NFX Guild is a network- and marketplace-focused accelerator and early stage VC fund. 18 months after going through NFX as a founder, James asked me to run product for NFX Guild Labs.
Our first product, Signal, helps founders find the right investors and helps investors attract the right deals. The graph is built on top of Gmail metadata, enabling us to create millions of second-degree "intro path strength" scores between well-matched founders and investors.
Hats I wore: Everything except backend engineering
Better eating requires habit change; there are no shortcuts. I founded YouFood to deliver that habit change in a simple, sustainable way.
Over 500,000 registered members made YouFood the world's highest rated health & fitness app (4.9/5 on iOS), and formed a deeply engaged community (8.5 app opens/day) that has driven profound change for thousands of people.
Hats I wore: Product & design (the full app), growth, community management, fundraising, SQL & data analysis, personalization algorithm writing, email coding.
After Chegg acquired Cramster, I was asked to lead the integration and run the subsequently named "Chegg Study" product.
Chegg's textbook rental business was a user acquisition machine but a financial fast track to bankruptcy. We completed the massive integration project ahead of schedule while simultaneously propelling the Study business to 100%+ YoY growth.
Chegg Study made the IPO possible, and is now a $150M annual business that accounts for nearly all of Chegg's revenue. What we architected remains the bedrock of Chegg's product and operations.
I joined Cramster as employee #2 - pre-fundraising - while still in college. First leading product, then running operations, I helped build Cramster into the world's top college study site.
As Head of Operations, I oversaw a team of 300 people across three offices and two countries, inclusive of content operations, back-office technology, business intelligence, and customer service.
Cramster's promise was in answering any question - instantly, or within 2 hours of it being asked. I architected both the operations management system enabling that promise, and the people and processes delivering it.
Both the OM technology and people behind it remain the focal point of Chegg Study's $150M business.
I started a football pool with friends in 2009. People loved it. They told friends. It blew up, and grew into a full-fledged community heavy on laughter and creative content.
I incorporated The SZN ("season") in 2016 to be the home for the world's best sports and reality TV competitions. Whether it's football or The Oscars, everyone competes with friends in something.
The world's best proxy metric for success: The number of people who meet me and call me "Commish."
Hats I wore: Everything except backend engineering.
YouFood was part of NFX's inaugural 2015 cohort. James, Stan, and Gigi made me see that most startups are busy trying to follow the rules without realizing they're playing the wrong game.
If you're trying to build a society-impacting consumer product - a billion dollar business - you need to understand the game. "If you're asking yourself whether it's working, it isn't."
Easily the best educational experience of my life.