Aaron Lee, co-founder & CTO of Redbeacon: ‘If things are under control, you’re not going fast enough’
Total read time: 13-15 minutes
On the day of leaving to East Coast for my friends’ graduation, I went to the offices of Redbeacon in Foster City, the affluent small town next to San Mateo, to interview its co-founder and CTO, Aaron Lee, who I’ve met at MIT Startup Connector event hosted at Plug & Play Tech Center in Sunnyvale, CA a couple of weeks earlier. Since I don’t really look for local service providers, my only familiarity with Redbeacon before that was the fact these guys won the prestigious TechCrunch 50 conference in 2009.
Let’s quickly introduce the guest of the episode. Aaron is the co-founder and CTO of Redbeacon where he works on product design and engineering. Prior to that, Aaron was one of the founding engineers on Google Video as well as Tech Lead on YouTube monetization. Before joining Google, he worked at Bosch building one of the most advanced 3D navigation systems for in-car infotainment. Aaron received his Ph.D. in Computer Graphics from Princeton and has interned at NVIDIA, Microsoft Research (where he received a Microsoft Fellowship), NASA Ames Research Center and Lucent Technologies. He has published papers in SIGGRAPH, IEEE conferences. Aaron earned an M.A and B.A. from University of Cambridge with first honors in Computer Science. Aaron holds four patents with seven others currently pending.
30 Insightful Minutes with Frank Chen, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz
Total read time: 18-20 minutes
The 10th episode marked the first VC on the program! Last Wednesday I went to the office of one of the leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz, on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, CA to talk to a partner at the firm - Frank Chen.
Before joining Andreessen Horowitz, Frank was the VP of products at Opsware. Prior to that, he was a director of client services at Loudcloud. Before Loudcloud, Frank worked for as a VP of products & UI design at Respond.com. He also served as a director of product management at Netscape, a product manager at Oracle and a senior technical writer for GO Corporation.
We set up an interview with Frank’s assistant back in February over email. And two months later here I was sitting at the conference table at A16Z next to him:
Sahil Lavingia, 20-Year Old Founder & CEO of Gumroad: ‘Be Contagious and Optimize for Happiness’
On Saturday I sat down with Sahil Lavingia, founder and CEO of Gumroad. We had a great time talking about different things ranging from optimizing for happiness to living in the world of opposing truths. Sahil shared how his ideal day look like, why he prefers to talk to makers, and not necessarily public figures; how he got his first 10,000 users and in which areas of his life he would like to improve.
P/s: And by ‘hiccup’ I obviously meant ‘hiatus’ :P
Other shows and podcasts for entrepreneurs I would recommend: “The Random Show” with Tim Ferriss and Kevin Rose, “Foundation” with Kevin Rose, ‘ThisWeekIn Startups’ with Jason Calacanis, “Mixergy” with Andrew Warner, Pandomonthly Fireside Chats with Sarah Lacy, “TechCrunch TV Founder Stories” with Chris Dixon, “Stanford Entrepreneurship Corner” videos, etc.
Robert Sedgewick, Princeton Computer Science Professor, Director at Adobe Systems: ‘What Am I Reading? I’m Usually Just Writing!’
And again we have a world-renowned computer scientist on the program! On Friday (April 6), I’ve sat down and talked with Robert Sedgewick:
- founder and former chairman of the department of Computer Science at Princeton
- William O. Baker Professor of Computer Science at Princeton
- member of the Board of Directors at Adobe Systems
- Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery for the seminal work in the mathematical analysis of algorithms and pioneering research in algorithm animation
- author of numerous research papers and several books, including a series of textbooks on algorithms widely used all around the world (published by Addison-Wesley)
The Legendary Brian Kernighan on Teaching, Writing, Programming and Startups
Guest: Brian Kernighan
Producer/host: Arman Suleimenov
March 20, 2012
Brian Kernighan! The computer scientist who doesn’t need any introduction:
- co-author of the programming classic - ‘The C Programming Language’ (with Dennis Ritchie)
- coauthor of AWK and AMPL programming languages
- Professor of Computer Science at Princeton
- author of many Unix programs including ditroff, cron for Unix 7
- early contributor to Unix alongside its creators Ken Thomson and Dennis Ritchie
Ryan Bubinski, Co-founder of Codecademy: Learn to Code by Playing
It’s time to to dispel the gospel that programming is a skill which can be acquired by only a small cohort of people. Programming is just like playing a piano, juggling, or swimming: if you put enough effort, you can learn to code too. Codecademy is a website which provides an interactive and fun way to learn how to code. Codecademy was the runner-up for the ‘Crunchies - Best New Startup of 2011’ (the first place went to Pinterest). Code Year, Codecademy’s New Year resolution project that encourages people to code, attracted 127,000 users in just 3 days after launch and now has more than 400,000 people who are learning to code by receiving lessons via email. Among notable people who joined Code Year are New York’s mayor Michael Bloomberg and one of the best VCs in the US - Fred Wilson.
Conversation with Joe Perla, Entrepreneur, 2-time Princeton Dropout and Founding Team of Turntable.fm
Joe Perla was a co-founder or CTO at Zandigo - social network around the college admissions process, Labmeeting - social network for scientists, and Turntable.fm - popular social site to DJ and collectively listen to music. He coded ProHDR 2.0, the leading HDR photography app for iPhone, and created Weby Templates - minimalist Python web framework.
In this episode we’ll hear the exciting journey of Joe Perla: how he started brainstorming startup ideas during his freshman year with friends Mick Hagen and Jeremy Johnson, how he eventually left Princeton for 2 years to start companies, why he is pursuing graduate school to do original research in artificial intelligence.
David Lieb, CEO and Co-founder of Bump Technologies on How He Built One of the Most Popular Free iPhone Apps of All Time
Guest: David Lieb, CEO and co-founder of Bump
Producer/host: Arman Suleimenov (twitter.com/suleimenov)
Mountain View, CA
December 8, 2011
Bump is one of the most popular free iOS apps of all time (more than 65 million downloads, 7th in US, 3rd in Japan). It is the mobile application which lets two smartphones to share contact information / schedules / photos / app recommendations / etc. by simply bumping phones together. After the recent partnership with PayPal, you now can exchange money using Bump. It also can automatically send the friend request on Facebook and LinkedIn as well follow on Twitter. Bump is funded by Marc Andreessen (creator of the world’s first browser, co-founder of Netscape),
Ron Conway (godfather of Silicon Valley), Y Combinator, Sequoia Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, Ram Shriram and the others.
Adam Goldstein, CEO and Co-founder of Hipmunk on How to Build the Best Flight and Hotel Search Engine
Guest: Adam Goldstein, CEO and co-founder of Hipmunk
Host: Arman Suleimenov
Date: December 8, 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Princeton Entrepreneurship Club
Hipmunk is the flight and hotel search engine which presents flight results as the visual timeline, sorts flights by agony, searches for hotels in the areas with many points of interests, and provides Amtrak train routes among other things. Time magazine named Hipmunk as one of the 50 best websites of 2011. The founders are Adam Goldstein and Steve Huffman (co-founder of reddit.com). Investors include SV Angel, Paul Buchheit (creator of Gmail), Matt Mullenweg (founder of WordPress) and Ashton Kutcher.
Vinicius Vacanti, CEO and Co-founder of Yipit: How to Make It as a First-Time Entrepreneur
Guest of the show: Vinicius Vacanti, CEO and co-founder of Yipit (twitter.com/vacanti)
Host: Arman Suleimenov (twitter.com/suleimenov)
Date: December 2, 2011
Location: New York City, NY
TigerTreks / Princeton Entrepreneurship Club (princetoneclub.com)
The topics discussed:
- Yipit - daily deals aggregator
- 8 projects before stumbling upon the idea for Yipit: unhub.com, 140it.com
- The Lean Startup methodology by Steve Blank, Eric Ries
- 3 blogs to read: ‘Both sides of the table’ (Mark Suster), ‘AVC.com’ (Fred Wilson), ‘Techmeme.com’
- Actionable metrics