Over the last 19 years I have been the technical co-founder at 3 different startups.
Contact me at : firstname.lastname@example.org
or at: 434 825 7694
- Why do entrepreneurs engage in self-sabotage? Three patterns.
One on One meetings are underrated, whereas group meetings waste time
Christian McCarrick interviewed me about this essay, check out the podcast here:
- When companies make a fetish of being data driven they reward a passive aggressive style
- Discretion still matters — don’t ruin your career by sharing too much
- How To Destroy A Tech Startup In Three Easy Steps (the intro)
- Some photos from the Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal, 2017
- The New York University startup incubator at Varick Street is awesome
- Why are women being pushed away from the tech industry?
- A very bad awful way to ask for help with your startup
- Object Oriented Programming is an expensive disaster which must end — the Wikipedia page devoted to Object Oriented programming lists me as one of the critics and links to this essay.
- How ignorant am I, and how do I formally specify that in my code?
- The sad, slow way a system of cron scripts becomes ugly
- How should your company handle data safety and version control?
- HTML is the failed GUI for TCP/IP
- The problem with HTML
- At a certain scale you have to give up on the single, normalized, canonical database
- Why I prefer dynamic-typing over static-typing: the speed of adapting to change
- Why would anyone choose Docker over fat binaries?
- Can MongoDB be trusted to keep its promises?
- Amazon has absolutely no idea how to run an app store
- I believe in Enterprise software for the Amazon Echo
- Embarrassing code I wrote under stress at a job interview
- How do you wake up in the morning when you’ve got a project running late?
I’ve consulted with more clients that I can list, so this is just a sampling of what I’ve done:
SmashCompany / 2009 to now – (New York City)
I have talked to entrepreneurs who wasted millions of dollars starting their companies with the wrong team or the wrong technologies. To avoid such a fate, I advocate a philosophy of “fail fast, iterate fast, train fast, fire fast” – get rid of the weak technologies, and raise the skill level of the people you work with, or end the relationship with them. I work with a broad set of languages, including PHP, NodeJS, Python, Ruby, PHP, Apex, Java and Clojure, and databases such as MySQL, PostGreSQL, Redis, ElasticSearch and MongoDB. I bring the perspective of someone who has been both an entrepreneur and a software developer. Having grown businesses from scratch, I have some experience with every aspect of development: marketing, design, technology, sales and raising funds.
I’ve recently helped these clients:
I built the Salesforce app which allows PrivCo.com to sell it’s data as a direct import to Salesforce. Code Foundary’s Universal Relay Boilerplate. We adapted the CodeFoundries project to our own needs. I switched the Cassandra code to MongoDB so we could work with pure JSON.
Using Natural Language Processing to understand the text messages that salespeople type on their phones, Rollio transforms the texts from human languages to computer languages, and then makes use of the Salesforce API to update the Opportunities, Contacts and Accounts of each salesperson. Relying on Clojure and Java, and making use of the Stanford Natural Language Processing open source libraries, we built a system of microservices that can process a vast number of simultaneous conversations.
Helped build out their Python framework, which derived ideas from Flask. Attempted to reinvent the whole web eco-system for Python, with new security modules, validation modules, and serialization modules.
Timeout.com / December 2012 to November 2013 – (New York City)
They got 100 million page views each month. However, Timeout had spent years building a bloated and inconsistent mix of technologies, and they were now faced with performance issues that left them crippled. They were losing market share to a company from Brazil that was selling a competing publishing system. A new architecture was necessary. I educated the team regarding the idea of “an architecture of small apps” which was similar to microservices. You can read my summary of our internal debate here: http://www.smashcompany.com/technology/an-architecture-of-small-apps
ShermansTravel.com / April 2011 to April 2012 – (New York City)
Their newsletter had 3 million subscribers, and every aspect was being handled with technology that had been developed internally, using a chaotic and inconsistent mix of technologies, the core of which was a bloated framework that had initially been built with the CakePHP framework. There were many background tasks that were run with cron scripts. We rebuilt everything as 6 clean Ruby apps, some using Rails and some using Sinatra.
M Shanken Communications / April 2010 to April 2011 – (New York City)
A rescue mission. The company had decided to switch to the Symfony framework, but they had no one on staff who knew it well. As I was a Symfony expert, I was brought in to educate the tech team. I helped them rebuild the www.winespectator.com and www.cigaraficionado.com websites, converting them from Oracle/Vignette systems to MySql/Symfony.
TeamLaLaLa / 2008 -2010 – (Charlottesville, Virginia)
The designer Laura Denyes and I teamed up to create a design firm which handled both print and digital clients. We oversaw the TheSecondRoad.org: writers, videographers, Flash programmers, PHP programmers, graphic designers and project managers. This was a $250,000 effort to build an online social network that would offer a safe space to those recovering from alcoholism and drug addiction.
Bluewall / 2002 – 2008 – (Charlottesville, Virginia)
My co-founder Peter Agelasto and I raised $2 million to commercialize my software. I ran a team of 8, which included programmers, designers, and QA. We built niche communities around online video stores. Ihanuman.com was an immediate success, and it remains successful to this day. The company has since rebranded as ReLab
1999 – 2002 – Developed software for managing websites, using PHP and MySQL. Had dozens of clients, mostly in the media profession.