Matrices is a quick way to explore, visualize, and share large datasets. It was borne out of my frustration with today's tools for exploratory data analysis.
You can either use a tool like Excel and sacrifice speed with hundreds of thousands of rows, or you can use SQL or code and settle for a glacial iteration speed between queries. More enterprisey tools like Tableau help with this, but they focus primarily on reporting, and exploration isn't easy.
None of those end up being very good options. Oftentimes, I'll start with a single question... and it will lead to another question... and then another. The whole process is extremely iterative and fractal.
Matrices seeks to address these problems by...
- being fast and responsive (reloads happen in real-time)
- being visual-first, no code or SQL required
- allowing the user to share charts with a single click
- having AI-assistants remove the tedious aspects of working with data
It's free to use, all of your data is stored locally until you hit 'publish'.
The whole thing has also been a fantastic "idea pump" for AI and cutting-edge web tools like DuckDB and WASM.
Users could go through an e-commerce flow.
We spent about $1,000 in google ads, but got remarkably poor conversion. In retrospect, I don't think this is the best way to 'get heat pumps installed', but I do think it speaks to the difficulty of appealing to this market.
You can read my full write-up on heat pumps and what they mean for startups here
Heat Pumps, Hooray! started with a simple question: "how much would it cost me to get a Heat Pump for my home?"
It turns out that the answer to that question is anything but simple. How much a Heat Pump can save you depends on a lot of factors, including: the climate, your insulation, the current efficiency of your system, and even the footprint of your specific house relative to the sun.
My friend Baker and I wanted to make it easy for people to quickly get a sense of how much a heat pump might cost. The site is still operational, and you can use it to get a sense of how your ongoing costs and emissions might differ if you get a heat pump.
The goal was to create a website that would help people find and book COVID-19 vaccine appointments.
As the early vaccines were rolling out, booking an appointment was a nightmare. Appointments were scattered across dozens of different websites and providers, and the availability would often change on a minute-by-minute basis. We tapped into a number of feeds and scrapers.
Segment is a Customer Data Platform. It helps businesses...
- collect data about who their users are via a single API
- clean and standardize that data via a set of rules
- activate that data in downstream tools for marketing, support, and sales
We started the company as four fresh-faced kids out of college. We went through YC, pivoted multiple times, nearly ran out of cash, and somehow managed to survive.
There's more to say about that experience than I can possibly fit into words here, but the best places to learn more are...
- my post on the journey from founder to CTO
- my co-founder Peter's talk on finding PMF
- my thoughts at the time of acquisition
I'll always treasure my time at Segment. They were some of the most formative and highest intensity years of my life. If there's anything I'm most proud of, it's the caliber of the team there, and the variety of amazing things the "Segment Mafia" continues to accomplish.