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Make Data Work
Oct 15–17, 2014 • New York, NY

Unboxing Data Startups – Gilt Groupe, Airbnb, and Lookout

Michael Abbott (Stanford University), Will Moss (Airbnb), Geoff Guerdat (Gilt Groupe), Emil Ong (Lookout)
4:15pm–4:55pm Thursday, 10/16/2014
Business & Industry
Location: 1 E14/1 E15
Tags: retail
Average rating: ****.
(4.20, 10 ratings)

Most people are familiar with the basic principles driving today’s hottest big data and enterprise companies. But what’s really going on underneath the hood? In this session, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers General Partner Michael Abbott speaks with Geoff Guerdat of the Gilt Groupe, Will Moss of Airbnb, and Emil Ong of Lookout, to unbox their respective companies and examine the technology, architecture, and innovations they’ve harnessed to deliver superior products and services.

Photo of Michael Abbott

Michael Abbott

Stanford University

Mike Abbott joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2011 and focuses on investments in the firm’s digital practice, helping entrepreneurs in the social, mobile and cloud computing sectors rapidly scale teams and ventures. Mike serves as an expert resource on enterprise infrastructure, cloud computing and “big data.” He also helps entrepreneurs win the race for talent in a hyper-competitive recruitment environment.

An engineering leader, entrepreneur and investor, Mike led the building of innovative, high-performance applications and services at Twitter, Palm and Microsoft before he joined KPCB. Mike is also an expert in “big data” businesses, having been the founder of Composite Software (acquired by Cisco). Formerly the vice president of engineering at Twitter, Mike led the team to rebuild and solidify Twitter’s infrastructure, growing the engineering team from 80 to more than 350 engineers in less than a year and a half, and scaling Twitter’s architecture to support hundreds of millions of daily tweets. Before joining Twitter, Mike led the software development team at Palm that created HP/Palm’s next-generation webOS platform. Earlier in his career, Mike was the general manager at Microsoft for .NET online services, which became Azure. He was also co-founder of Passenger Inc. Mike has advised and invested in numerous software companies throughout his career, including Cloudera, Hearsay Labs, Jawbone, Saynow, Reverb Technologies, Toytalk and Locu.

Mike holds a bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University and has completed coursework toward a Ph.D. at the University of Washington.

Will Moss


Will is a software engineer at Airbnb in San Francisco, CA. Airbnb is a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world. Before that, he worked for Bump Technologies and got his masters from UNC at Chapel Hill.

Geoff Guerdat

Gilt Groupe

Geoff is the Director of Data Engineering at Gilt, an e-commerce shopping website offering members a luxury lifestyle through clothing, home decor, and local activities. Gilt’s Data Engineering team is a technical team responsible for information architecture, data warehousing, reporting, data science, a/b testing and web analytics. Every day Geoff enjoys destroying and rebuilding architectures, motorcycles, snowboards and old cars. His technical background ranges from large scale HPC architecture to data science with a handful of pit stops in between.

Photo of Emil Ong

Emil Ong


Emil Ong is a Principal Software Engineer at Lookout, focusing on data and services infrastructure for the company’s mobile security offerings. Before arriving at Lookout, he took a brief detour out of modern technology into the world of craft jewelry, gaining an appreciation for product development and craftsmanship along the way. He received his M.S. in Computer Science from UC Berkeley with a focus on security and cryptography.

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Shashi Shankar
10/30/2014 6:42am EDT

Are you planning to post the presentation deck on this site?