New Job with Startup: Old School Industries

I just accepted a full-time position at a small startup in San Francisco as a lead Developer and Product Manager.  The company is called Old School Industries LLC and is a combination of two businesses: Quizlet and Collectors Weekly.

I’ve been working with the founders, Dave Margulius and Andrew Sutherland (student at MIT), for around 6 months remotely and on short term trips as a contractor, and have now decided to accept an offer with the team full-time.  I’ll be responsible for developing new features on both websites, improving user experience, increasing monetization, and overall growing the businesses.

Quizlet.com is a studying website that lets students make flashcards online and study in a more effective and more fun way.  The site serves over a million students each month, has over 750,000 registered users, and has over 50 million user-generated flash cards.  As only the second developer on Quizlet, I’m excited to grow the website in huge ways and spend most of my time helping make studying better for a lot of people.

Collectors Weekly is a resource for all things collecting, antiques, and vintage.  It’s a combination of great original content and providing tools to browse eBay in a better way (SuperBrowse example).  I just helped launched its new geo-targetted events section and will spend about one third of my time developing new features for this site.

Both websites run on the LAMP stack.  I’ll be working heavily with Apache, PHP, JavaScript / Ajax, MySQL, Memcache, Sphinx, etc. to help grow traffic and features in a scalable way.  A decent number of the interesting technologies that I used for the first time in 2009 were a result of working with these guys.

This is an exciting time and a big opportunity for me as I’ll be able to significantly impact the growth and success of the startup.  It will also nice to be able to focus all my work attention in one direction rather than juggling many projects, as I’ve just graduated from UF and won’t be continuing freelance web work.  And of course, moving to San Francisco from Florida will be a big change and I’m excited, although I’ll still get to fly back every so often.  Wish me luck!

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6 Comments

  1. Kelsey said,

    January 17, 2010 @ 11:31 pm

    That’s so awesome, Philip! And I LOVE Quizlet and use it allllll the time! 🙂

  2. Andrew Sutherland said,

    January 18, 2010 @ 2:24 am

    Phil — welcome to the team! We’re lucky to have you.

  3. Dave Margulius said,

    January 18, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

    I second that – we’re really excited about your joining. Dave

  4. The Blog: Flash cards, vocabulary memorization, and studying games | Quizlet said,

    January 20, 2010 @ 4:19 am

    […] to move to San Francisco from Florida to work full time for us at our SoMa office. See also: Phil’s announcement on his blog. I’m very excited about this because Phil is a talented developer and can really help step up […]

  5. gainesvilleinfo said,

    March 24, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

    Congrats on your new job! Go gators! I hope everything works out well for you in SF.

  6. The memorization tool by Andrew Sutherland | YHP|Your Hidden Potential said,

    May 8, 2010 @ 3:32 am

    […] January 2010, Quizlet announced that they had hired their first full-time developer and product manager, Phil Freo. Andrew Sutherland, the creator of Quizlet said “I’m very excited about this because […]

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