A brief reflection on my time at Postmates
Last year I joined Postmates company to lead product and engineering for the Buyer team. Ben Lee, a talented designer and my previous cofounder, also joined to lead design. Buyer is the team responsible for all customer-facing apps and the infrastructure powering them, probably what you’re most familiar with as a Postmates customer.
Before joining, I was both a customer and a vocal critic of the service, which made for an extra interesting challenge. And kudos to the CEO Bastian Lehmann for giving me and Ben the opportunity to run with it.
As a customer I felt the Postmates product wasn’t iterating fast enough and knew that was the first thing I needed to dig into.
The team was small and doing great work, but there were a few issues to be addressed:
Mobile engineers needed new processes and technology to make rapid development possible. Backend engineers needed to get out from under legacy, brittle systems slowing time to production. Frontend engineers wanted to use non-proprietary tools that were battle-hardened. And designers needed to work more closely with engineers in a way that was conducive to collaborative discovery.
All of the above needed to be addressed before we could focus entirely on building new products. Though we needed something to show for it in the end, because it’s not enough to spend a couple quarters only addressing accrued technical and organization debt.
We quickly decided to redesign and relaunch the product with new features while also laying a new foundation for the team. It was an audacious goal but sometimes the best edit is a rewrite, and this was something we could rally around.
And it was imperative for the team to touch every view and page of the product, so we could move forward with the confidence of deeply understanding the entire service.
Within 6 months, we redesigned the entire product, built and deployed new critical services, devised new deployment and testing methodologies, and rewrote the entire mobile and web application from the ground up. Everything we needed to go full speed ahead.
The launch was a success and so we quickly went to work and shipped new products like Postmates Pickup and myriad other ways to answer the age-old question of “what should I eat?” with better search and recommendation engines.
I want to directly call-out the design team’s incredible work over the past year. The Postmates app is already world-class and can’t wait to see what’s next.
Combined with the exceptional work and execution by Merchant, Fleet, Support, Growth, Infrastructure and other teams, it all came together beautifully in 2018.
Postmates recently announced a $300M funding round and is in a great position to continue its success in a massively lucrative market.
And so, after 15 months at Postmates and 18 years on the west coast, I desired a new challenge.
I joined Snapchat in NYC. I love the product, its vision, and the team behind it. I couldn’t be happier with the challenges and opportunities ahead.