Voxy is an adaptive learning platform focused on teaching English as a second language. We've just entered a growth phase as our product takes off in Brazil and Mexico.
We have a small tech team that needs to grow rapidly, and whoever we hire next can have a real impact on our engineering culture.
We pair every day, practice real Agile and have a very respect driven, peer based culture. Our team believes in real engineering, not programming.
Stack wise we use Python/Django, Backbone, PostrgesSQL and MongoDB and have native iOS and Adroid apps.
We have 4 senior engineering and a VP Eng position open at the moment. The VP Eng position requires real experience building and running top notch engineering teams and extensive experience with Python/Django.
As I've gotten older, I'm 41 now, this has become a higher and higher priority for me, because I realize once you slip it's harder to come back.
I recently changed jobs and one of the deciding factors was how it would impact my workout schedule - was there a gym close by, was it a good gym, how could I work in sessions with my trainer, etc. Don't get me wrong, it's a great job and I'm super excited about it but it was a factor.
The older you get the easier it is to become overweight, out of shape, etc., so don't lose that energy because when you do it just becomes harder and harder to get it back.
I'm 38 and I now see a marked increase in my mood and energy level if I exercise. I was running pretty much everyday this winter and spring but I feel out of it for the last couple of months. On Monday of this week I was in a really bad mood right at lunch and as I caught myself reaching for a bad of chips I stopped, went to my bedroom and dusted off my running shoes (I work at home). I've run every day this week since and my mood and energy are 500% better 4 days later.
Have to disagree about place of incorporation. Investors may not care but you should. Delaware should always be your choice. Delaware is very company friendly with laws and procedures that generally make it much easier and cheaper to get things done there (document filings are a prime example). Always, always, incorporate in Delaware.
Interviewing is a two way street, or at least it should be. If the interviewers don't want to be interviewed it's a bad company.
To that end here are some points I'd like to add (I'm currently hiring some programmers and would love to have any of them ask me for the following. None have so far):
1. Ask questions about how a manager would handle a situation. If you're not being interviewed by your direct manager (why not?), ask what the company would do. Start off simple, "I want to use a new technology that we don't already support but I believe will make a project easier/quicker/more profitable. What's your response?" and work up to harder things "We're pushing to a rapidly approaching hard release date and someone vital quits. The team is already at breaking point. There's no way we'll deliver. What do you do?"
2. Ask to see the working environment and sit down and talk with other employees of all kinds (programmers, designers, secretaries) without management present. Not for long, just 15 minutes. If they say no, it's a problem.
3. If you're expected to maintain and existing code base, ask for code examples. They often do it of you, it's only fair. Nothing in particular, just something so get an idea of the quality.
Just a few of the things I'd be more than willing to do as a manager.
I was in a start-up in the health insurance industry (we just got acquired by a much larger company). While I agree there are some opportunities, mostly in the areas of information, what most people don't realize is that health insurance is highly regulated and hence a very expensive business to be in. It's not like you can just throw up some web site and start selling insurance. It's much more complicated than that.
That is a great reason to be in the game. Higher barriers to entry behind you are often a good thing.
Plus it seems like we've been seeing a growing trend of posts saying "Web companies are so cheap to start that VC investment isn't necessary". The VCs need somewhere to invest that actually uses the money.
I think the opportunity lies in helping large health insurance companies becoming more consumer oriented. With the health reforms, these companies have a pool of 30 million customers - most of whom will be buying health insurance directly (instead of via an employer). So health insurance companies now have to figure out how to serve this customer base.
Great, super easy to use. Liked it a lot. couple of suggestions:
1. White labeling - Let me get rid of the logo at the top and replace it with my own. Similar on the domain, maybe something like my_company.billmebob.com. Maybe these are things you could charge for.
2. Sign in - let me sign up after the first one and have it remember things like my company name, address, and maybe even companies I've billed before (I'm likely to do it again and don't want to repeat entering that all the time). Possibly something else you could charge for.
3. Recurring invoices - email the same invoice every month/week/etc. automatically. Probably need some kind of user account for that.
Freelancing while trying to run a start up can be extremely tricky, I know, I've done it. I often found myself burnt out from client work (the work I didn't really want to do) which impacted the quality and quantity of the work that I did for the start-up (the work I did really want to do).
I'd say, if you must go down this route, really try to limit the work you do for others, take as little work as possible. Next, try and set times that you work on client projects, and times that you work on the start-up. Stick to the schedule you set up (put the start-up work in your most productive time slots). If you can't manage that, work like a demon on the client project exclusively, bang it out, then get back to the start-up asap.