Day One

Reflections on my last day as CTO of Blend.

Day One

Friday was my last day as CTO of Blend.

This has been one of the hardest decisions of my life. Building Blend from the ground up is by far the biggest thing I’ve ever been a part of. I’m extremely proud of what we’ve build over the past eight years, and I’m excited about what’s ahead for the company.

I’ll always remember the beginning, when we spent months working out of hotels around former Countrywide offices and got inspired by the antiquated inner-workings of the mortgage industry; the first few years working with our small, fearless team to build a semi-working app and sign our first customers; and my obsessive phase of personally interviewing every engineer, reviewing every change to our core codebase, and attending every one of our 5 Whys as usage grew and stuff constantly broke. Over the past two years I focused on distributing these responsibilities, hiring professional managers and decentralizing our architecture to allow us to scale into this huge opportunity space.

By replacing an overcomplicated, manual, paper-based process with one that is much faster and easier, we’ve built the foundation for fixing the rest of the consumer finance and the home buying experience. We’ve built one of the best teams in Silicon Valley, with a meritocratic culture that values distributed ownership, continuous improvement, intelligent decision-making, and, above all, caring about our work. Our leadership team has evolved from a few Palantir outcasts to a group of world-class pros, including the former CEO of Fannie Mae. The level of talent, leadership, and experience in product development and engineering has also come a long way.

One of my central goals as a founder was to create a self-sufficient, antifragile organization that keeps improving without me pushing it; now I think we have reached that point. I have complete confidence in Nima Ghamsari, Kallol Das, and the rest of our execs and engineering leaders to continue creating an environment that accelerates the next generation of creators and entrepreneurs at Blend.

I already miss working with such an amazing team, but I’m happy to have the opportunity to continue supporting Blend as a member of the board. I’ll be taking some time to explore new business ideas, invest, and travel.