0.36 – From Zero to Sphero w. Ian Bernstein, CTO @Sphero

Our guest this week is Ian Bernstein, CTO of Sphero.  Sphero is creating a new category of toys called “Connected Toys” that take the best of what kids and adults love about their smart devices and fuse it with our robots that exist in the real world. 

Ian’s passion is in electronics and robotics. Ever since he was 12 years old he has been building robots.  Learn about how he parlayed his love of robotics into one of the most successful robotics company in the country.  Sphero is a robotic ball that can be controlled with a smartphone.  The company also makes the BB-8 toy robot featured prominently in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 

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0.35 – Reinventing the Organization w. Dan Kador, CTO of Keen.io

Dan Kador is the co-founder & CTO of Keen.io.  He’s responsible for building the technology and team responsible for analytics via APIs (among a million other things) at Keen — a leader in the analytics space.  Join us to learn about the growth of Keen.io at 3, 10, 30, and (soon) 100 team members; and Dan & his co-founders journey to building a different type of organization — with a team that’s got the autonomy, purpose, and tools they need to deliver great analytics software.
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0.34 — Building for Massive Scale w. Tim Jenkins, CTO of SendGrid

Today we are honored to be joined by Tim Jenkins, CoFounder & CTO of SendGrid.   SendGrid solves problems for companies sending transactional e-mail. Tim is currently involved with back-end development, operations, and support, and has worn many hats as SendGrid has grown from 3 team members to over 300 over the last 8 years.

Join us to hear the founding story of one of the most successful email deliverability providers on the web, take a journey through the ebb & flow of a CTO’s responsibilities as a company scales massively, and learn about how SendGrid’s culture has been defined by the 4 H’s: honest, hungry, humble, and happy.
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[bonus] – Cross-Training with Sales & Marketing ft. @patio11


Learn about how Patrick McKenzie combined his technical skills with marketing/sales skills to launch & grow several successful internet businesses.

Patrick is the creator of Bingo Card Creator. He learned marketing and sales to launch and grow Kalzumeus Software; He has worked with 37signals, Fog Creek Software, and is now in content & community at Stripe.

Find Patrick on twitter at @patio11 and listen to Patrick’s podcast here.

Don’t miss out on future episodes! Subscribe quickly at StartupCTO.io/subscribe.

0.33 – Bend the Learning Curve by Consistently Putting Yourself into a Place You’re Uncomfortable — Kathy Keating

We’re joined this week by guest co-host Diana Pfeil to interview Kathy Keating —  Kathy is a Colorado based Startup CTO who has helped build several successful technology startups, founded her own technology consulting business, guided product strategy for companies and implemented many complex software applications.  

Join us for the first episode of StartupCTO.io in 2017 to discuss Kathy’s approach to building a startup from the ground up, data & analytics, being involved in the community, mentorship, and creating great software teams.
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[Bonus] – Hire Engineers that are Smarter Than You Are w. Jud Valeski

(review this episode on iTunes)

This week’s episode is from the archives.  It’s an interview with Jud Valeski.  Jud was co-founder of Gnip (acquired by Twitter), a real-time data portability software initiative. From client-side consumer facing products, to large scale back-end infrastructure projects, he has enjoyed working with technology for over twenty years. He’s been a part of engineering, product, and M&A teams at IBM, Netscape, onebox.com, and AOL. He has played a central role in the release of a wide range of products used by tens of millions of users worldwide.

Find Jud on twitter at @jvaleski and at http://one.valeski.org/.

Don’t miss out on future episodes! Subscribe quickly at StartupCTO.io/subscribe.

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0.32 — Engineering Values Roundup

We ask each of our guests what their engineering values are. What we love about this question is that the answers boil down the brass tacks of leadership into 2-3 minutes of fundamentals.

We’ve got a fun little thematic episode this week, with 5 answers to this question “What are your engineering values?” jammed packed into a 15 minute episode.

In order of appearance:

  • Nader Akhnoukh– CTO of Kapost
  • Travis Kimmel — CEO of GitPrime
  • Julia Austin — CTO of Digital Ocean
  • Manuel Mattke — Chief Innovation Officer at Opportunity Education
  • Maria Gutierrez & Glenn Vanderburg — Maria is VP Engineering at FreeAgent and Glen is VP Engineering at First.

0.31 – Advancing Your Career is like Playing Great Chess w. Chris McAvoy

We are joined this week by Chris McAvoy to talk about growing your people & their careers.   Learn why advancing your career is like playing great chess; It’s not about having a great strategy; It’s about playing positional chess so that you have all of your pieces in place so when an opportunity presents itself you can take advantage of it.

Chris is a technology leader with a passion for open source communities, innovative products, software and architecture.  He is presently a mentor at Techstars and the VP Engineering at Cognizant QuickLeft.  

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0.30 – Great Engineering War Stories

Last week, @owocki’s startup released a new product — The battles last week during this release reminded us of some of our favorite engineering war stories. We ask every CTO on our show “What is your favorite engineering war story?”, and this episode we’re going to play 4 of our *favorites*.

These four stories are ordered by scale.  We’ll start with “just a guy in the garage with a product” to a war story from a large venture scaled startup.

In order of appearance:

  1. Patrick McKenzie – independent software developer
    1. Story misplacing your pager and being unaware of your outage
  2. Travis Kimmel – CEO of GitPrime
    1. Story about after launch the dance of cleaning up your early assumptions and building new features
  3. Jay Zeschin, Lead Architect at ello
    1. Story of “blowing up”, getting tens of thousands of users, and VC funding all at once.
  4. Jud Valeski – CTO at GNIP, acquired by twitter
    1. Story about screening your customers for success


0.29 – Building Successful Distributed Teams – Gevorg Hovsepyan

Gevorg was the Co-Founder/CTO of LionSharp, where he led development of Gesture and Voice controlled systems.  After he left Lionsharp, he became an Agile product / project manager.  Join Gevorg as we chat about collaborative leadership, agile teams and organizations, customer engagement, and delivering business and customer value at breakneck speed.
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