I've joined a new startup called Lean Systems (as of September)! I'm super excited about the project, in which I'm now a cofounder, and the last few months since joining have been awesome. I wanted to share a bit about the company, as well as my thought process in selecting a new challenge following my time as an Associate with Techstars Boston (Spring 2016).
Lean Systems, in short, deals with solving large optimization problems for the transportation industry. When applied to this industry, generally the problems we deal with fall into two categories: scheduling and routing. The prime example is a taxi company: they have bunch of routes that need servicing, and a number of drivers, all with different constraints (number of seats, working hours, service area limitations, etc.). Solving the problem of routing drivers within all constraints is extremely difficult, and there is a time-limitation as well (ie. the problem needs to be solved quickly). Many software packages claim to have an optimization component, but the reality is they are sub-optimal, and often only solve small portions of the problem at a time. We're focused on provided the highest level of optimization possible to companies of all sizes, which means providing scalable pricing (and a scalable product to make it feasible).
Decision to Join
I decided to join Lean Systems based on a few key factors:
- Project interest & potential impact: as you can probably imagine, the number of large optimization problems that the world has at the moment is not small. Even if limited to the transportation sector there's a huge market, and I believe the potential for this company is just as massive. The impact our company could have on the world (reducing mileage for a large taxi company could reduce emissions a huge amount over the course of a year) is also extremely appealing to me.
- Personal impact: the company is still in an early stage, and I wanted a project where I would personally have a large impact on the success of the company. Everyone in an early-stage startup has a large impact, whether good or bad, and I love that. My skills pair particularly well with Sebastien, and so far it's been a great fit (as anticipated). Taking a role-specific position within a more mature company (digital marketer in a company of 50 people, for example), didn't appeal nearly as much to me.
- Familiarity with Sebastien and the company: it's a difficult decision to choose a cofounder, or a new company. Ideally, you spend lots of time working with that person or company first. Does that happen in practice? Rarely. I've spent lots of time, both with Sebastien, and discussing the progression of the company, since the beginning of Founder Institute (over 18 months). I felt I had enough information to make a smart decision, particularly compared to the other options I was considering, which is not often the case when moving into something new.
We've already rolled out our first product, and have some big things in the works. If you're interested in chatting more about Lean Systems don't hesitate to shoot me a message - can't wait to keep everyone updated!