Featured on Dec 02, 2011
"I love to create, collaborate and cook. Contact me to brainstorm bits or (small) bites."
I'm President and Data Lead at Hyperpublic, a rich local data platform for developers, companies, publishers and search engines. We make it easy to access data about local merchants, venues and places like deals, events, reviews, links, tags, attributes and more. Previously, I led the R&D group at comScore where we turned raw web traffic (100+ billion events per week) into internet analytics products. In both roles, one lesson that I learned is that often being the most technical person in a business meeting and the most business savvy person during a code review is a tenuous balance to maintain. To make progress on both fronts, I'm a devoted believer in collaboration and iteration. At the University of Pennsylvania, I studied Computer Science and Economics. I still have an Excel spreadsheet with stats, standings and graphs of family Scrabble games.
- Title: President and Data Lead, Hyperpublic
- Age: 25
- Location: NoLita
- Contact: @jeff_weinstein
How do the challenges that you faced at a larger company like comScore compare to those you’re experiencing at a startup like Hyperpublic?
One of the most important challenges at any company is creating a culture where everyone feels pride and ownership in his or her work. It means relentlessly recruiting the best people, encouraging them to iterate quickly on new ideas, and showing how their efforts fit into a shared mission. A large difference is that in a more established company, I often knew what the customer wanted but had to jockey against other company objectives. In an early stage company, it’s less obvious what to build next.
You mention that you love to cook. What’s your best dish? Where’d you learn to cook?
I rarely repeat a recipe because I get inspired by something I’ve recently had at a restaurant or read about and then start cooking with ingredients that I happen to have around. If you use fresh ingredients and don't overcook anything then a dish will likely be successful. I learned this from my family and often helped prepare our dinners. Cooking is a perfect balance of creativity and constraints because you have an unlimited choice in what to make but have limited time and resources. I love the operational aspects of hosting (checklists and schedules) and also preparing simple food that looks enticing. The hardest part is that I have to force myself not to add an extra ingredient- keep it simple!
Hyperpublic is currently hiring for a number of positions. The company’s employment page states that developers have 20% time. Has anything exciting come from the developer’s 20% time yet or do you know of anything cool in the works?
Yes, we’re hiring back end engineers, a mobile product lead, data scientists and a developer evangelist. We have an incredible engineering culture at Hyperpublic; of the 10 of us, 9 have a computer science degree and we all love to hack on side projects. We want to bring that spirit into the work day. Some of our projects include:
- A site to find a nearby place from our database that matches what you want. Try sushi.iswhatimlookingfor.com or vegan.iswhatimlookingfor.com.
- A fun programming challenge that we used for recruiting. Give it a whirl at hyperpublic.com/challenge.
We’re big supporters of open source development and building apps and services that rely on data.