I got some personal news to share. Some of you might recall that I co-founded a company called Prazely. Unfortunately, it was a shorter journey than we all had hoped for. Nevertheless, I can finally and for the first time in my life say that I learned something incredibly valuable every — single — day. I’m very thankful for everyone who supported us — our investors, our passionate advisors, and the first clients who saw our vision clearer than anyone else!
While I want to write about my experiences and learnings at some point, I want to take the time today to talk about my next career step and how I got here.
What I learned along the way
I started my career as a developer and pivoted to developer relations after realizing that I love making other people more successful at what they do. And, I still do just as much. However, a burning passion of mine was to build products that users fall in love with. It’s what got me interested in Design Thinking since my early days. As an engineering grad, I was incredibly fascinated by how much user research, market understanding, and creativity is required during the steps leading up to the tangible requirements an engineer would use to tackle technical challenges.
It took me way too long to understand that my preferences changed and moved from solving technical challenges to solving human challenges. Combine all my career stages (engineering, design thinking, developer relations) and you will see that what really drives me is building products that make developers’ lives easier.
When I joined Uber, I was drawn right away to the frameworks and vision put forward by Chris Saad, Adam Rogal, and Chris Messina as it relates to developer platforms. I couldn’t stop thinking about what makes developer platforms successful and how to design features to unlock unseen value for developers. To this day, I still cite the platform value framework (distribution, monetization, and utility) when discussing widely successful developer platforms.
HyperTrack enters the game
Fast forward to April 2019, equipped with the sudden realization of what I want to do next:
Join an early-stage, developer-first company, with outstanding talent and investors, solving a really hard technical challenge with potential for widespread global impact.
There are not many companies fitting this bill and I got to connect with the most exciting of them: HyperTrack.
A f**king dot on a f**king map — how hard can it be?
That’s the first thought developers have when they hear about movement tracking. It’s easy, right? Almost every app has maps and asks for my location. Well, turns out it’s one of these areas with hard to grasp challenges where the wheel is being re-invented over and over again. Even worse, most apps would never see tracking as one of their core technologies. They research, create MVPs and experiment with small roll-outs only to realize it’s a huge problem to be solved reliably in production and at scale. Either, they start looking for existing solutions and end up on HyperTrack’s website. Or, they hire more engineers and re-invent the wheel — again…
Ok — but how important is tracking, really?
There are over 20 million developers out there. The number of mobility startups is exploding and many of them scale rapidly: Uber completed 10 billion trips in 2018, Lime and Bird counted over 60 million scooter trips just after barely two years of existence, GrubHub delivered over 19 million food orders, and there were 35 million bike-sharing trips taken just in 2017. The list goes on and on — and that is only in the US! The crazy part is that almost every company involved in movement tracking builds its own tracking platform from the ground up. All that is to say that there is a huge technology gap to fill and equip the world of mobility with a scalable, affordable, and easy-to-use solution.
Tracking it is — but why HyperTrack?
When I first met Kashyap, the CEO of HyperTrack, I suddenly realized there’s something special about this company. What followed was a series of conversations with him and the team. It was captivating how ambitious, talented, and radically open everyone was. It was evident that Kashyap was an experienced entrepreneur and able to bring together the perfect team to have a real shot at this opportunity. Being such an early stage company, I also got to talk to some advisors and investors, including Cristina from Stripe, Gavin from Automatic, and Naren from Nexus VP — one of the earliest investors in Postman. I could not think of a more fitting set of supporters for this journey. Meeting them got me even more thrilled about the opportunity and vision for HyperTrack.
Long story short, I recently joined the HyperTrack team as Head of Developer Experience! I’ll be wearing many hats in my new role and work across all teams to ensure we provide a surprisingly delightful and sleek experience for developers to build anything they can imagine with live location.
In my first month alone, I got to deploy changes to production, revamp the docs, conduct user research, join an off-site in Istanbul, and help with API designs… Oh, did I mention that over 5M additional tracked devices were activated since I joined? What’s impressive though is that our server-less infrastructure just scaled up to handle this load while we were asleep. It just worked!
Please join me in celebrating my next career milestone and feel free to reach out to me anytime. I’m planning to share another update with the most unexpected insights, highlights, and challenges I will wrestle with in the next months. Let me know what else you would like me to write about. Stay tuned!
This was originally posted on Medium on June 3, 2019
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