Introducing the leader of NYC’s next iconic tech team (no pressure!)
We’re building the next generation of in-home commerce, and re-inventing how people live in urban environments. To do this, we need a combination of inspiring, highly trained humans, and technology that has never existed before.
It’s the challenge that motivates our entire team every day. And taking a real step into building a truly intelligent home that links together offline and online experiences, means investing more than ever into building the best engineering team on the eastern seaboard.
So I am delighted to announce that Alfred has a new Engineering leader: Howie Altman.
It is more useful to hear it directly from Howie, so with his permission, I am sharing a note he circulated to his networks.
Just last week, I made a significant change to my job and joined Hello Alfred as the SVP of Engineering. This is a particularly exciting opportunity and I really had no choice but to take it on. For anyone who knows me, they know I’m always seeking the most complex, interesting, and meaningful challenge to pursue. And Alfred paving the way for a new, more ethical, form of the on demand economy, dubbed The On Demand Economy 2.0, definitely fulfills this.
Alfred is a technology and hospitality platform focused on evolving the most important space in people’s lives: the home. The platform combines building management software with highly trained “Alfred” Home Managers to handle an extensive suite of services, allowing residents to focus on the things that matter most. Buildings get a differentiated experience in competitive urban environments; residents get a home that anticipates their needs and saves them time.
From an engineering perspective, we have built and are evolving an ecosystem which provides technology-empowered service provision with extensive customization based on each customer’s needs, preferences, and tastes. In addition to this, we provide a simple to use and increasingly automated interface for our Alfreds to go about their daily work in providing exceptional, white glove service. And of course, a behind the scenes suite of tools for our operations team to ensure everything runs smoothly and that we proactively identify and resolve issues before they become problems.
I see the opportunity to evolve one of the most substantial elements of urban environments — residential buildings — to be a hugely interesting challenge that touches on community, urbanism, logistics, hospitality, and the evolution of CRM. It’s rare to have so many fascinating elements at play at the same time.
In addition to the engineering and product opportunities that exist, the human and ethical side of the company is also very important to me. Alfred, unlike the companies that made up the first wave of the on demand economy such as Uber, has been publicly recognized by The New York Times, The Financial Times, Monocle, and Fast Company as thought leaders, following the decision to employ our Alfred Home Managers, complete with benefits, training, and the ability to move up in the organization, rather than hire 1099 contractors.
Founded in 2013, by Marcela Sapone & Jessica Beck, Alfred is headquartered in Manhattan and operates in New York & Boston. We have raised capital from NEA, Spark Capital, Sherpa Ventures, Crunchfund, and SV Angel. The winner of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2014, Alfred rose to the top over thousands of other startups that applied to claim the grand prize. We were chosen as one of the “Top Startups to watch in 2015” by Business Insider.
Right now, I’m learning the details of the business and formulating a plan forward that balances scaling and other business objectives for 2017 with continuing to lay the groundwork for a future world where you can imagine layering in artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, and robotics. The number of services and goods that we can provide is limitless and the goal is ultimately to fully automate your home and the less important parts of your life so you can truly focus on what matters most.
We’re currently migrating away from NodeJS and Mongo to Elixir and Postgres. Our frontend is built in React and we’re deployed on Heroku. Our iOS app is built in Swift and an Android app will be coming soon.
The biggest first step in the plan is going to be to build a world-class engineering team.
So if you or anyone you know is a full stack engineer with a passion for crafting and delivering exceptional product to change the way people live, please reach out to me and let me know! I’d love to hear from you.