Portfolio

 

Portfolio

 
My work has traversed the following areas:
  • consumer products
  • financial products
  • SaaS
  • marketplaces
 
Since starting my own companies, I've generally been hired to lead the following initiatives:
  • assist startups in leading customer interviews and iteration to define and ship their first product
  • optimizing conversion to achieve scale with an existing product
  • turn arounds, rearchitecting product/development teams or company
 

Yardsale (YC S11)

Back when eBay or Craigslist took 10-15 clicks and about 3-5 minutes to list an item for sale, and all communication was by voice call or email, we built an app that made listing an item 15 seconds, as easy as posting a photo to Instagram.
 
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The skeuomorphic style seems dated now, but when we launched it was perfectly suited to “fit right in” with apps like Instagram, yet had the community/sense of humor to welcome iPhone users in cities like SF,  NY.
 
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The designers I hired on Yardsale went on to design (and co-found) Bumble, Tinder, and the logo for the NY Yankees.
Yardsale was featured in Wired’s Best of 2012, and launched in the top 5 in the lifestyle category, alongside eBay, Amazon, Craigslist, and Groupon.

FOBO (also part of Yardsale, S11)

As our competitors started raising financing rounds that we couldn’t conceive would result in sustainable businesses (Letgo and Offerup, which had lesser app/experiences but raised 100-200MM each and spent it all on ads), we decided to go the opposite direction and build a much more opinionated version of eBay, (which they later tried to acquire us as a result of), designed to take advantage of mobile’s most powerful trait… immediacy.
On FOBO anyone could list any electronics and we’d guarantee a sale within 97 minutes. If it didn’t sell, the “FOBOTs” would come within 24 hours and pick up your item for a price that was guaranteed when you listed your item.

Founderkit

Founderkit was a little side project I worked on with my co-founder at the time, designed to scratch my own itch to get better insights into which tools the best founders were using to build and grow their businesses. It was one of the top products shared on Product Hunt in 2017.

Brokerkit

The real estate broker industry was using (or paying for but not using) cumbersome tools. Brokerkit was designed to surface everything that mattered to you today, help you stay on top of recruiting through a few design decisions that helped users keep their data up to date (without feeling like additional work), and automate everything else. We focused on a single franchise, Keller Williams, the largest brokerage in the world, and won the business of more than half of productive brokerages. The company was profitable within 4-5 months of conception and acquired about a year later.
Here was the live site
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And the design (just ignore images and copy, this was just the layout we used)
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Mortgage Startup Client

This client was growing quickly but the product was a mess, causing customers to be anxious and confused throughout the process, and forcing mortgage agents to manage most of the process. Through rounds of user research, I determined that there needed to create a clearer call to action for users when they log into the dashboard (or relieve anxiety that they needed to do anything). This is one example of a feature I improved.
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Before - loan timeline, no CTA (there was actually two pages with timelines, causing further confusion)
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New - action required (this step was one of the most important to conversion so we designed a card specific to it)
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New - no action required (solved constant communication from customers wondering if they had done everything required to process their loan)

Another fintech client

Led a product and engineering team of 8 in a 50 person, Series A funded fin tech company for alternative asset investing. The team was launching new features every 3-6 months and praying for results. Shifted team to 1 week sprints, smaller experiments. Tripled conversion, average investment amount, and significantly increased the % who opted for recurring investments, in ~90 days.
 
Old - clearly calls to action to invest, but not much motivation/social proof to do so (which was one of many experiments we tested)
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These improvements increased conversion to invest for the first time by 50% (also increased conversion for repeat investors)
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Other interests/projects

HBO Silicon Valley S3
After moving on from/selling Yardsale and FOBO, I worked on Season 3 of Silicon Valley, as tech consultants for the show to make it hard to watch for those of us who know startups well.
 
Wellness
I've run 4 marathons, put on meditation intensives (online and most recently at a Zen Buddhist monastery in Colorado), and traveled to Poland last year to master cold exposure in frozen pools and streams with Wim Hof and his team.
 
Polymail (YC S16)
After investing in Polymail 5 years ago, I offered to buy the company when the founders came to me for advice on how to move on from their startup. I run it on the side with 1 FT eng and support lead.
 
Investing
I've invested in a dozen startups, most of which YC-backed, most notably Mercury, a bank designed for startups.