👋 Hey! I’m Tim Jones.
In 2012, I founded Cribspot with Evan and Jason at the University of Michigan. Over 6 amazing years, we reinvented off-campus housing from search to lease signing to rent payments and everything in between.
I led engineering for a few years, eventually shifting to leading growth and building a sales team.
In 2015, we were accepted into the W15 batch of YCombinator. I met some incredible founders who became close friends. And the business grew like crazy.
We shut down in 2018 and joined Apartment List in San Francisco. There I led the logged-in renter product teams as a Senior Product Manager.
Outside of work, I love being disappointed by my favorite sports teams - the University of Michigan’s basketball and football teams and the Seattle Mariners.
I also love traveling. I traveled solo to Bali and Peru in 2019 and can’t wait to dust off the passport again sometime in 2021.
I’m building a startup in public!
The MVP Sprint is my adaptation of GV’s Design Sprint to the process of launching a startup.
I’ll be documenting my process from finding and validating a problem, defining a market, figuring out distribution, testing hypotheses, and eventually building an MVP, or minimum viable product.
Subscribe to weekly updates to follow along!
I find myself building the same stuff every time I start a new project - user accounts, navbars, tables, billing, etc.
So I’m building an app template that lets me skip all of that boilerplate from day one. I’m focusing right now on apps using Ruby on Rails and Bootstrap.
DinoSaaS teaches users how to build complete apps using the template with open-source MVPs and step-by-step tutorials.
I needed to schedule my in-person Global Entry interview.
But finding an appointment time at SFO was next to impossible; never mind an appointment time that coincided with another trip to the airport already on my calendar.
So I built an app to solve my own problem. Users can add multiple interview locations along with preferred date ranges for each. They receive email notifications as soon as new appointments come available matching those preferences.
This was just a fun side project; not a business I'll put much investment into.
Of course I began just before a global pandemic shut down international travel indefinitely 🤷♂️
GlobalEntryBot is built with Ruby on Rails, Postgres, Bootstrap, and hosted on Heroku.
I began at Apartment List leading the Supply team as Product Manager. There I set our company strategy for supply-side growth, forming partnerships with over a dozen property management platforms.
Next I moved on to our Marketplace group as Senior Product Manager. I eventually led both the Search and Discovery teams, which together owned our entire logged-in renter experience across web and mobile.
Our core focuses were collecting renters’ preferences, showing renters the most relevant search results, and figuring out how to optimally present property data across search results and individual property pages.
Out of ~7000 applications, we were one of only 140 companies to be funded as part of YC’s W15 batch.
During YC, we grew from 15 college towns to 170 nationwide over 3 months.
I cofounded Cribspot while studying Computer Science at the University of Michigan. Originally A2 Cribs, we wanted to solve the pain points we experienced while searching for off-campus housing in Ann Arbor.
After seeing quick success, we re-branded as Cribspot and launched at several more schools the following spring.
We continued to expand - first horizontally to 170+ colleges and universities, and later vertically - becoming a tech-enabled property manager.
We raised over $2.7mm over the years to accelerate our growth.
I started off leading engineering. While at YC, I switched over to lead our growth and sales functions.
Primarily focusing on supply-side growth, I led our expansion into the East Lansing and Chicago markets.