The Full Stack Entrepreneur

Hi, my name is AJ.

I am a serial entrepreneur from Philly. Since my skills include design, coding, and customer development, I like to think of myself as a full-stack entrepreneur. I sit at the intersection design and development, rapidly prototyping apps, and then discovering how people experience them.  I’ve founded a few startups, and I currently work with software startups, to design, build, and test their prototypes and MVPs.

I’ve been on my entrepreneurial journey for about 3 years now. Every project I take on represents an opportunity to learn and grow and make. I am excited by the community of interesting people around me, and what we can build together. Come, be a part of that journey!

SEPT. '14 – In Deep Shit

Literally. I was at brick-bottom. Over a year of toiling in engineering school and all I had to show for it was a shitty internship - wading in the sewers to install sensors below the city. Did I mention that within a week of getting that job my girlfriend of three years left me, and my best friend and I had a falling out? Yikes.

 

JUNE '15 – 100s of Sleepless nights

Over the next six months I would work 12 hour days with a two hour commute, only to come home and teach myself programming and design. I would be at one starbucks until they closed. Then go to another for an hour. Then move to my school's oldest building to work until I started nodding off. Sleep 3 hours. Repeat.

 

Riding around in a van at work also afforded me time to read tons of books on startups, psychology, and productivity. Everything else was much dimmer.

 

OCT. '15 – Stumbling Upon Software

Half a year later and three program changes later I found myself studying and interning in software. I worked in a collaborative and interdisciplinary space at Drexel where I learned to develop mobile apps, manage projects with clients, create learning material, and run events. Things were starting to look up and learning was the air I breathed.

Oh, and I met the cofounder of my first company too. He just happened to walk into the wrong building while I was sitting out front.

 

OCT. '16 – Starting Up

Moonlighting a startup that year taught me more than anything else I had ever done – continuing the habit of accelerating my learning constantly. Unfortunately, it was a painful messy process with lots of disagreement, disorganization, and of course, some wandering around with our heads off. We got really close as a team and somehow managed to get a product built despite knowing all the wrong things.

DEC. '16 – Shutting Down

Just over a year since it's creation, our startup had grown stale and our team de-motivated. It looked like everything I had been working towards so far would be for nothing. But I couldn't deny that the work I was doing then was sucking the life out of me. So I had one of the toughest conversations I have had to have and landed on my feet with all my friendships and connections from the past intact, but my team split apart.

 

NOW – Diversifying

Since then, I have been working with interesting startups that seek me out to find their market and validate it with prototypes. In a miracle of continuity, I still learn more each day than I ever have before. After a couple stints as the technical lead at two startups on two different coasts, and plenty of side projects along the way, I find myself here to invite you to design, develop, and discover with me.

Work with Me

If my work or journey interests you or if you just want to say hi, let me know what kind of cool stuff you are working on. I'd love to hear about it and figure out how I might be able to help push it further.