September 17

Andrew Montalenti – From Morgan Stanley to Founding Parse.ly #92

Distributed Systems, Founder, Software Engineering, Startup

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Biography

Andrew is the co-founder and Chief Product Officer (CPO) of Parse.ly. Andrew was Parse.ly’s founding CTO, and he led the company through its early R&D, fundraising, and initial scale-up growth/hiring periods. He now leads the company’s product strategy and vision as CPO.

Based in NYC, Andrew is a regular speaker on topics including real-time analytics, open source software, fully distributed teams, and product management. He also spends time with Parse.ly clients, who include premium news publishers, high-growth digital startups, world-renowned entertainment brands, and corporate marketers making the transition to content marketing. Those customers use data to inform some of the web’s smartest content strategies at places like Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal, Condé Nast, HelloFresh, WeddingWire, Policygenius, and Slate.

Andrew created Parse.ly in 2009 with co-founder and former NYU roommate Sachin Kamdar. Prior to starting the company, Andrew graduated with a Computer Science degree from NYU; focused on distributed systems and web services as a software engineer at Morgan Stanley; and ran a boutique software consulting firm that served clients in NYC and beyond. He enjoys reading and writing at the interaction of media, tech, open source, and startups. You can read his writing on the Parse.ly blog and on his personal website, amontalenti.com. You can also find his latest thoughts on Twitter at @amontalenti

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A note from Grant

In today’s episode of Develomentor we are checking in with Andrew Montalenti, the Chief Product Officer of Parse.ly, a company Andrew co-founded and grew into a leading content analytics site. 

Andrew’s career has long sat at the intersection of technology and media from his early days as a computer science major at NYU through to time spent as a developer at Morgan Stanley and on his own as a consultant. Along his journey, he’s raised Venture Capital, wrote code and hired and ran engineering teams as Parse.lys CTO.  Listen to hear how Andrew and his college roommate started and grew their venture-backed content analytics startup from the ground up!

-Grant Ingersoll

Quotes

“There was this huge tradition of almost applied research in operating systems and I just became fascinated by that history. I think that drove me to go into the study of operating systems where I could do things like learn about the history of operating system kernels but also implement my own kernel in C.”

“Morgan Stanley had huge data centers with racks of servers that were doing distributed computation across their trading systems. I was really attracted to deep tech and it turned out that Morgan Stanley also offered analyst training program. As you joined Morgan Stanley they would actually put you through a practical software engineering bootcamp of sorts for 3 months.”

“My boutique consulting company for about 18 months was just a vehicle for me to do some consulting work, pay the very expensive toll of New York City rent while I was hemorrhaging savings and trying to get my other startup off the ground, which was actually Parse.ly.”

“We pivoted the business from indexing content and giving analytics to anyone about it to actually being a direct measurement approach for content for the worlds largest media companies. So we turned Parse.ly to a software as a service company some point around 2011.”

—Andrew Montalenti

Key Milestones

  1. One of Andrew’s early work experiences was at Morgan Stanley.  What attracted him there and what did he learn about large scale development?
  2. Coming out of Morgan Stanley, it would have been easy to go work for one of the other big banks in NYC, but Andrew decided to go on his own as a consultant and start his own firm. What inspired this decision? How did he get his first few clients?
  3. Parse.ly has been at it for 11+ years.  What is the origin story.
  4. In one of Andrew’s talks, he shared the Parse.ly manifesto about remote work and the way they work together. Andrew and Grant dig into this idea.
  5. Andrew was the CTO all the way up until February of this year before transitioning into the CPO role. What inspired the change? What did Andrew learn as CTO?
  6. Andrew reflects on being a part of the open source community.

Additional Resources

Learn more about Parse.ly, Andrew’s content analytics platform – https://www.parse.ly/overview

Learn more about Andrew on his personal website and blog – https://amontalenti.com

Check out Lucene in Action by Manning Publications

Essays by Paul Graham – http://www.paulgraham.com/articles.html

Connect with Andrew Montalenti
LinkedIn
Twitter

Connect with Grant Ingersoll
LinkedIn
Twitter


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