A toronto-based full-stack developer. I don't always reply on
January 2017 to present. Originally joined as the first non-founder employee as a part-time gig to pay the bills while working on my failed HR startup. Transitioned to full-time in November 2017 and have been enjoying the experience of helping a startup grow. Ended up learning a lot of random skills like facilities management.
December 2019 to present. A private journal that sends you a reminder when you stop seeing certain people. Most people use it to remember to call their moms. A night-and-weekends project to build something for myself. It had a few false starts over the years.
Failed HR Startup
January 2017 to November 2017. After finishing school, I realized that the transition from poor student to poor solo startup founder would be pretty easy. I gave myself roughly 6 months to earn a single dollar.
There was a lot of software and money in improving the employee interviewing experience, but very few players in improving employee onboarding. I talked to a bunch of companies of various sizes and saw that almost all of them used spreadsheets to solve a problem! It is always a good sign when you see potential customers jerry-rigging a solution to the problem you want to solve. The project ultimately failed because companies are so busy with hiring that onboarding was an afterthought to them. Worse yet, it is hard to prove an effectiveness of an onboarding product because you to somehow prove that it was your solution that made them stay.
May 2014 to September 2016. Joined originally as a year-long intern. When that was over, I was given the chance to lead a project and I decided to delay finishing university. The company went from ~35 to ~100 by the time I went back to finish school. Ended up picking up a lot of knowledge and skills in a very short period of time.
This is more of a cautionary tale than anything else. The lessons are obvious in hindsight: “use what you know” and “be careful of new technology”. What I want to do is explain how I fell into making these mistakes so others can avoid them.