LoansEasily — an e-commerce and finance startup
My family is working on loanseasily.com, which serves the hard/private money industry. It connects borrowers to lenders who are able to meet their (often fairly unique) needs. We hope it helps people who are having a hard time finding the funding that they need to engage in small business and investment activities.
At this point, we're a very new business, so I'll have to add updates here as we learn more about how the business works out.
Vamovo — an e-commerce, deals, data and athletics startup
I put together vamovo.com with my friend Ant Locke. The concept was to allow users to complete riding events on their bicycles to earn discounts on cycling gear. I wanted to create a way for brands and their customers to interact more productively. The traditional daily deals model offers consumers the benefit of pricing that more accurately reflects the cost of R and D, production, shipping and other productive parts of the "product," rather than the marketing markup traditionally demanded by retailers. It also offers great exposure for brands seeking new customers. What we disliked and wanted to turn on its head is the aggressive and unsavory way that many deals sites try to extract value from consumers through excessive email marketing and generic product offerings. By offering deals based on accomplishments, we think we created a service that focused on the good aspects and addressed engagement and retention in a more constructive way.
Inflection — understanding internet marketing and product
I most recently worked for an e-commerce company (Inflection) that sells people information (through peoplesmart.com) and, until our recent sale of the site, family history (through archives.com). I was a business analyst, which let me get up-close and personal with many aspects of the business through the numbers that drive marketing, financials, product development, et al. In doing so, I had a chance to use a number of technologies, primarily R, python and SQL. Inflection is also starting goodhire.com for all of your employment screening needs.
DC Energy — a "full stack engineer" for electricity trading
In my first job out of college, I traded over-the-counter financial locational basis fixed-for-floating swaps for electricity (and a few other products) at DC Energy. That’s a real mouthful, but if you don’t want to have to think too hard, the short explanation is that I was helping lower the price of power for lots of Americans by providing a more predictable cashflow for various parts of the supply and distribution chain. The even shorter explanation is that I was doing what Enron did…without the shady business practices that got them in trouble.
At DC Energy, I worked in pretty much every role that a trading firm needs. I executed trades. I acquired data from everything from Java feeds to public websites and stored them in databases. I also built dashboards and did analysis on that data. It was a great way to get exposure to many types of work.
Outbounce — social planning startup
For a little while after college, I worked on putting together a website to facilitate social planning. It’s still in private beta, and will likely be there for a good while longer until I find the time to pick it back up again.
I learned a lot from working on Outbounce. Primarily that it's really important to know how you're going to get your product in front of people before you start building it. Secondarily, that it's important to build software on good frameworks rather than trying to do everything from scratch.
In school I earned a degree that says Chemistry and Physics with a minor in Economics. My coursework was pretty broadly distributed though between those subjects and related fields, like statistics, math and computer science. I'm grateful for the experience of a small but well established department and the flexibility to be able to take classes in other areas of interest.
During summers in college, I lived and studied in Greece, worked in a lab on scanning-tunneling microscopy (spin-polarized) and directed/taught for a program to give low-income students exposure to science. All of these experiences made a pretty lasting impression on me, so bring them up with me if you want to get an earful about the most under-appreciated spots in Greece, the importance of documentation and process efficiency or the really basic lessons that the business world can (and should) learn from 8 year olds.
I’ve been rowing since I joined Oakland Strokes in 2001 with only a couple year-long breaks. Amongst other things, I’ve rowed in 16 states, 4 CRASH-Bs and 4 IRAs (national collegiate championships) and overseas 4 times (including what is probably the most beautiful place in the world to row, here). I feel very luck to have found the sport and love introducing it to others.