Friday Faces: Amelia Friedman
For this week’s Friday Faces Series, we interviewed Amelia Friedman. Amelia co-founded Hatch in 2015 and now runs operations as COO. Read on to learn more about how we were founded and what Amelia does for Hatch now (psst: she just might be the glue holding everything together!)
What were you doing before you co-founded Hatch?
Well, while I was in college, I was super interested in language education, which led me to founding an organization that trained native speakers to teach courses in languages like Swahili, Thai, and Bengali. Eventually, we were operating in several cities and generating revenue. So, because I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do post-grad, I moved to DC and continued to grow the organization. We incorporated it as a nonprofit and grew it to operate in 7 different cities and 32 different languages. I learned a ton from the experience— from how to manage teams to small accounting work.
So, when did Hatch become a part of your life?
In 2015, I was awarded the Halcyon Fellowship which is where I met this really awesome guy [our other co-founder], Param Jaggi. He pitched me on Hatch, and I knew that I could not pass up the opportunity to work with Param. I thought Hatch was a really incredible technology idea and I had no doubts about its success with Param behind it.
What was the process of founding Hatch like?
Well, I can tell you that it wasn’t always glamorous. Our first year was absolutely crazy. We had this awesome idea and this vision, but at that moment we had a lot of money going out and not a lot coming in. We quickly realized we were going to need money to make this idea work, or to at least feed ourselves in the process. We had limited traction at that point, so we weren’t ready to raise capital. We had to think of something we could sell right at that moment so we could raise money to build our product. That’s when we thought of our card game that helped us raise $100,000 and really get the ball rolling.
As COO, what is your role at Hatch?
Basically, I work with everything internal at Hatch. Anything relating to the team, from hiring to management and support is my responsibility. I also contribute to individual teams. I help with marketing projects, support product design and help with product planning. I also deal with the small but important details like legal business and our expenditures. Overall, I do whatever I can to help our team continue to move quickly and efficiently.
Do you have a favorite part of your job?
I really like hiring. I like the process of figuring out what we are looking for and how we can screen for it. Making sure we build a good applicant experience is also important to me and I’m happy to say this process is getting continuously stronger. Anything that deals with the process of how we execute on things, like feedback and internal processes and handoffs, I enjoy as well.
What do you think makes Hatch different from other software development solutions?
The biggest thing that I think makes us different is that we aren’t thinking about how to maximize profits from individual customers. That matters because by not making that our primary goal, we’re able to focus on more long-term goals, like how we as a company can build a really strong product. We aren’t concerned with how we can charge people more, but instead, we’re genuinely concerned about how we can make our software more effective, efficient and higher quality. In the end, because of this, we end up with lower prices and faster deployment.
What do you want customers to see when using Hatch?
I always hope that customers realize that Hatch is a comprehensive solution. When building with us customers don’t need to hire other services; our dashboard really gives customers all they would need from building and design to analytics. Our quality is also pretty incredible for our price point. The last thing I really hope people realize about Hatch is how much our team cares. I’ve seen our team members jump through hoops of fire to help a customer to make what they want happen. As we grow we want to hold on to that…we want to make sure that the customer is always happy.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I like to run, write and contribute to the local tech community. I launched the DC chapter of the Vinetta Project, which is a really great community of female founders in the DC area. I spend a lot of time with these awesome female founders. I also love to spend time with my family and friends.
What do you see or hope for the future of Hatch?
Our vision is that eventually every time someone is going to build a piece of software they will first check to see if they can build it with Hatch. We want to be the first stop in their process. Down the line, we want to have a ton of really happy customers that wouldn’t have been able to build their software before Hatch existed. We’re also really well-positioned to make the software development industry more fair, transparent and customer-friendly than it is today. We hope that we are challenging other people in our industry to think about how they can be more transparent with their process in terms of pricing, quality and other factors. I know that software development should be affordable and accessible by now, and I also know that we can play a big role in making that happen.