CrunchBase is the world's leading database of startup information: companies, products, fundings, investors, entrepreneurs, and news. It was started 8 years ago as part of TechCrunch, and was acquired three years ago by AOL. It supports millions of visitors monthly and its newsletter sports the highest industry open/CTR and on-site ad revs, thanks to its high-income subscriber base. 100% uptime is a given.
At hire, I managed a team of 8-9 engineers, 1 devops, 1 QA for four months to drive toward the April 2014 relaunch of CrunchBase with an entirely new platform/codebase/team. After a successful launch, we focused on bringing CB2.0 fully to parity with the previous offering, as well as leverage our new graph-based technology in features like Graph Insights, Advanced Search, and the Investor Leaderboard.
Post launch, I streamlined our SDLC, formalized our QA/CI/deployment processes, and brought on additional staffers: 1 QA, 1 Devops, 1 mobile developer, and several platform engineers, including a data-analysis expert. Also, of course, once code is live the buck stops with me, so we have many systems in place to ensure 24/7 up time, e.g. monitoring and alerts, both for our user-base and our content teams.
The last few months at CrunchBase, I co-led our efforts on 4 major upcoming product offerings. While the majority of my job is ensuring that engineers are productive, motivated and happy, I nonetheless pitched in to code, bug fix, deploy, and build automated systems (e.g. in Ansible) as needed to accelerate development and analytics, and was hands on with most every part of it.
Our platform is Rails, but we also used just about every other web tool out there (it's a complex stack) as well as a ton of 3rd party services, and I interfaced and negotiated with most of these services.
• At PowerReviews, I managed a team of 8 engineers in 3 teams to launch the Essential Social Suite — a group of offerings adding social sharing, product discovery and highly enabled consumer advocacy (Community) to its basic ratings & reviews products. As Engineering Director, I managed hiring, promotion, engineering resource budgets, oversaw the full SDLC release process (java/spring/hibernate/velocity/postgres), and evaluated and purchased new technologies. Worked tightly with Product Managers and Customer Support to ensure we launched and provided world-class services.
• I architected the next generation of content delivery for PowerReviews. Where previously content was delivered statically in zip files, the new system could dynamically deliver more lively, fresher, SEO-optimized content, yet still scale to the millions of daily pageviews required.
• I assisted the company with due diligence procedures towards its acquisition by Bazaarvoice in the summer of 2012.
• At Bazaarvoice, I currently oversee 8 engineers and 2 contractors on four initiatives: Loyalty (consumer advocacy), BV Local (supporting distributorships), BV Express (previously PowerReviews? SMB offering), and PowerReviews Core stack.
• Loyalty, BV Local, and BV Express are being rebuilt on BV?s new Conversations 2013 platform under my supervision. This new platform employs a very similar design/technology stack to the "next gen system" that I architected for PowerReviews.
|Question Party Players answer questions about their friends or ask their own. Question Party grew from just a few hundred users to almost 5 million users in a few months, all via viral growth. Total ad spend was < $1k. My role: CTO of GroupPulse Inc. I built the team & technology. Angel round. See video of game play!|
|RocketPolls Players create fun, graphical polls, and compete to predict poll outcomes to win prizes — everything from virtual coins to movie tickets to iPads. Also with GroupPulse Inc.
Game play video here!
|Minted.com is an e-commerce play that applies crowd-sourcing to the world of holiday photo cards and high-end stationery products. Popular products created by pro and semi-pro designers are submitted and contest-winners go on sale. All products are extensively customizable: there are no stock products. VP/Eng: I architected, built, and launched the service + team. Angel/VC funded. Screenshots|
|BuzzLogic Corp finds influencers on the Web. VP/Eng: I designed the core influence algorithm and managed the build-out of an index of hundreds of millions of social media pages. The key is the "conversation", a dialog between "influencers" and their content consumers. This dialog can have a huge impact on the life or death of commercial products. VC-funded. Screenshots|
|Wishes For Me was an early "web 2.0" social wishlist application for Facebook. Features drag'n'drop between your wishlist and your friends', automatic amazon searches, commenting, ratings, notifications, and more. Co-founder: I built all front-end and much of the back-end. Angel funded. Screenshots|
|ParentsTrust.com is a free marketplace where parents can buy, sell, and exchange kids' stuff. It's safe, can automatically connect buyers to sellers, and most important, it's easy to use (even with a kid on your lap!) Self-funded, Founder. Try it out!|
|ABCFree.com Created to help schools: People get stuff free... keep junk out of landfills... and help their local schools, simultaneously Features high-speed searching, content auto-categorization, and customizable email alerts on saved searches. Co-founder, Angel-funded.|
|FreecyleFinder.com I built the search engine site for this community of 3M+ users, on top of codebase used for Parentstrust And abcfree.com.|
|Digital Stories (Sony Music Corp), VP Eng: I developed the technology behind Vegas, Baby!, an interactive e-book that broke new ground in the electronic-book industry. Corporate funding as part of Sony Music Incubator. Screenshots and more|
|IDG.net International Data Group's portal and search engine of over 250 websites worldwide. I managed its initial launch, which included product channels, and then presided over the site's relaunch, with new channel and story designs. Underneath IDG.net, we built the V2 publishing system. Corporate funding. Screenshots here.|