Sramana Mitra: What happens next in the story?
Shane Evans: I was quite enjoying my time there. It turned into more of a big company. Once again, I found myself yearning for something that was a little bit different. I think it was late 2004 when I quit. During my time there, I had focused on some difficult technical challenging tasks that I was interested in. There were some constraints around having a lot of traffic on the website.
I started doing some consulting work with some of my friends. These are two friends who are really good engineers. We focused on challenges with scaling. We started working on what would now be called Big Data or data science. At that time, it didn’t have a name. It was also interesting for me that we had some initial contracts in London. After maybe half a year, we started getting work outside of London.
I was actually working from home most of the time. This is where I really started working remotely and I realized that I don’t need to be in London anymore. Shortly after that, I decided to live in Tokyo for a while.
Sramana Mitra: What’s the next inflection point of the story?
Shane Evans: It was another great learning experience. I learned so much about Big Data before it became popular. Two years later around 2007, I met up with some former colleagues. They were starting another startup. For me, that was very tempting. I joined that team as their Head of Development.
Sramana Mitra: In San Francisco?
Shane Evans: In London. lastminute.com was in London.
Sramana Mitra: The founders of lastminute.com were starting another company and you joined as their Head of Development?
Shane Evans: Yes.
Sramana Mitra: What was the new company that the founders of lastminute.com were conceiving?
Shane Evans: It was called Mydeco.
Sramana Mitra: What was the premise of the company?
Shane Evans: It was around design, interior, and home furnishing. The founder had been renovating his house and he found that the process was very awkward and cumbersome. That was the primary starting point of the idea. We had this kind of visualization site and this strong e-commerce site as well. It was quite interesting, technology-wise.
Sramana Mitra: What happened to that company? How far did that go?
Shane Evans: I was there for three years. It didn’t have much success. There were some other companies which were in the space that actually did very well. Mydeco, itself, wound down two years later. For me, it was a successful company because it was the building ground of the company that I went on to found.
Sramana Mitra: What year does this bring us up to?
Shane Evans: 2010.