The most influential rock band of the 1960s was The Velvet Underground. They didn’t sell many records but everyone who bought one went out and started a band. Like David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, or Sonic Youth.
That’s what I want Before Growth to be—just for the tech community.
I’m a programmer and a product person who’s worked with tech companies in the US and Europe. I’m currently a lead product engineer at Plane, a Y Combinator startup building a payroll, benefits, and compliance platform for fast-growing companies.
Beyond my software development work, I’ve also written a book about product management and co-founded a few startups myself. I was once featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30. But don’t worry, I’m not gonna defraud you… well, at least not too much. I can be wrong sometimes, you know, even when I write like I think that I can’t.
“The money is all on the right [side of the product life cycle], in the area of certainty [where the product is mature]. I work on the left, with uncertainty. I’ll never be rich.”
That must be why the tech industry focuses so much on startups that have already blitzkrieged their way to scale, right?
Fuck that. We can do better.
I got into programming at the age of ten. It started when my dad bought a programming book for himself; since the cover said it was for “kids” ages nine to ninety–nine, we figured that I was capable enough to dive into it, too.
Fast forward a bit. I went to college. Dropped out. I found work as a software engineer. Left it. Founded a startup, applied to YC, was rejected. Actually, that happened three more times. We got VC–funded with our third idea some time after.
And then my startup died. Surprise, surprise.
Unless failure makes you special—which I doubt—I’m just like you. But failure did grant me some insight. Was I drawn to startups just for success? Not at all. Since I was ten, I’ve always just wanted to create cool shit. But in our industry, with our emphasis on revenue, profits, KPIs, and IPOs, we often resemble Wall Street yuppies more than techies. I reject that and that’s why I decided to go back to basics. I’ve always been a creator at heart—so I launched Before Growth as a space from one builder to another.
If you’re serious about startups and want to get stuff done, you’re in the right place. No matter if you’re an investor targeting a new unicorn or a startup leader hunting for inspiration, I’ll bring you research on the top companies of the future before they even step out of their garages, every week.
I want to inspire us all to keep on building.