Hi there. My name is JC Harrington, and I’m an entrepreneur / front-end developer living in New York City. Always Be Doing is basically a place for me to share all the stuff I’m reading, listening to, thinking about, and building.
I’ve been founding / working at startups for the last 6 years, and before that I worked in finance. I’d describe myself as a “product guy, ” but I still have a lot to learn about building & shipping great products.
I’m currently in the process of launching a restaurant software company that will hopefully solve a lot of the problems that I encountered at Dig Inn (more on that below), and we’re hoping to have a product in the market in either January or February of 2014. The product is really coming together nicely so I’m excited to get it out there.
Below is a fairly brief but thorough timeline of my professional career, if you’re curious. And if you’d like to get in touch, please feel free to shoot me an email.
2003 to 2006 – Investment Banking
Worked in investment banking at Merrill Lynch (back when it was just Merrill Lynch), spending way too much time building models for all sorts of things. I was a dork. But I had a really great boss for my first two years, and I learned a ton from him about how to manage well and just be a cool guy (still working on that part, though). So it was time pretty well spent. New York was fun.
2006 to 2008 – Venture Capital / Private Equity
Worked in the venture group at The Carlyle Group in Washington, DC, still building models but also learning about growth capital and LBO investing. Learned quite a few things that are relevant to being an entrepreneur, but I would say that you’re better off reading up on stuff on the web and just starting a company if that’s what you ultimately want to do.
That being said, I worked with some really smart people, made some good friends, and learned a ton about the fundraising side of starting a company – that’s probably more valuable than I give it credit for.
2008 to 2010 – TenthRow (my first startup)
Founded TenthRow.com (by myself, like an idiot) and worked ridiculously hard to try to make it work. We were trying to be the “Hulu of concert videos,” except we were trying to produce the content ourselves. The content production piece ended up killing us – it just wasn’t scalable for a variety of reasons. I made a ton of mistakes and ended up up to my ears in debt, but I learned an awful lot (which I’ll discuss in a blog post at some point). I also got to see some awesome rock shows. So it wasn’t a total loss.
Also, TenthRow is what got me involved in web design / development (it was the first website I ever built) so that was a pretty great by-product of the experience. I have grown to love web design.
2010 to 2013 – CTO at Dig Inn Seasonal Market
For the last 3 years, I’ve been the “CTO” of Dig Inn Seasonal Market, a 6 restaurant (soon to be 7) independent chain in New York. I say “CTO” because it’s a small company and I’ve worn a variety of hats over the last few years. I really just solve problems, many of which happen to be finance and technology related. My friend Christian and I built the website and online ordering system, which is a pretty serious e-commerce undertaking. (Christian did all the hard functionality stuff – we’ve worked on multiple projects together at this point).
Per above, I’m in the process of getting a new restaurant software company off the ground, and we’ll be launching our first product in January or February of 2014.