Adam Drake

Right Now

I help boards and executives at growth-stage technology companies continue (or resume) rapid acceleration by advising them on improving their leadership capabilities, operations, and technology. While I specialize in executive advising on leadership and process, I can also dive into deep technical problems with Data Science or Software Engineering departments.

If you think I can help you and your team, contact me by email or on Twitter! I’m always interested in learning about what other companies are working on and how I might be able to help.

I have a few tech projects in progress that will undoubtedly become blog posts. I’m working on an e-book about leadership in organizations, as well as a field manual for triaging performance and architecture in growth-stage startups. I sometimes write code for open-source projects like TinySite and CompressTest. I also work on ApplyByAPI, a tool that helps companies focus on quality over quantity in their tech hiring process.

Recent Publications

Hello, Recruiter!

May 11, 2018

Hello Recruiter! Thank you very much for your message and your consideration. In order for me to consider the role more fully and determine if a call is warranted, would you please provide more information? Please send over a JD/role description including the following: The specific company that is hiring How they see the role and its associated responsibilities fitting into the future of the company Composition, size, and working style of the current team Reporting line for the role (up to Board/investors and two levels down) Compensation details, including a breakdown between fixed/variable cash and options/equity/bonus, if any Any additional information that you think would be relevant in considering if the role is a good fit I’m happy to consider the above information and determine if the role is a good fit for me. [Read more]

Developing Your AI BS Detector

April 5, 2018

Introduction I gave a talk at MaRS on this topic. The event was put on by Steve O’Neil and his team, who all did an excellent job. The venue was packed to standing-room only with a fantastic audience of 300-400 people. The goal of the event was to have a discussion around “Rational AI in the Enterprise.” I think all of the speakers did a wonderful job of honoring the topic. [Read more]

Serverless with Lambda, API Gateway, and Go

February 11, 2018

Intro Some time ago I made TinySite and I wrote an article about building the Biggest Smallest Website. As part of that work, I also built CompressTest in order to provide some insight on size of data post-compression for a few of the compress methods in the Go standard library. Those services were running on EC2 instances via Elastic Beanstalk, and while the cost wasn’t great, I have other side projects which, like those, require few resources and therefore result in EC2 instances which are mostly idling. [Read more]

Writing the job description

January 22, 2018

Writing the job description Ahh, the job description. It is the face of your company on job search sites. It sets the tone for all the rest of the hiring process that follows. It has the power to make or break your hiring success. It’s a shame they’re so often badly written. A good job description isn’t so different from a bad one. Mostly, it just has some of the letters in different places. [Read more]

The biggest smallest website

October 29, 2017

Introduction I was surfing the web and, as is often the case, I stumbled upon a cool project: the FastestWebsiteEver. It’s “the greatest website to ever fit in a single TCP packet.” I had a think about that for a minute, and checked out the actual site, and noticed that it’s approximately 1130 bytes transferred. Now depending on how fresh you are on your OSI Model, you might remember that there are 7 layers. [Read more]

From Enterprise Decentralization, to Tokenization, and Beyond!

October 4, 2017

Note: This is post which I co-authord with Don Gossman and is cross-posted to the Ocean Protocol site. We are putting together a blog series that tackles the lowly subject of enterprise transformation. Of particular importance will be data decentralization and how it will drastically change the way in which we interact and leverage data assets in the not-too-distant future (teaser: see Ocean Protocol). Simple topic, we know. In this first post, we will focus on the pitfalls of centralizing and consolidating IT capabilities, and what alternatives exist. [Read more]

Filtering for better tech hiring

September 6, 2017

Filtering for better tech In a previous article, we discussed a redesigned hiring process based on generating inbound demand coupled with effective automated filters. Ensuring that this process is streamlined requires further filters that determine the quality of your candidates with minimum friction at each step from application to employment. In this post, we’ll talk a bit more about the steps in that filtering process, how to design them, and what to consider along the way. [Read more]

Rethinking hiring

September 5, 2017

Rethink hiring: how automation helps tech startups get ahead Hiring is almost always difficult, especially when the hiring process isn’t designed in a way that supports the company’s objectives. In this article I’ll outline a few key points to imagining and redesigning the hiring process. We’ll discuss a focus on generating inbound applicant flow, minimizing steps in the hiring process by maximizing information gained at each step, and increasing use of automation throughout. [Read more]

Teammate to Team Lead

August 1, 2017

Introduction Growing organizations go through many changes on the journey of scaling up. A common one is the creation of new teams, and consequently, new team leaders. As startups move from teams of people, to teams of teams, former peers become leaders and must learn to excel in their new role. How do you tackle the challenges of being viewed differently and commanding a new level of respect, while at the same time remaining humble and approachable to your team? [Read more]

Faster command line tools with Go

May 29, 2017

Update After some input from u/epiris on Reddit, I improved the code a bit further by changing the way bytestreams are scanned. Current fastest runtime is 0.308s for 10,512,769 rows, or about 34 Million rows per second. Since the file is 184 Megabytes, this is a processing speed of about 600 Megabytes per second, which is probably close to the read speed limit of my SSD. It all started with a blog post, Faster Command Line Tools in D. [Read more]