Today I wrote about my decision to move on and transition out of the company I co-created: splice.

Read me there about why and what’s next for me.

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I’ve been quite unhappy with the direction Medium has been taking as a company, how it’s monetizing my content and degraded the user experience. I therefore decided to go back to self-hosting my blog.

  • Hugo — static site generator built in Go offering flexible templates, articles written in markdown, easy, fast and free. …

Here’s a very opinionated tour of some of the various technologies available to individuals and companies. This is far from a complete list and the comments are based on my personal opinions which might not match your expectations, values or even experience. This first part will focus on programming languages.

Programming languages

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Safe bets and my preferred languages

Go Free and open source, from Google.

Go has been my goto language for many years now, it’s a great server and system programming language that shines for its simplicity and performance. It works best when developed server side APIs/services and client side CLIs. It’s a language that is easy to transition to, supports large team working on the same code base and has great tooling and compilation time. The language could offer more flexibility (Go 2 means to address some of those complaints) and the C interop could be faster/better (Gophers would tell you not use C). Go is a very popular programming language in the “devops” world (Docker, Kubernetes, Terraform, CloudFoundry and many more).

Impactful innovation is what Research & Development (R&D) teams around the world are working hard towards. Yet, there don’t seem to be blueprints that are reused and trusted across companies. On one hand, we get very little visibility into this process and on the other, it seems very challenging to define and measure success.

I love challenges, the harder the better. And the R&D challenge while also building sustainable businesses or growth is something I’ve been thinking a lot about for a while. So here are my thoughts and some of the things I’m experimenting with at Splice. It will take some time for me to confirm, self-correct and codify a solid, empirical approach but I like the idea of documenting my findings and experiments as a way to break the cycle and to keep myself honest. …

I’ve now been the co-founder and CTO of Splice for almost 6 years. It’s officially the longest place I ever worked at. It’s funny because it does feel like we just started yesterday. I decided to write down some unedited thoughts and share them here. I remembered thinking that I’d love to know what it was really like to be a founder, but that’s not something I could find on the internet. Hopefully a future entrepreneur will find this post and will get a glimpse at what it is like for me. …

I’ve been the CTO of Splice for more than 5 years now, from early prototypes to today’s 100+ employees. When Steve and I started Splice, I never thought we would get this big. What I didn’t know was that one the challenges of being a CTO post product-market fit would be to build internal and external confidence around the engineering group. I’m not talking about making sure we use the right technology, or that we have the best engineers, I’m talking about our ability to function as a critical part of a complex system.

There are a decent amount of books, events, talks and coaches for CEOs but we hear very little about the struggles of being a CTO. I get it, talking about mistakes we made learning on the job isn’t glamorous, it’s actually quite embarrassing and painful to think about. But part of this exercise is therapeutic, the other will hopefully help current or future CTOs. So here is one thing I’ve learned the hard way and was a very valuable…

Like for many of you, this week has been really hard on me. There were major ups and terrible downs. I wanted to reflect on something I’ve been thinking a lot about.

I wasn’t born American, I speak multiple languages, can live & work anywhere, and in those hard times, I am often being asked why I don’t move somewhere else. The thing is, California is my home, America is my country and this is where both my kids and my company were born. This country is going through a really hard and dark time. …

I’ve seen and been in Research & Development (R&D) teams in the past. Sadly I can’t say any of these teams have been successful making a significant impact on the directions company they were serving took. R&D is often mentioned in the context of the military (in 2015, the US Army’s research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E), coupled with procurement accounts, made up 18 percent of the budget) or big companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft etc…

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But we rarely talk about R&D at a startup stage. As a matter of fact, if you google those terms you will find a lot of articles about R&D tax credits and deductions but little about how other startups tackled setting up a R&D team. As Splice CTO, I believe we reached the stage where it’s important to look ahead and start planning in advance instead of being purely responsive. But how can you plan if you can’t see 6 to 12 months ahead. If your product team (engineers, designers, PMs) are in good hands and executing quarterly objectives in a healthy manner, you probably should consider doing some R&D. I previously talked about why hiring a VP of engineering is crucial and how I (as the CTO) am delegating the day to day operations. This is critical since without that, I couldn’t even consider thinking ahead. …

I don’t really do technical interviews anymore, I am lucky to be able to rely on a great VP of engineering and team that take care of the process. I still meet with the candidates but I do that more as a way for us to get to know each other and to answer their questions from both a CTO and founder.

I took some time to write down my thought process when interviewing candidates. Of course, the process changes based on the candidate, position and how the interview goes, but this is a decent albeit generic break down of how I’m approaching the experience. You should also take a look at this great document talking about how to prepare to interview technical candidates. This was a good exercise for me, forcing me to be explicit about my thought process during the short amount of time I meet with a candidate. …

The primary job of a CTO is to leverage technology to empower the business and the team. Sometimes that means making boring but safe choices, sometimes that means more risky or controversial choices. I am starting a new series to discuss some of the bets we are making at Splice and the thinking behind those choices.

Realizing that some of our company’s early assumptions around our user base might have been a bit off, we adopted a slightly unconventional technical approach to our desktop applications.

Splice is the advocate, companion of the modern musician. We developed a creation hub that connects the musician workstation with the cloud meaning that we sit close by the musician as she goes through her creation process. We opted early on for a transparent, discreet, independent integration meaning that we have an app running in the background handling various events and presenting a UI only when needed (similar to Dropbox). More complex experiences were designed to happen on the web requiring the user to have a browser open. Long story short, Splice is amazingly successful but modern musicians feel that the browser is often too far away from their creation space, and it’s a source of distraction. We have native apps written in Objective-C and C# (Mac and Windows). Keeping them in sync, implementing rich UIs and QA testing have been challenging. The quality of the user interactions and limited feature set have prevented our users from fully benefiting from what we have to offer. After some research, an investigation period and lots of discussions we opted to go with a unified…


Matt Aimonetti

@Splice Co-Founder & CTO - Author, Speaker, Technologist, Musician advocate

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