My name is Javier Cardenete. I:
- Build software.
- Grow humans.
- Scribble essays.
- Speak Spanish, Portuguese and English.
I live in San Francisco, California 🇺🇸 and oversee a few engineering teams at ClassPass as a Director of Engineering.
I was born and raised in Granada, Spain 🇪🇸.
As a kid, I built stuff, played basketball and typed. Yes, I spent a lot of time writing random stories in a typing machine.
When I was 13, my dad got his first computer, which got me from machine-typing into computer-coding: Modula-2, Bash, C, Linux Kernel, etc. When the family eventually got an Internet connection, I went all in with Perl, PHP and IRC bots.
At 18, I enrolled in University of Granada to study Computer Science.
While at University of Granada, I got a scholarship to study one year at University of Miami 🇺🇸. Neither me or my parents had ever travel abroad before, so this was quite the deal.
I had a freaking good year abroad at University of Miami, where I specialized in AI and pool parties.
Getting closer to my graduation, I got a scholarship offer for a PhD in AI in Miami. And I rejected it. Why? I made a bet on building & shipping more than doing research. I moved back to 🇪🇸 to join a nascent AI startup (IActive) as the 4th software engineer.
IActive built a SaaS for resource planning with AI, specifically leveraging a proprietary Hierarchical Task Network (HTN) planning implementation.
During my 4-year tenure at IActive, we raised $3M+ and grew the team 10x. I did my first stint in a tech lead role while there. Unfortunately, the company was eventually shattered by the Global Financial Crisis where the budget for innovation in Spain was cut to 0.
In 2012 I moved to Rio de Janeiro 🇧🇷 to co-found Nativoo as CTO.
Nativoo, which is still live, is an AI-powered travel planner in your pocket. Our vision was to become an intelligent version of Tripadvisor: based on your preferences and usage, Nativoo creates custom itineraries in less than 5 seconds. The product leveraged an evolution of the AI technology that IActive developed.
We raised money from Sbtur, a Brazilian travel group. After a 3-year attempt at a global plan, some countries were not working as good as we expected. We scaled back to just focus on the Brazilian market. Nativoo was eventually absorbed by Sbtur where I stayed for 6 months to guarantee a smooth transition before leaving the company and Brazil.
In 2016 I moved to San Francisco 🇺🇸 to co-found Vivo Fitness as CTO.
Vivo started as a meditation app based on audio guides, like Calm or Headspace but with a social component. Over time, we pivoted into all of wellness and Vivo became a personal trainer and a nutritionist in your headphones.
We raised $1M from NFX and other angel investors. After 3 years, in 2018 ClassPass acquired Vivo. At the time, ClassPass was investing in the digital fitness space, and Vivo was exactly what they wanted.
For the first 18 months, I ran engineering for ClassPass Go, the evolution of Vivo and the audio offering of ClassPass.
After 18 months, I transitioned into the main ClassPass organization. I have overseen several mission critical orgs like Catalog & Partners, International Expansion, and Internal Operations.
During my time in ClassPass I also got my Green Card, after a couple of O1 visas.