I’ve barely blogged at all for months, as I’ve been crazy-busy working for ElectNext. I’ve been on contract for a couple months, and I’m about to become employee number 5 (here’s the rest of the team). I found out about ElectNext late in the summer, when Philly Geek Awards nominated them for startup of the year. The first thing I learned in the interview, however, is that they planned to base the engineering team in San Francisco. As much as I’d like to move back to California, that’s not in the cards right now. I also didn’t have any Rails experience, and the position was for a Rails engineer. So it made for an interesting interview! In my favor was that 12 years ago I came up with an idea for a candidate matcher similar in concept to ElectNext’s, and built a prototype for it when I worked at Ask Jeeves, my research in grad school focused on voting behavior [the linked post is not published yet], the CTO and I share a passion for clean code, and I was confident I could ramp up on Rails fairly quickly, given my other web development experience.
So what is ElectNext? Let our CEO Keya Dannenbaum explain it to you. Her presentation put us in the top 5 out of 77 startups at DEMO earlier this month:
Personally, I feel like I’ve found my dream job. Web development has been my career, but I’ve never let go of my interest in politics – specifically my interest in fostering civic engagement. The opportunity to combine the two is a thrill for me. And the team couldn’t be better: John has been a great Rails mentor, I work with Dave once a week at Indy Hall (I work from home the rest of the time), and I’ll be with the team in New York City next week, just in time for the election. After the election, we’ll be broadening our focus to local issues and elections, so we can be an ongoing, nonpartisan resource to help people engage politically in their communities, as well as nationally for issues important to them.
We need your help – do some clicking for us!
With the election one week from today, we could use your help to maximize our exposure while interest nationwide is at its peak. Please take a moment to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and go to ElectNext.com to see which candidates align with you. When you get your matches, or if there’s a issue that’s important to you, click one of the links to tweet it or post it on Facebook. This is a key time for us, and your clicks can lead to a positive, viral increase in our exposure.
We also have an embedable widget version of our candidate matcher you can try. We’ve got it on a number of sites, including MSNBC, PBS NewsHour, The Washington Post, Philly.com, and many others, including, of course, toppa.com:
[Update: now that the election is over, we’ve retired the 2012 candidate matcher]