My enthusiastic return to the startup world

Matt Hamrick
|
September 15, 2020

Hello! I'm Matt, and I'm the newest member of the LaunchNotes team. I live in Denver, Colorado with my partner Charlotte and my dog Frank. When I'm not at my laptop, you’ll most likely find me in the mountains west of Denver, riding my bike or barreling down a hill on skis. 

On a hike with Charlotte and Frank

I've been bouncing around the software world for a while, and while most of this time has been spent writing code, I actually got my start working with technical teams as a QA Analyst. Over the past few years I’ve also had the privilege of wearing both the Product Owner and Engineering Manager hats. I find building product and teams to be exciting and fulfilling, and am excited to begin doing both at LaunchNotes.

I've always loved small companies, and, when I’m not starting hair-brained ventures of my own, keep finding myself joining early stage companies as one of their first technical hires. With that in mind, it’s probably no surprise that I’m excited to be back here once more, joining LaunchNotes as their first Engineering Lead.

What keeps me coming back for more

First of all, I think it's a lot of fun solving problems that you've experienced firsthand. Having now worked closely with Product and Engineering teams in multiple different capacities, I’m acutely aware of the frustration that communication break-downs cause, both across teams, as well as for end users. As a Product Owner and Engineering Manager, I know how time consuming and tiresome it is to spend half your day answering the same question over and over again in Slack and email: “Hey, just checking in on this again. Are we still still on track to ship next week?” And as a heavy consumer of technology myself, I’ve also felt the frustration of being blindsided by a change that you feel like you should have been aware of. If you live and work in a tool every day, even a “small UI change” doesn’t seem so small. 

LaunchNotes fixes both of these problems, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the solution.

Secondly, in a young company, and working with a young product that's fresh to the world, each win is fought for and every win matters. A lot. As such, each and every one of these wins is a blast to contribute to and just as much fun to celebrate. I got my first taste of this several years ago at a company called Plink. Hired as a QA Analyst, it was my first foray into the world of startups, and the first time in my career I found myself not only integral to the software development process, but equally as invested in the work (and the wins) across an entire company. I watched as new ideas were hatched, validated, and then brought to fruition. Every new deal we signed was a huge victory — and a victory that often tied back to something that my team had helped build. I vividly remember the slog to reach 1,000,000 users, and then the amazing feeling of accomplishment when we surpassed that goal. While at the time I was most certainly the least important person in the room, I felt a part of what the company was building and where it was going, and each win added to an incredible sense of camaraderie. Armed with this experience, joining LaunchNotes is an opportunity to be a part of something like this again.

Thirdly, I’ve found small organizations that are growing and scaling quickly allow for tremendous personal and professional growth, and serve as the perfect proving ground to see what you’re capable of. I was very fortunate to join LegalPad at an early stage as one of their first engineers, and quickly found myself responsible for building out and managing the engineering team. Tasked with a brand new set of responsibilities well outside my core skill set (hiring, budgeting, writing, and juggling a calendar full of meetings, just to name a few...), I was presented with an amazing opportunity to challenge myself and grow quickly. I learned a ton, and grew in ways that I did not think that I wanted to, or was able to. This is a huge part of what makes joining LaunchNotes so appealing to me; I get to take everything I’ve learned over the past few years and apply it to a fresh, young product, while also getting back to what I find most fulfilling; helping create software. 

Finally, my favorite thing about working for smaller companies and startups are the personal relationships and camaraderie you develop. Sure, these things can be found in companies of any size, but for some reason it’s considerably better when you’re in the trenches together so early on in the journey. Spending the majority of your waking hours in the weeds on a project you deeply care about, especially in the stages when you’re laying the foundation of everything to come, forges especially deep bonds. At each of the two companies I mentioned above I've been fortunate enough to make life-long friends, and it was undoubtedly these types of experiences that brought us so close. And my time at Statuspage was no exception, as I got to work closely with Tony, Tyler, and Michael (in addition to a ton of other great people!) as we built the product from the ground up and scaled it to be a very successful business, and ultimately a great addition to the Atlassian portfolio.

Attempting some lightweight Iditarod training with Frank

I joined LaunchNotes for many reasons, but knowing I'd get to work with this group again was what pushed me over the edge. I can’t wait to dig in and am beyond excited to begin contributing to this team and product. I also can’t wait to see how fast and far we can go!

Join us

I'm hiring! If you’re a Senior Product Designer or a Senior Software Engineer passionate about the collaboration and developer tools space and interested in working for a fast-paced, customer-obsessed company, I’d love to hear from you: matt [at] launchnotes.io

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