify), and we'll see where "Hey Ma" stands relative to other tracks of its era.

Fast Company
Five Lessons I Learned When I Started Doing Business In Latin America

Three years ago, I began working with Latin American brands and agencies. At the time, I joked that being Mexican-American had finally paid off for me. But as it turns out, an upbringing filled with carne asada, telenovelas, and Liga MX didn't prepare me for the complex and distinctive business styles I found throughout Latin America.

Rappers Are the Original Content Marketers

The first quarter is quite slow in the Sales and Advertising world. Advertisers and brands are coming back from holidays and digging through their inbox to find my notes and replies. We're quite accustomed to this and the slow movement is no surprise.

Thought Catalog
10 Smart Tips For People Who Are Terrified Of Public Speaking

Much like my trajectory at Waze, I was kinda, sorta thrust into public speaking. I was only supposed to go to CES 2013 to take a few meetings. But Di-Ann Eisnor, our VP of Partnerships, had to cancel a talk due to a flight delay.

Why Every Entrepreneur Needs Biggie's 10 Crack Commandments

The Notorious BIG is the patron saint of New York. One can't go out in the Five Boroughs without hearing "Hypnotize," "Going Back to Cali," "Notorious Thugs," or any other of his hit songs. He gave the rap world and popular culture more quality in two studio albums than most artists do in a lifetime.

Thought Catalog
The Class Of 2005: 10 Years Later

I'm upset at Michel. He was our Senior Class President and in the run up to the election in 2004, he assured me that if I voted for him then our Ten Year Reunion would have, and I quote "hella strippers and cocaine, bro."

Attention Marketers: 'Targeting Hispanics' Is Dumb, and Worse, It's Ineffective

I recently attended a small meeting with junior and senior executives from several multinational companies. The topic of the talk and workshop was about how to "effectively market to U.S. Hispanics." It was an interesting listen and after only thirty minutes, I think I arrived at a solution for them.

Howler Magazine
Data from Euro 16 drivers is a window into the new Europe

France has one of the largest communities of Waze users in the world, so when the country hosted Euro 2016 in July, we analyzed driving trends from the month-long tournament. The data showed that 10% of all match attendees were Wazers.

4 Marketing Lessons From Pop-Culture Writer Shea Serrano

Shea Serrano, a staff writer for sports and pop culture site Grantland, is the author of two books. In a Skype chat this month and email exchange, Serrano shares with me some of the marketing lessons he learned while publishing his first book Bun B's Rap Coloring and Activity Book and preparing a new one, The Rap Year Book, to land in bookstores in October.

The Raiders are America's Dream

It's almost fitting that Oakland played a "home" game in Mexico. Oakland is a team that could lose it's home. For one thing, the Coliseum is beat down and decrepit. A friend of mine once commented "dude...this looks like a prison."

Grantland Alum Jon Abrams on How Players Skipping College Changed the NBA Forever

In 2006, the NBA established an age requirement that said players must be at-least 19 years old and be one year removed from high school before declaring themselves eligible for the NBA Draft. Between the 1995 and 2006, when the minimum age requirement was established, 43 players skipped college and jumped straight to the NBA to varying results.

Fashawn and the Complex Relationship With Our Hometowns

Two hours south of my hometown of Modesto, Ca., is the city of Fresno. With a population just north of 500,000, it's colloquially referred to as "bigger Modesto". It's a fair enough description, as both cities share an agricultural heritage and have fallen on hard economic times.

Choosing Between Opportunity and the Comfort of Home

Much of the summer sports hoopla has been around LeBron James' return to Cleveland. After four years and two championships in Miami, James is returning home to the team that drafted him and the city that raised him. The idea of going home is romantic: It's sentimental and nostalgic.

3 Entrepreneurial Lessons to Learn From Kanye West

Jay Z's 2001 album The Blueprint is considered by many hip-hop fans and outlets to be one of the best rap albums of its time. USA Today hailed the album's production, granting it four stars and saying, "The musical backdrop here is more soulful than before, and Jay-Z's sentiments have a harder edge."

Summer School for Entrepreneurs Is Now in Session

In high school, summer school had terrible connotations, like failing algebra. Summer school was always reactionary, used to make up course credits. You might be out of school now ( some of us may have never needed it), but that doesn't mean you can't use the summer to check out new resources for training and reading.

What Entrepreneurs Can Learn From the World Cup

"Football is the ballet of the masses." If we are to believe Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, then we can say that the 2014 World Cup, just days away, will have something for everyone. Related: The Art of Keeping Your Team Focused on the Same Goal In fact, entrepreneurs can stand to learn from the upcoming quadrennial tournament.

Making Sense of Kanye's 'The Life of Pablo'

On the track "Feedback", from his latest album, The Life of Pablo , Kanye West dares listeners to show him a genius who isn't crazy. Maybe it's just braggadocio rap or maybe Kanye is just excusing his behavior and antics from the last few years.

Derrick Morgan and an Atypical NFL Offseason

I met NFL player Derrick Morgan at a Beats by Dre Party in Manhattan's SoHo District in February of 2014. Although Super Bowl XLVIII was less than 24 hours away, we got to talking about business, technology and startups.

What I Learned Getting Fired From Lyft

In April of 2012, I began working at Zimride, a ride sharing platform for universities. After four months of interviews and conversations, I was ecstatic to be in San Francisco, working with a passionate team committed to solving a real problem. Within a week of joining however, I was let go.

Don't Start Panicking, Stay Calm

On June 6th, FC Barcelona defeated Italy's Juventus to claim the 2014/2015 UEFA Champions League Title. It was their fourth such title in the last ten years. But more importantly, it capped off a historic season that saw the Catalan club win three trophies.

You Don't Have Wanderlust, You're Just Bored

My generation is obsessed with travel as an end. Everywhere you look you find sites promising the travel life, even ways to make money at it as a "lifestyle entrepreneur." And while I have no qualms with travel, I am annoyed by the depiction of aimless wandering as something that one should aspire to.

Staying Sane and Healthy During Business Travel

By the time 2015 comes to a close, I will have traveled to nine countries and numerous cities. I've hung out on the beaches of Tel Aviv and hugged the corners of the streets of São Paulo. As I'm typing this, I'm sitting in my childhood bedroom in Northern California.

Leadership Lessons From Alexander the Great

To prepare for my company's off-site meeting in Greece, I decided to reread one of my favorite books, The Virtues of War. It's a historical novel told from Alexander the Great's point of view. Readers first meet Alexander when he was ruling just Macedon.

4 Business Lessons From the Legendary John Wooden

I am fascinated by a story former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden shares in his book Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections. At the first squad meeting before the beginning of each season, Coach Wooden would take the time to personally show his players how to properly put on their socks.

What the NFL Draft and Uber Passenger Ratings Can Tell Us About Character

This Thursday, April 30, millions will tune to ESPN and The NFL Network to watch the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. College superstars like Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Amari Cooper (Raiders, please take Cooper) will go from being NCAA amateurs to becoming professional athletes worth millions of dollars.

Sometimes Doing Nothing Is the Best Way to Move Forward

After his infamous rant at the 2009 VMA's, Kanye West stayed surprisingly quiet for the rest of the year. Outside of an apology special with Jay Leno, not much was heard from Mr. West, either in the press or in the studio.

Professional Lessons Learned From Germany's 2014 World Cup Title

Mario Gotze's extra time goal, seven minutes away from penalties, gave Germany a 1 to 0 victory over Argentina in the final of the 2014 World Cup. It was Germany's first major title since their triumph in Euro 1996 and their first World Cup trophy in almost 30 years.