Summary of Qualifications
Accomplished CTO/CPO/CEO with 25 years of experience and three exits. Specializes in consistent and accurate product / market fit. Product Strategy and Development. Massive Scalability. Platform Architecture. E-Commerce and PCI Compliance. Viral Mechanics. Mobile and Tablet Apps. Business Development. Turnarounds / Restarts. Capital Efficiency. Market Prescience.
CONSULTING Chief Product Officer, TargetClose Nov 2013 – March 2016
Built a massively scalable, enterprise-class e-commerce multi-variant testing platform for direct response. Customers: AARP, Zillow, Nestle, Time-Life, Tile and others. This included a radical new kind of A/B testable cart in a fully PCI-compliant environment. Ran a team of 5 developers locally and 20 in India. Stabilized the original version of the product and moved it from managed hosting to AWS Cloud. Performed a wide range of integrations with various payment processors, order management systems, product feeds, coupon management, and Magento.
Co-Founder / CEO, Guardian Circle Nov 2014 – Present
Designed and created a new kind of peer-to-peer safety and alert social network app. Released on iOS and Android. Winner: LAUNCH Festival 2016 “Diamond In The Rough”. Currently under consideration for the Women’s Safety X-Prize (India).
Consultant Feb 2012 – Nov 2013
Part-time CTO / CPO for hire to portfolio companies of Digital Coast VC’s. Worked on a variety of technical, product and business turn-around issues. Clients included MAKER Media, ThisNext / Glossi, Blurb and others.
Co-Founder / CEO, ThisWeekIn Nov 2010 – Jan 2012
Created a web video network of 30 shows with Jason Calacanis and Kevin Pollak. Recruited Jarl Mohn (founder E! and current CEO NPR) to Board. Shows included This Week In Startups, This Week In Cloud Computing and Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show. The company was eventually folded back into Mahalo and the LAUNCH Festival under Jason.
Founding CTO, Mahalo (later [INSIDE]) Jan 2006 – Aug 2010
Worked with CEO Jason Calacanis to create a massively scalable ‘human powered’ search engine that was in the top 100 websites at its peak, serving pages with .3 ms average page load speed. Backed by Sequoia, Elon Musk, NewsCorp, CBS, Mark Cuban and others. Ran a team of 40 developers. Led the creation of other Mahalo products including Mahalo Answers (very much like Quora) and Mahalo Greenhouse (sharing economy authoring, which included cash-redeemable virtual currency).
Podcaster Feb 2005 – Jan 2006
First person to podcast a serialized novel. My podio-novel, Max Quick: The Pocket and the Pendant, eventually received 2.3 million downloads, received accolades from Margaret Atwood and Abigail Breslin, and was published in hardcover by Harper Collins.
Co-Founder / Chief Product Officer, ZeroDegrees, Inc(Sold to IAC) Nov 2002 – Jan 2005
Created one of the very first business social networks that competed with LinkedIn. Responsible for the full product conception and technical engineering choices, including massive scalability and separation of the presentation layer from the API backend. Had 1M users at the point where LinkedIn had 2M users. Personally initiated, and then negotiated the deal with Barry Diller’s IAC / InterActiveCorp to acquire the company in February 2004. Subsequently delivered a plan for the company’s business model (Job Board + Social Graph) to Diller: he declined to implement it. This was the same business model LinkedIn successfully implemented one year later.
Consultant, Red Swoosh June 2001 – Nov 2002
Worked with Travis Kalanick (now Founder / CEO Uber) on his second startup. There were four people in the company (including Travis and me) at the time. Product was a peer-to-peer, client-based terminal edge CDN. Acquired by Akamai Technologies in 2008.
Co-Founder / CEO SuperSig, inc. July 1999 – June 2001
Raised $2.3M from SV Angel (Fund II). Created dynamic app-like services in email signatures. Customers included Williams-Sonoma, ITXC, eGroups, Launch Media and others.
Co-Founder / Chief Product Officer, The Palace Inc. (Sold to Communities.com) Jan 1995 – July 1999
Created one of the first Internet avatar chat environments (“Second Life with 1990’s tech”). Reached 10 million users at its peak. Raised $12M from Time Warner, Intel, and Softbank. Negotiated a deal with Intel that bundled The Palace with every desktop sold. Ran a team of 20 developers. ‘The Best of 1996' by Entertainment Weekly, Webby Award nomination; Chicago SUN-Times’ Best Website in 1998. Acquired by Communities.com in July 1999.
Red Swoosh to Akamai Technologies 2008
Zero Degrees to IAC/InterActiveCorp 2004
The Palace to Communities.com in 1999
BS Computer Science, University of New Hampshire 1985 - 1990
Bitcoin Explained Simply (2013)
The Case for Bitcoin (2016)
The Max Quick trilogy (Harper Collins, 2011)
TEDx Speaker 2014
Winner: LAUNCH Festival 2016 for Guardian Circle
Webby Award Nominee 1998 for The Palace
Three times, I have fully conceptualized and built my own products that have scaled up to millions of users in the first year.
Twice, I have built products conceptualized by others that scaled up to millions of users in the first year.