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FranFunnel Has A New CTO: Meet David Guilfoyle

Happy Friday! Meet David Guilfoyle, FranFunnel's new CTO. Read on to hear all about his ideas about current tech trends, walking to school uphill both ways in the snow, and buying AA batteries.

You’ve had a lot of startup experience. What attracts you most to that kind of work environment?

To answer that question, here is a little background. In my experience, there are two types of engineers; creators and maintainers. Creators come up with a vision of what the future could look like, while maintainers are responsible for keeping that vision alive. 

What are some current tech trends are you most excited about?

  • Integrated experience across all technologies (ie: HomeKit, HealthKit)
  • Decentralization of commercial platforms
  • Continued growth and usage of RubyOnRails
  • The push against the current technical interview process

What are your favorite aspects of your job?

  • Everyday comes with a set of new challenges
  • Everyday is a new adventure
  • Architecting and implementing platforms that didn’t exist before
  • Building technologies that make my life and others lives easier

What was the first piece of tech you built?

The first program I built was over 25 years ago using BASIC. The goal was to track students’ grades for my mother who was a high school english teacher.  

What’s your favorite keyboard shortcut?

Back in the day when I had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow, I also had to manually save my documents or my computer would eat my homework. Therefore, my favorite shortcut which happens to also be my first shortcut is “Command-S” or save on a Mac. I forgot what it is on a PC, probably “Control-S”. 

What do you think are some of the challenges facing the text messaging industry?

  • An increase in SPAM messages
  • Regulations that result from attempts to combat SMAP that increase the cost of delivering legitimate messages while decreasing the delivery rate and time of those same messages
  • Leasing new phone numbers that have already been flagged as SPAM by carriers due to the previous owners misuse of that phone number

When was a time a salesperson did an amazing job creating value for you as a customer?

I’m the kind of individual who researches and decides what I want before chatting with a salesperson. As far back as I can remember, I’ve never had a salesperson add value to me as a customer outside of lowering costs. The best experiences I’ve had with salespeople are those who don’t waste my time trying to sell me on something I’d already decided to purchase. I’m a huge supporter of the self-serve business model.

If you had unlimited resources, what would be some of the features of your perfect cell phone?

On feature I’ve actually tried to build several times is tying my shopping list to the GPS on my phone. For example, I told Siri to add AA batteries to my shopping list last night. Today while I’m walking around, I want my phone to fire off alerts when I walk by places that sell AA batteries.  Same goes for milk, flowers for my girlfriend, birthday cards for my co-workers on the way to work, etc.

I’d also create an open source voice/sms spam silencer which I took a stab at a year ago. I’ve used spam blockers in the past and they work better than ok, but they are not great. Between government regulations that require carriers to pass through calls/text messages and constantly changing API endpoints on phone operating systems, end users don’t have enough control over what gets through and what doesn’t.

I think the only way to drastically improve this issue is to let users customize their own spam blockers to fit their needs. I’m pitching it as a spam silencer so carriers still receive their delivery fees and my phone doesn’t fire off any alerts.  

Thanks David! Welcome to the team.

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