October 10–11, 2016  •  San Francisco, CA
Paul English

Paul English
Cofounder, Lola


How can we not feature a guy who says that he wants his new startup to “make humans cool again”? Paul’s vision of pairing up AI and human expertise to create a far better user experience than either could do alone is at the very heart of the Next Economy story and has so much to teach us about how to do business in the future.

— Tim O’Reilly

Quotes from Paul

If anyone asks what I do for a living, I usually say I’m an engineer, and then I ask what they do. It’s more interesting to hear about other people.

I want to make humans cool again.

Technology should enable humans; it shouldn’t get in the way.

As a programmer, technology comes easy to me. But there are some things more important than technology.


Paul English is a cofounder of Lola, an on-demand personal travel service powered by humans and AI; the founder of GetHuman, a service created as a rage against the IVR machine with the goal to restore sanity to customer service by employing actual humans; and cofounder of Summits Education, an organization that is building education systems in rural Haiti. Paul is a director of Partners In Health and Village Health Works, both of which provide quality healthcare to populations living in extreme poverty. Paul is also focusing his attention on the problem of homelessness in Boston.

Previously, Paul was CTO of Kayak, a travel company he cofounded in 2004, took public in 2012, and sold to Priceline in 2013; president of Boston Light Software, an ecommerce company sold to Intuit, where Paul then served as VP of technology; a cofounder and director (with his brother Ed) of Intermute, a security software company sold to Trend Micro; an entrepreneur-in-residence at Greylock; the founder of the World Xiangqi League; VP of engineering at NetCentric; and SVP of engineering and product management at Interleaf. He has also done contract programming for the US Air Force, operations research programming for Data General, programming for a medical device company, and even some video game software and sound-effect development. Paul was named Chief Technology Officer of the Year by Mass Technology Leadership Council in 2009. Paul is the subject of Tracy Kidder’s book Truck Full of Money. He grew up in Boston, where his first job was delivering the Boston Globe. (As you might guess, Paul is a Red Sox fan, and his accent gets worse in bahs.) Paul holds a BS and MS in computer science from the University of Massachusetts.