Making something original in Chicagoland. Est. June 1, 2012.
Got ideas? Want a technical entrepreneur or a software engineer to colloborate with? Haven't got ideas, and you want to join my brainstorming and business validation? Connect with me on Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+ and we'll see where we can go from there.
What I'm doing now?
In November 2012 I joined WeDeliver, a hyperlocal, on-demand delivery startup as co-founder and CTO. This project has been fun and challenging. Building a lean startup from scratch is always fun, but also working with an awesome distributed team has been amazing. Somehow over the last few months I've built a suite of products from a RESTful API, to a web application based on AngularJS and a distributed order dispatch system. Fun stuff. Although I write alot of code with my team, I still enjoy breaking out the whiteboard every now and again. I've scaled my development team up and down, I've worked by myself, and managed a team of seven developers. At times I worked across timezones and at others I packed everyone into a tiny room to get stuff done. Building a startup involves different stages along the way.
I've also become somewhat of a protagonist for entrepreneurship in the Caribbean. I'm now an organizer for Startup Weekend Trinidad & Tobago, and started collaborating with Startup Weekend organizers around the world to pursue the cause of entrepreneurship.
In 2012, I spent months researching, and building, expanding my technical capabilities, but also finding social avenues where I could use my skill for good - not for evil. For years I've been troubled and challenged to find a way to use technology to reduce incidents and incentives of violent crime. I spent 2 months in customer development looking for ways to use BigData and predictive algorithms to reduce crime. As any lean entrepreneur would do, I quickly pivoted away from that idea when my hypothesis of people wanting to use such a product was invalidated. Someone recently told me that it was ahead of it's time. Probably so.
I've also gotten involved in the Civic hacking space - working on municipal problems, and have joined up with the Code for America Chicago Brigade. I want to build something that helps change the world for the better, and create a business for which my partners and I, and our families will be proud. Along the way I'm learning some amazing lessons.
Want my help?
After 17 years of professional web application development and software engineering experience, and hacking away at code since 1986. I view programming as an artform, and art should be free, so every week I set aside two hours to mentor developers, students and aspiring business people in the city of Chicago.
If you need help building out a web application, sharpening your technical chops of just want to pick my brain over a cup of tea - offer me coffee and you're out of luck. If the time works, I'll be happy to sit with you to design an algorithm, a robust system architecture or just help you connect dots on a whiteboard.
What do you need to do? Just connect with me on Twitter at @KirkLashley, or in real life if you track me down somewhere, and I'll see if I can help you. Why me? Actually there are so many talented developers and engineers out here in Chicago, if you have access to someone else, please connect with them. What I've learned since I started my journey in 2012 is that people have very small networks and some business people are afraid to share their ideas with developers for fear that the developer is going to run off with their idea. Honestly I've yet to meet anyone so unscrupulous in the Chicago market.