A living document. Last updated April 1st, 2024

How to Work with Jacob

👋 Hey there! I'm Jacob a 24.486282739 year-old tech founder. I care a lot about building impactful and beautiful products that change people's lives in a positive way. I wanted to share a bit about my background and how I like to work.

My Story

First taste of building products

I first learned to code in 3rd grade, teaching myself PHP. From there, I was hooked. I wrote code every single day through high school. By my sophomore year of college, I had landed my first full-time job at a local startup.

In 2015, ahead of the ARKit release, I founded an AR for education startup. It was an incredible learning experience.

Building professionally

My junior year took an unexpected turn when Bridgewater Associates reached out and asked me to come work for them. I moved from my small hometown in South Carolina to Westport, Connecticut, where I had the privilege of learning from some of the smartest people I've ever met.

But my founder itch never went away, so I made the move to San Francisco and joined a tiny startup. It was there that I had my first major disagreement with a CEO. I called him a moron for wanting to triple our manufacturing price for only a 20% reduction, especially when our product was already a fraction of the size of our competitors. That disagreement led to me being fired.

Interviewing during COVID was a roller coaster. I received offers from Meta, Google, and Netflix, but all were rescinded during the hiring freeze. Later that year, I got offers from NVIDIA and Coinbase. I decided to join NVIDIA to lead a team working on publisher and game dev SDK tools at GeForce Now.

Starting Pluto

On the weekends, I started a project with my middle school best friend. Our goal was to manage our money the way Bridgewater manages their clients' money. We ran into countless problems along the way: API access to brokerage accounts, data processing, backtesting, knowledge sharing.

Those challenges led me to leave NVIDIA and start Pluto. We raised a pre-seed, then a seed round. We launched a few products that didn't gain traction, but then we found one that really resonated.

And that brings us to today!

How I Work

Communication

I'll be straight with you: I'm not great at async communication. If I don't respond to your email, please ping me again. I much prefer face-to-face conversations whenever possible, even if it's just a quick sync.

I'm a firm believer in direct feedback. If you think I'm wrong about something, I want you to tell me. I'll always do the same for you. Disagreement and debate are healthy and necessary for any high-performing team.

Decision Making

I tend to be intuitive and meritocratic in my decision making. I put a lot of weight on good judgment and taste. When someone on my team demonstrates strong instincts, I'm happy to delegate most decision making to them.

Leadership

I strive to be a hands-on leader who is equally focused on strategy and execution. I believe in building small, extremely capable teams. I'm always eager for feedback on how I can improve as a leader and manager.

Expectations

Here's what I expect from my colleagues:

In return, here's what you can expect from me:

Let's Connect

Consider this a living document. I'll update it based on feedback from the people I work with. If we haven't already, I'd love to schedule a 1:1 to discuss this guide and how we can work together most effectively.

Feel free to reach out anytime. Let's build something great together!