What the hell have I been up to?

I’ve been MIA for a lot of my friends I would say for the last 18 months. Not a lot of people even know where I am let alone what I do anymore. So I wanted to write down my thoughts on the company I’m working with and a little about what’ve been up to.

Four months ago I arrive back in Toronto after heading back to Melbourne to finish my computer science degree and I’m on back on the hunt for a new job. I’m fascinated by the growing businesses, great founders and great businesses so after having a front row seat to the sinking of a startup I was with for a year, I was hungry to join a ship with fruits to show for their labor and still oceans to conquer in the morning.

Let’s call the company I settled on Rockstar so Google doesn’t pick this up. To be honest they weren’t my first choice. I applied to a fast-growing, very popular automatic investing app here in Canada and had my heart set. But I never got an interview or even a phone call. Maybe they didn’t receive my application. I think pretty highly of myself and figured if they’re not reaching our they didn’t deserve my attention.

I immediately got called in to interview for a developer position at Rockstar. The night before I was doing some research on the business trying to get the big picture. They’re a company trying to humanize the checkout experience for offline transactions. What that meant in my mind is you can walk into Starbucks, your face pops up on the baristas screen, they select you, can see your recent purchasing history, refer to you by name and make the shit out of your latte in any store around the world without even having to take your phone out of your pocket. Of course, all of this realized as I’m vibing out to some kush and pondering how incredible this system sounds.

That’s what gave me the firepower to march into their office and tell them how I can see your vision and how I give a shit enough to be apart of it all. Apparently, my story above is very similar to the story the CEO likes to tell in pitches. I got an offer a couple days later and accepted that week.

It’s already been 3 months and this team has been crushing it. We’re a tiny team of 12 and what they’ve built, shipped, iterated on and deployed with what little resources they have is setting off bells in my mind that the CEO is smart as hell, knows how to motivate his team and knows how to keep a very low burn rate. There are no fancy chairs in this office.

How they’ve broken into the campus space by providing universities with a solution that lets students load their meal cards onto an app and get a hands free checkout experience is brilliant. Not only are they receiving valuable feedback, they’re funding their product development as they get to build, refine and find that treasured product-market fit. The product has now reached a stage of maturity where the team can now blow this wide open and sell the shit out of it.

That’s where I come in. I’ve been working on supporting their current clients and to scaling out their infrastructure as their business grows. Stability and reliability is the utmost importance to these clients. If they can’t process a customer in their store they lose that sale and we can’t let that happen.

I’m working closely with the technical director and basically using this opportunity to download his knowledge. I get a lot of exposure to day to day challenges he’s facing and get to come up with solutions to help him achieve more in the 8 hours we’re given each day. Our current issue we’re facing is hiring which I’m still pondering but I’m keen to get stuck in and help grow this team.

This is me locked down at least until May when my working visa expires. I guess I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.

Cheers,
Will

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