A little more about pubGENIUS

Hi, this is Kevin Stubbs, CEO and co-founder of pubGENIUS. I was asked to write a little more detail about who we are, where we came from, and what we’re doing now, so that candidates under consideration like yourself, can get to know us better before we work together.

pubGENIUS is an investor-backed US based startup that was founded in late 2018 between myself, Jeremy Crawford who is COO, and a couple other who parted ways. I was in Tbilisi, Georgia at the time and received a call from Jeremy explaining the basic premise of starting a business to provide publishers (website owners) with programmatic technology and services. At the time, header bidding was still young, having only become mainstream a couple years prior. Most of the companies at the time did not provide transparency, didn’t care about their engineering (just a means to an end for them), or their service (set it and forget it model for their clients – as soon as their client is set up, their team just moves onto the next without ever coming back to improve what they already did). We thought we could do better.

Well it took a while, but eventually we did do better. We’ve gone head to head against our competitors and beat them more often than not, sometimes even by more than double. That competitor in particular is one of our most well known competitors, started over a decade ago, works directly with Reddit, etc. So we’re pretty proud of that one!

Our foray into the programmatic advertising industry is a slow march of progress, but the pace is picking up. As a whole company, we probably averaged 10 people working for us in 2020. We just recently passed 20 people, and by the end of 2021 we are projecting to be between 30-50 strong. We’ve already made all the biggest mistakes one can make, we’ve hired great people, we’ve created processes that let everybody work and improve as efficiently as possible. While the rate of our growth in advertising is accelerating, we’ve also started another part of our business: software development consulting.

At the end of 2020, things were tough. There was a lot of turmoil up until that point in order to find solid footing for ourselves in a market that was too saturated to begin with. The engineering team at pubGENIUS is really top notch, so we decided to experiment with applying that strength to consulting. Over the past 6 months, the consulting side has been growing, learning from our mistakes, and now we’re ready for the explosive growth stage. We are hiring for this team as quickly as we can find strong developers that meet our high standards for hires.

Some of the projects we are working on for clients include:

  • A social media application called Kandiid for iOS and Android,
  • A sports analytics system we are building from scratch for soccer (European football) teams which is being evaluated by top teams such as AC Roma and Dinamo Kyiv.
  • Maintaining and extending teamsyncbookmarks.com and their Chrome extension.
  • friendkey.io which is a Chrome extension to help social media influencers manage their followers on Facebook.

And many more projects too. For the most part we are focusing on browser extensions. We are finding this to be a very strong area of growth for us, and will think about expanding to other niches in the future.

As for our teams; our people in North America are focused on the advertising technology & services side of the business, while in Europe we are focused mostly on the software consulting side. Everybody works remotely, with flexible work hours, and is encouraged to travel, learn new languages, and enjoy life.

Extensions Development Team

We have a solid history of browser extension development for our clients; using the Chrome Extensions API (https://developer.chrome.com/docs/extensions/reference/). We develop extensions as React+Redux applications, with TypeScript; these apps have access to extensions only features such as manipulating tabs, cross-tab communication, or injecting scripts onto pages in order to achieve some goal that helps users in some way. If a backend is needed, we strongly prefer NodeJS w/ TypeScript, and a relational database. Infrastructure set up and maintenance is handled by our full-time devops engineer. The duration of extension project development is as short as 2 days, and as long as “forever” (maintain and extend at regular pace).

Team

The team itself currently consists of a dev lead, and one developer. Our PM is overseeing extension projects until we hire a full-time PM for this team, and I am also spending some time to help out on some coding tasks & meetings as needed.

How we work

We use a few agile methodologies to manage our projects, but with a light touch, which is organized by our PM; so kanban boards, sprints, etc. We don’t do time consuming meetings such as sprint retro, and try to cut out as many interrupting meetings as possible so that we can all focus on things that we enjoy 🙂  We have a 15 minute standup call 4 days a week, to make sure we are on track for the day’s deliverables, as well as written status updates at the beginning of each day. Besides that, we are typically only communicating with each other over Slack.

Team growth and personal growth

By the end of August, we aim for the team to be : 1 dev lead, 1 dedicated PM (only focused on extension projects), and 5-8 developers. At that point, we will most likely be looking to expand into other consulting niches. We will be playing with a lot of cool cutting edge frameworks, a wide variety of different architectures, codebases, and project ideas. And as we care more that we enjoy how we spend our time and lifelong learning, than we do about making money, this will be a great team to join in order to meet your career goals more quickly.

// Kevin
July 14th, 2021