I'm the co-founder and CEO of ALMA. We're making it easy for anyone to be a philanthropist.
Michelle and I started ALMA in 2018, because it was too hard to figure out how to give back after the 2017 wildfires in northern California. And how there's 400 charities that work on homelessness in San Francisco, yet most people can't name one. Plus it's a huge and ineffecient market — in the US we give $400bn a year to charities, and they spend $60bn of that fundraising.
I wrote a lot more about the problem and the opportunity if you want to learn more.
It's one of those 'unsexy' spaces that most people don't think about, but we've had ~200% Q/Q growth through 2019 and raised money for over 1,000 charities so far.
Before ALMA, I spent 6+ years at Airbnb. For most of that time I led the 300+ person guest (traveler) product teams — search, booking, design systems — as well as the growth team and performance marketing.
Before, I led the Risk, Trust and Safety, Growth, Data Infra, Payments, and CX product teams. Basically teams that used math. I developed the first algorithms Airbnb used to predict the booked price of listings.
I started at Airbnb as an engineer doing site reliability engineering (SRE). Mostly helping prevent us from deploying very un-performant SQL.
I joined Airbnb via an acquisition of my previous startup, Crashpadder, where I was CTO.
Stephen and I started Crashpadder in London in 2007 (at the time we'd never heard of Airbnb). We grew Crashpadder to the largest alternative accommodation provider in Europe over the next 4 years. Made it to the front cover of the New York Times Travel section too.
We'd met Brian, Joe and Nate pretty early on in our journey and stayed in touch over the years. So when Airbnb made an acquisition offer, we sold the company at the end of 2011.
I haven't always been in tech. I grew up programming, playing video games, building computers, and playing the violin.
Before I made the full jump into tech, I was a violinist and conductor. I studied music at Cambridge and then in London. Feels like a lifetime ago, but I look back fondly. I started an Orchestra, the Beethoven Ensemble, and we got some great reviews. ("It is not every evening that one hears music-making of this calibre" - link ). I'd love to play again seriously one day.
I think technology should improve the lives of everyone. It should amplify our own ability for growth and change, and enable people to better their lives and those of their families, communities and complete strangers.
I love building things.