This is my first public CEO update after I was caught off-guard by > 600 requests on Twitter to open it up publicly.
Because of the universal applicability of Fast, and this groundswell of global and public support, I am both obliged and happy to transparently share more of our journey through these updates.
What is Fast?
Like many external onlookers, the Fast team and I truly believe we are building a critically missing piece of web architecture at Fast.
The current state of passwords, checkout forms, and siloed data stores is incredulous and causes horrific amounts of pain for consumers.
Other competing ‘solutions’ are simple bandaid fixes for symptoms of these issues, rather than solving the underlying problem. As an example, password managers help to fill a password field in a form, yet still require us to authenticate at every single individual vendor, and leave us as open as ever to phishing attacks and the like.
We are building the intermediary for all consumer interactions, enabling frictionless authentication, payments and trusted data sharing across all vendors.
We have a small but rapidly growing team of incredibly talented true believers, working to rapidly expand our Fast product/s to solve these consumer problems.
This week started with a redeye flight on Sunday night from SFO to New York, packing months of requests into a 4-day trip having 30+ meetings (my first ever trip to NYC).
I met Allison in NYC, she flew from Sacramento after running a marathon on the Sunday, what a machine!
In NYC we met with Hedge Funds, VC’s, family offices, and angels, and it continues to surprise and delight us how much investment interest there is in Fast across the board, as the prospect of 1-click checkout on every website, resonates with every one of us as consumers; along with the obvious and explosive economic benefits, it will drive.
We also met with excited and potential distribution partners, retailers & DTC’s.
We interviewed 4 people for roles at Fast, and I was interviewed on Inc.com Founders Project Podcast by Alexa Von Tobel.
One of the interviews we held in NYC was for a Chief Revenue Officer @ Fast, we offered the job, and whilst I cannot reveal the candidate yet, I am truly excited to have them onboard given they have an incredible track record with key executive roles amongst the world’s largest tech companies, and retailers.
Back in our SF headquarters, the team was hard at work to bring our second and flagship product, Fast Checkout, to market.
We have spent a long time building a strong core team in SF to work on this product, with our engineers from Shopify, Bond Financial & Synapse, Postmates, eBay and Splunk. Our first PM comes from Wish.com and previously Square.
Rather than engaging an external agency, I found a very talented local videographer and photographer Vlad, who joined the Fast team fulltime to work on our visual content strategy.
We released a few hiring videos from some of the team this week and will be releasing more over the next weeks. This is a key focus for me, we need the smartest minds to be working on Fast, and showcasing our team help really helps to attract more top-level talent.
Given our SF team is growing so fast, we are currently contemplating how to best integrate our SF team with our existing remote team.
I have very much thrown both teams in the deep end of working together and am watching closely how they organically work together, and where we will need to actively instill better processes and communication.
Given the long-term opportunity of tapping high-quality talent across the world it’s a key focus of mine to setup a strong hybrid employment model at Fast.
Watch this space.
Fast Checkout is our 1-click checkout product and will democratize a certain web giants reign on e-commerce by enabling frictionless commerce, and customer onboarding for all companies.
We have set a fairly aggressive internal release schedule for Fast Checkout:
January - Launch Fast Swag store with beta Fast Checkout (First ever public-facing release)
February - Launch beta release of Fast Checkout on a small number of external Shopify stores with < $10M annual sales
March - Launch beta release of Fast Checkout on a small cluster of large Shopify stores
April - Launch beta release of Fast Checkout for custom platforms, and expand Shopify availability
We are currently engaged with key and larger launch retailers for Fast Checkout, however, we are still open for some merchants with > $50M annual sales that want early access to Fast Checkout, and potentially participating in a strategic investment round in Fast before our much anticipated next institutional capital raise.
We have offered aggressive transaction rates for these launch clients.
This week we successfully negotiated the lease on our new light-drenched office, which will be the HQ of Fast at least until the end of next year 🤞.
Given the building is bigger than we need right now, we are going to open up some workstations for cheap subletting by small DTC or e-commerce start-ups.
This is strategic for us in beta testing new features amongst a captive customer base, and giving them early access to the best checkout tech!
Get set for the opening party, after we move in January:
You can check all our open roles at fast.co/jobs, we are constantly expanding our product, design & engineering teams,
Key hires we are focusing on this week include:
Privacy & product counsel
Head of engineering
Head of security
Head of finance
Head of people
I hope this was valuable to you, but as a repeat founder, I have thick skin, so please provide candid feedback; let me know what you liked, didn’t, or what you want to hear more about.