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Developer Spotlight Series - David McDonough from CommonStock

Developer Spotlight Series - David McDonough from CommonStock

Mar 14, 2019

Winner of the first SendBird Developer Spotlight Series

Since the announcement of the inaugural Developer Spotlight Series, we were excited to learn about the innovative ways user-to-user messaging connects people and businesses. We were thrilled to see all the entries and so many neat products and apps. Given all of the responses from the SendBird developer community, it was difficult to choose just one.

david headshot cropped

Without further ado, the winner of the first SendBird Developer Spotlight series is David McDonough, the founder and CEO of CommonStock. During our conversations with David, we loved his personal story about how his mother used to teach him about stocks at a young age, but also his wayward path earning money for medical school and becoming a VC to working at Google and, finally, building a product to help him and others fund similar end-goals

Here’s a little more about David and his project in his own words:

What is CommonStock?

CommonStock ios + web no background

CommonStock provides group chat for investing: It connects friends and family who want to teach each other how to invest and share knowledge. Think of it like a Bloomberg terminal to talk about stocks, personal finance and events, get alerts if someone buys/sells, etc.

Tell us a little about yourself and why you were inspired to create CommonStock?

My mom taught me stocks at a young age by showing me her phone. During the 2008 financial crisis, I created the first investment club as a way to learn how to invest and earn money for medical school. The group would share knowledge, analyze companies, and buy stocks together. I fell in love with investing, especially in tech companies, so I scrapped med-school to become a VC investor. While investing in startups, I taught myself to code and started building websites on the side. I then joined Google to develop product strategy and build software for VCs.

10 years later, with that original group still active, I started coding a hacky website to discuss trades, share knowledge and invest together. When the site exploded in popularity, I left Google to build CommonStock full time. My life changed because it was easy and fun to share investment knowledge. My hope is that is that CommonStock can help change other people’s lives as well and improve the world's financial health.

How was your experience using SendBird to build CommonStock?

Incredible! We originally were on Layer, but it was terrible since it couldn’t handle our scale and we had no support. SendBird has amazing support engineers and the product is amazing. Whether we have 2-20 or thousands of users in a channel, SendBird’s been able to easily match our scale reliably. SendBird’s website was amazing too, but developer support was the big differentiator. Setup and on boarding was extremely painless and migration was super easy. SendBird held our hand throughout and gave us white glove service. We were able to build out our front end, mobile and backend in 3 weeks.

As the winner of January’s Developer Spotlight Series, David won a $100 Amazon gift card, SendBird swag and of course this spotlight article. Congrats again David!

Want a chance to share your developer story and SendBird project on our blog? Submit your project here. Looking forward to sharing more SendBird developer stories on the next Spotlight series blog.

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