Why I Joined Din

Cameron Walters
Aug 4, 2015 · 5 min read

I recently joined Din as the head of engineering. Din is a company that enables home cooking by delivering prepped and measured ingredients to make restaurant-quality meals at home in 20 minutes or less.

Building the technology that enables people to cook and eat better will fulfill both my professional and personal goals. I wanted to be a part of something close to my outside-of-work passions — namely, food — and also leverage the skills, knowledge, and network I’ve built over the last 10 years in San Francisco.

Though I learned to make a few key things from my family (grilled meats, bolognese sauce, mac & cheese from scratch, enchiladas), I am mostly self-taught. Living in San Francisco for the last ten years has exposed me to so many amazingly delicious kinds of food, at both ends of the cost spectrum. There’s little better than $1.50 street tacos topped with chopped onions and cilantro. At the other end, there are many fine dining restaurants with tasting menus that can easily top $150 per person and deliver three or four hours of eating and fun. It all inspired me to get more adventurous in my home cooking.

Sometime in 2012 I realized that I really missed the sourdough bread of my childhood. It was hard to find a great loaf — especially at Tartine, because they always sold out. I decided to try to make it myself, from the recipe in Tartine Bread, and my results were fantastic:

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Toasted sesame sourdough from my oven

I started baking bread every weekend and bringing a fresh loaf to my coworkers on Monday mornings. This is where my two passions began to converge.

I decided to figure out how to get more involved with ways to give more people access to great food, especially if it can lead to improvements in the food system.

I want to help people experience food they can feel passionate about, not just eat.

Din enables this by making meals that are easy to cook, yet have flavor and sophistication that just can’t be developed in 20 minutes alone. There’s a feeling of success when you put your effort in to cook something, and it turns out well. It feels great to share that with someone. The caliber of food Din is providing generally costs two or three times more in a restaurant setting. Din makes it more affordable and accessible to eat delicious, high-quality food. We source the ingredients as directly as possible; in the future, we hope to increase transparency even further and connect the consumers of the food with the sources.

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Ingredients for Din’s Nettle Pappardelle with Wild Mushroom Ragu

I’m really excited about building a system to help Din grow and scale that can keep everything in order to keep quality high, while continuing to deliver to increasing numbers of kitchens and communities. I’m also excited to provide our customers the information they need to make the best choices about the dishes they choose and the food they eat, every day.

I love working on consumer products because their impact is more easily and immediately observable. I’ve been part of the founding teams at Square, Domainr, and Get Satisfaction in the consumer space and I led engineering at Apcera (enterprise IT products). However, I also want to build a product that engages people on a physical level: touch, scent, taste, sight. Din is a great contrast to my roles in those companies because I touch and experience food multiple times every day. I have multiple opportunities to reflect on how people relate to food, and I get to see immediately and exactly how changes we make in the product affect people’s experience.

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I wanted to join a team of smart, humble people who love to teach.

I wanted to join a team of people who I know are extremely smart but love to collaborate and aren’t afraid to do the work. I want to spend my time learning from them because they love to teach others, and their passions show through in how they talk about the things they do. Din, exemplified by the co-founders Rob and Em, is rich with these people from culinary through marketing and everywhere in between. I’m really looking forward to learning their best practices and seeing how they think about growing companies, teams, and cultures. I’m also looking forward to their support as I build my team and take on new challenges in an environment where I feel empowered to make meaningful decisions.

There’s never a more powerful opportunity to define the culture of a team and a company as when you’re making your first few hires. It is very exciting to be staffing up a new engineering team. This period is special.

Din is hiring.

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A Din offsite, planning for the future

We are building a team with shared values and commitment to making them more real. To that end, Din is hiring. If you feel the same way about food as I do, I want to talk to you about what you think it means to be a key early member of a great engineering team. Expect some technical questions, too.

If you haven’t tried Din, help yourself to four free meals using this link. Trying our product is really the best way to get a taste for what we do at Din. It’s delicious.

You can email me at: c@din.co. I hope to hear from you soon.

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