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FAQ

Who works at Deft?
It’s just us for now (
and
) 🙂 That said, we’re actively working on growing the team and if you do join Deft as employee #1, you’d be shaping who we end up hiring.
We’re both technical. Right now Alex does most of the coding and Zach does most of the user growth work. We’ve founded multiple startups before and we are both winners, founders, and alumni.
Fun facts about Alex:
I speak (rustily fluent) European Portuguese and some Cape Verdean Creole. Also some Latin. Tried out spoken Sanskrit for a month too!
I’m classically trained in piano and I love improvising. Some people have told me my improvisations sound like an orchestral soundtrack.
My wife and I have been married for ~6 years (definitely feels like 2!) and we have a very cute 1.5-year-old son.

Fun facts about Zach:
I’m currently learning sewing to craft some outdoor gear. Any beginner tips much appreciated!
My newest fitness obsession is Jiu Jitsu (safely and when COVID permits).
I’m terrible at pop culture references. Since moving to LA, I’ve serendipitously eaten dinner with two celebrities and had no idea who they were.
Where is Deft located?
We have no official office, although we do have a small co-working spot in Los Angeles that we pop into if you like a physical space 🙂
How do you handle remote/distributed work?
We're equally fine with in-person and remote work! Anywhere within 3 hours of Pacific Time is just fine (North/South America, Hawaii, etc.), as long as we don't need to do US visa sponsorship or handle non-US legal complexities.
What’s the hiring process like?
From start to finish, it’ll take less than 2 weeks (max) to get a yes/no from us.
We’ll do a quick 30-minute call to make sure we’re on the same page.
We’ll review some of your work (github or otherwise). If you don’t have anything that you’d like to share, we can do a quick coding sample related to what you’d be doing on the job.
We’ll look over your coding sample together for a short bit, and then you’ll talk with both of us founders — no tricks or puzzles (3-4 hours).
How many people are you hiring?
We’re hiring 3 engineers over the next year (total team size of 5) full-time. This team is going to scale us to tens of thousands of active users as we progress to product-market fit.
Open to interns?
Not at this time. We don’t have the bandwidth necessary to offer a stellar internship program. We need to invest every ounce of energy making a great product first. We might reconsider early 2023.
Have you raised any money?
Yes! Happy to tell you over the phone. It’s in the >$1M range from amazing firms and people like , , , , , , , , , , , , , and more across the e-commerce, payments, blockchain, and AI/ML spaces.
Do you provide benefits?
Yes — medical, dental, vision, and 401(k) (no match), along with substantial equity. We’re aiming to tailor our benefits to our first few hires’ needs, so let us know if there’s more you’d like us to consider.
What stage is the product at?
We’re currently in beta. We have paid monthly active users searching with us every day and they love it! We batch in users each week. We’re in the 1-100 range, and are looking for engineers that can build for scale while also keeping their imagination open to how to build a great new search engine. We’re happy to show you Deft on a call if you haven’t been let in from the waitlist yet.
How do you make money?
We’re freemium, with subscriptions offered to our power users. There are other models we’re testing, but this is the model driving us to our next milestone.
How does the product work?
We’ve created an early form of “true
” (as opposed to just ) to enable e-commerce search with deep understanding. To do this, we’ve built our own parsers, hybrid models, data representations, and more.
Today, we’re a web app (like Google and DuckDuckGo). In the near future you’ll be able to search with Deft from anywhere (via browser extensions and plugins).
How big could this be?
Even if we only stayed in our first verticals of home decor and furniture, our size could mirror that of Wayfair, one of the 250 largest companies in the US, whose revenue was $4B last year. We plan to expand across categories and tackle e-commerce search at large, which easily presents a market of >$500B. Think Amazon 2.0, but without having to deal with warehousing/fulfillment complexities.
According to Statista, 230.5M people shopped or browsed products online just in the US () and that number is growing. Our search could theoretically cater to all of them.
Here’s an opinion piece on the subject that mentions Deft:
Also, a relevant Paul Graham :
Screen Shot 2021-11-10 at 10.31.39 AM.png
Has COVID-19 affected your business?
Yes, for the better. The timing is ideal for a company like Deft to exist and grow rapidly. Online shopping was already growing significantly before the pandemic; COVID greatly accelerated that trend. Online retail sales rose 32% YoY in 2020 and have had even higher performance in 2021. There’s good reason to think that trend is here to stay.
How to get in touch:
If this seems interesting, send us a quick email at jobs@shopdeft.com and we’ll be in touch ASAP!

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