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Nick Marden

Entrepreneur • Advisor Greater Boston Area, US

Founder, Rapid River Software. Two decades as lead Engineer at startups ranging in size from 1-1000, and in outcome from implosion to IPO

Founder, Rapid River Software. Two decades as lead Engineer at startups ranging in size from 1-1000, and in outcome from implosion to IPO

12 vouches

Primary Skillsets

  • Other Engineering
  • Fundraising
  • Back End Engineering
I don't yet have an idea I'm excited about
I don’t have much time for the next several months

Primary Cofounder Skillsets

  • • Other Engineering
  • • Fundraising
  • • Back End Engineering

Involved In


Rapid River Software




Founder Rapid River Software August 2013 - present
Principal Software Engineer Akamai Technologies, Inc. January 2001 - January 2003
Director of Systems Engineering Get Satisfaction October 2011 - August 2013
Chief Technology Officer RMG Technology (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. May 2010 - October 2011
Chief Architect VerticalResponse April 2005 - May 2010
Director of Software Engineering Vert, Inc. June 2003 - April 2005
Principal Software Engineer Akamai Technologies January 2001 - January 2003
Software Consultant Yaga, Inc. January 2000 - January 2001
Technical Director, Inc. 1997 - 1999
Software Developer March 1996 - November 1997
Software Engineer Individual October 1994 - September 1995


Massachusetts Institute of Technology Condensed Matter and Materials Physics 1995 - 1996
The University of Chicago Physics, Math 1989 - 1993

Interested In

Cofounder With
  • • UI/Design
Markets of Interest
  • • Advertising
  • • Cloud Services
  • • Education
  • • Financial Services
  • • Games
  • • Mobile
  • • Payments
  • • Sports

You Should Know About Me

Key Strengths

Linux • Mysql • Perl • Oracle • Ubuntu

Key Accomplishments

I've been working in technology startups for 20 years. I've been the lead engineer, or a lead engineer, at companies that have gone public, been acquired, or otherwise been quite successful. I like working in small teams, on meaningful projects, with a concrete chance of a substantial upside. I've worked as the only engineer at several startups, and I've created/grown/managed teams of up to 15 engineers at others.

How I like to work with people As a Cofounder

My working style is very casual and very low BS. I like working with very smart people who will teach me new things and challenge my assumptions. I will do the same. I tend to keep later hours, work a ton, and be available seven days a week.

I love new problem spaces. Most internet technology applies equally to all of them, so moving from one to another is a way to keep work interesting while leveraging all the stuff I've learned since I got my first Unix shell account in 1989.

I ask a lot of probing questions about business ideas and models because in my experience this is where the rubber really hits the proverbial road. Technical details such as design and implementation, although critical to the business and (typically) entirely my problem to handle, tend to be straightforward and manageable if the business goals are sane and clear.

As an Advisor

I'm most valuable getting a clear view of the actual facts on the (technical) ground and providing concrete suggestions about potential danger areas, improvements, and optimizations. I'm not the type to talk high-level blah-blah crap about "cloud this" or "agile that". If you want my advice, it will usually amount to one of two things: * Identifying a small number of places where You're Doing It Wrong and helping you understand a better/cheaper/faster/more maintainable way to do things * Sketching out the skeleton of a design for a new product offering or improvement in the context of an existing product or system.

Vouches Received

Vouches Given

Think Nick is awesome?
Vouch for them.

Brad Harkavy
We worked together
Nick is a solid architect with a long history of engagement with successful startups
Nathan Smith
We worked together at Get Satisfaction
Nick has a ton of hands-on experience building successful large-scale applications for companies of various sizes. In many cases he has been ... involved in the business side of things as well. He's an inspiring leader that knows how to really pull projects and teams together. I first worked with him at VerticalResponse where I helped maintain and eventually build the systems he designed. His projects had a huge impact on the company, and working with him was a fantastic growth opportunity for me. We worked together again at GetSatisfaction where he, among other things, completely rebuilt the way they manage their production systems and deploy applications. The projects I worked on with him there were the most rewarding. I'm excited to see him move in a more entrepreneurial direction, and I can't wait to see what he does next.
Wes Bailey
We worked together at VerticalResponse
Nick is an incredible talent and one of the smartest people I have ever met. He is driven, focused with excellent critical analysis skills ... that will win any argument. He also bangs out code faster than anyone I know which is important for technical founders.
Jonathan Clay
We worked together at Get Satisfaction
I have worked with Nick for many years at two different startups. He is one of the best engineers I have ever worked with, he communicates ... well and is incredibly driven to do whatever it takes to solve hard problems. He has been instrumental in the success of the companies that he has worked with.
Will Koffel
We worked together at Akamai Technologies, Inc.  •  Advisor, BookBub and Chief Elucidation Officer, ClearlyTech. Massachusetts Institute of Technology grad.
I've known Nick in a few capacities, including being a former co-founder with him. He is painfully smart. He is a true software craftsman, ... without letting the craft interfere with a pragmatic approach to using technology as a tool to serve business needs. For numerous companies he has been a "white knight", swooping in to clean up wide-ranging technology and product issues. He's created tens of millions of dollars in enterprise values for those companies, and he's more than ready to jump into doing it again for his own business with a great founding team. Nick is a technology mentor, a natural engineering leader without being an overbearing "manager type", which earns him the respect of his often-younger geek peers. He's one of the unicorns of tech founders, and an ideal candidate for Founder Dating.
Stephen Lee
We worked together at Get Satisfaction
He's technologically brilliant and able to communicate ideas (technical or not) clearly and effectively. Has the ability to both "zoom out" ... and see the big picture, and then focus in on the tiny details of getting it done.
Calum Halcrow
We worked together
Extremely hard-working, executes on ideas very quickly.
We worked together
Combination of intelligence and risk taking when joins with vast amount of knowledge can help in doing the new things in the right way.
We worked together
Nick is comfortable working at all levels in the application stack as well as communicating outside of engineering to understand the busines ... s and product requirements and explain technology factors.
We worked together at
I've worked with Nick at two startups. He has an amazing sense of what needs to be done and gets it done. He has vision, determination and e ... nthusiasm.
Joshua Feinberg
We worked together at VerticalResponse
Nick is probably the smartest, most productive technologist I've ever worked with. He has consistently impressed me with his ability to arch ... itect and execute solutions to complex technical challenges that others would run away from. I personally worked closely with Nick on many projects at my current company he was always able to clearly articulate problems and his proposed solutions for both technical and non-technical audiences within the company. His personality and sense of humor are contagious and he brings an energy to a development team that's both inspiring and motivating. Nick has earned the trust of C-level folks and Sales and Customer Support reps due to his tireless work ethic and his ability to consistently hit business-critical deadlines. In short, Nick is a top-notch technical mind and an overall great guy and I highly recommend him.
We worked together at VerticalResponse
Nick is one of the most brilliant programmers I've ever worked with. He is also hard-working, reliable, thoughtful, creative, able to commun ... icate clearly to techies and non-techies, and is an all-around great person to have on your team.

Will Koffel
We worked together
I've worked with Will in several capacities: as a colleague at Akamai, as a Cofounder of an Uber-ten-years-before-its-time service called Jo ... hnnyCab, and in various informal settings over the years. Will is absolutely brilliant. He focuses on the bigger picture, but has ample chops to dive into any (new or mature) technology to get the job done. I look to him as a thought leader on new technology trends and opportunities, because he truly does see things happening before other mortals like myself.

Caty Kobe
Director of Community, Get Satisfaction. Previously Senior Manager -- Community, Support, and Education, Get Satisfaction. San Francisco State g
Caty is a tireless promoter of successful and smart techniques for community engagement in the social world. In any role, I would expect her ... intelligence, enthusiasm and get-'er-done approach to be an enormous asset.