Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

I’d like to tell you two stories about 2019.

The first is not a good story. It’s a story that makes all of us angry. A story that seems almost implausible when you put it together. It’s the story of being in America in 2019.

It’s simpler to start this story at the end: two weeks ago we saw two mass shootings less than a day apart. Shootings designed to target immigrants and cause maximum casualties. And amongst all the thoughts and prayers, we have a congress that refuses to vote on background checks.

Barely a month before this, we learned of the horrendous conditions faced by asylum seekers…

ALMA launched in August this year, and what a year it’s been! 🎉 We wanted to end with a thank you to all the people who’ve supported us and the work we’re doing.

Around this time a year ago Michelle and I were reflecting on all the events of 2017. In particular we were thinking about the wildfires that had devastated Sonoma County. People lost lives, our friends lost homes, and the air in San Francisco was thick with black smoke.

Like many of our friends, we wanted to do something to help — but found it hard to find…

Donors and nonprofit folks meeting at the first ALMA community gathering, October 2018

Technology should improve the lives of everyone. It should amplify our own ability for growth and change, and enable people to better their lives and those of their families, communities and complete strangers.

Earlier this year my co-founder Michelle and I left the growth team at Airbnb to start ALMA. We wanted to make philanthropy — giving back — easy and simple for everyone.

It’s been a crazy and amazing journey so far from the world of tech into philanthropy.

As we crossed 2k supporters in the Bay Area, I wanted to look back and reflect on what we’ve…

There’s a reason the months of November and December see the biggest share of charitable donations. The time between Thanksgiving and Christmas strikes many Americans as inherently prone to generosity. Holiday giving, the official term for the surge in seasonal donations and volunteerism, is a year-end trend we hope never goes away. Whether your goal this winter is to help others enjoy a hearty holiday meal, provide gifts for kids who might otherwise not receive any, or sponsor a warm bed for a person without a permanent one, you want to make sure your time and money are spent wisely.

Check out these practical holiday giving pointers for altruistic millennials.

1. Align your personal values.

Image from Lava Mae, featured in our first fund

The last month has been an exciting one — we launched the ALMA app at the end of July, and more importantly, we’ve gotten valuable feedback.

If you’re new to ALMA, we make it easy to be a philanthropist. Many people think philanthropy is only for the extremely wealthy, or requires some special inside knowledge or skill.

Philanthropy feels out of the grasps for the everyday giver. We heard that most people feel a bit disappointed with charitable giving today — it’s a hassle to find charities & donate, and the experience after your donate isn’t that great.

We want…

Dan Hill & Michelle Rittenhouse, co-founders of ALMA

Technology should improve the lives of everyone. It should amplify our own ability for growth and change, and enable people to better their lives and those of their families, communities and complete strangers.

Michelle and I are really excited to share that in March 2018 we founded a new company, ALMA. We are building a company that uses technology to improve people’s lives.

ALMA is a Public Benefit Corporation — this means we have both a fiduciary duty to both our shareholders, and also to our mission and the people materially affected by it. …

Continuing from my previous post, Observations on Product Management, I wanted to share some thoughts on another topic: Data, Metrics & Goals.

Again, this is not an exhaustive survey, but a collection of observations of things I’ve found often useful or often overlooked.

  1. If your team has seven goals, you probably missed some. Max three — you can’t handle the tradeoff complexity beyond that.
  2. When a team is investing for the long term, they’re really saying it’s negative in the short term. Else they’d be claiming the win already.
  3. If a metric looks slightly out of line, it’s slightly out…

I’ve spent 10 years now building products — from consulting, to startups, to larger teams like Airbnb. I wanted to capture some of the things I’ve learned, mostly for my own memory. But if others find them useful, great!

Mostly these are things that are either obvious but no-one ever says them, or non-obvious but important.

This first list is of aphorisms is more general; I’ll share observations on particular themes too. I also try and be explicit on the usage of Product Management (a discipline) and product generally (the stuff we create).

  1. The job of Product Management is to…

Ever wonder if maybe they just want to be left alone? Like, we have all this stuff, do we really need a Pokemon as well to make ourselves complete?

The New Yorker

Dan Hill

Co-founder and CEO of @givewithalma Previously Director of Product @airbnb leading growth/perf marketing/guest. I love building things.

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