Brian Howenstein on How ClusterTruck is Innovating Food Delivery

About this Episode

Published February 18, 2021 | Duration: 59:23 | RSS Feed | Direct download
Transcript: English

ClusterTruck, a master of vertical integration, is rewriting the method of end-to-end food delivery and ghost kitchens. Today we speak with ClusterTruck Product VP Brian Howenstein to find out more about his journey in programming, ClusterTruck as an end-to-end food service, and how Elixir became mission-critical to the success of the business.

We kick things off by hearing more on Brian’s childhood and how he became interested in programming. We then hear about his internship at Apple where he was part of the Core OS networking team. Brian touches on brushing shoulders with Steve Jobs, Jony Ivy, and Tim Cook, and shares how these personalities changed his view of the tech industry. Later in the show, we turn our attention to current times. Brian expands on his role at ClusterTruck and shares details on how Elixir has played a vital role in the company’s success. We hear his take on vertical integration, why they’d never consider third-party delivery companies, and much more. We then briefly digress to Brian’s hobby: the Scottish Games, before returning to ClusterTruck to find out what his favorite menu items are and what the future holds for food delivery and ghost kitchens.

Be sure to stay tuned to enjoy our mini-feature where we speak with Michelle Morry, a software engineer at FuturePet. For all things Elixir, be sure to join us today!

Bonus: If you’re in Indianapolis, IN, Columbus, OH, or Kansas City, MO, download the ClusterTruck app and use code “ELIXIRWIZARDS” at checkout for a one-time 25% discount on your ClusterTruck order. Good for a single use for both new and returning customers.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • A call to all talented engineering managers to join our team!
  • Introducing today’s guest, Brian Howenstein.
  • Brian tells us about his company, ClusterTruck.
  • Hear about Brian’s background in technology and programming.
  • What inspired Brian to do programming professionally.
  • Brian tells us about his internship at Apple.
  • Hear one of Brian’s fondest anecdotes about Jony Ive.
  • Brian shares notes on his path to Elixir.
  • Why Elixir has had such an impact on ClusterTruck’s success.
  • ClusterTruck’s origin story.
  • Brian talks about ClusterTruck’s vertical integration model.
  • How Brian got the people around him to buy into Elixir and the hurdles that came with it.
  • Brian talks about his journey to become a ClusterTruck VP.
  • Brian tells us about his hobby and we digress to World’s Strongest Man controversy.
  • How COVID has affected Brian’s business.
  • Nerves projects at ClusterTruck and how it’s being used.
  • What the future looks like for ClusterTruck.
  • Brian’s advice for people who are trying to get their company to code in Elixir.
  • How ClusterTruck is using LiveView.
  • Brian’s favorite and least favorite menu items.
  • Stay tuned for our quick mini-feature.

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

ClusterTruck — https://www.clustertruck.com/
ClusterTruck Hiring — https://www.notion.so/clustertruck/Engineering-Openings-at-ClusterTruck-ef2372d2c2ab43b3b82f56a097c86eeb
Cabermetrics — https://www.cabermetrics.com/
Brain Howenstein on LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/brianhowenstein/
Brain Howenstein on Twitter — https://twitter.com/hwrd
Indianapolis Scottish Games Festival — https://indyscotgamesandfest.com/
Purdue University — https://www.purdue.edu/
SimCity — https://www.ea.com/en-gb/games/simcity
Apple — https://www.apple.com/
Jony Ive — https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jonathan-Ive
Tim Cook — https://twitter.com/tim_cook
Steve Jobs — https://www.biography.com/business-figure/steve-jobs
Uber Eats — https://www.ubereats.com/za
ExactTarget — https://www.linkedin.com/company/exacttarget/
Salesforce — https://www.salesforce.com/
DoorDash — https://www.doordash.com/en-US
GrubHub — https://www.grubhub.com/
The World’s Strongest Man — http://theworldsstrongestman.com/
Raspberry Pi — https://www.raspberrypi.org/
Indy Elixir - Using Elixir at ClusterTruck: Milliseconds Matter When Your Users are Hangry — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LMzYTK6dsE&ab_channel=IndyElixir
Indy Elixir - /hungry until food arrives: How ClusterTruck uses Elixir to make ordering for a Team Simple — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY2XeIENMRw&ab_channel=IndyElixir
ClusterTruck: Liberate Your Appetite — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNC3vrrxNWM&ab_channel=ClusterTruck
Sean in the City: ClusterTruck Indy — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-nusA13LYJI&ab_channel=B105.7Indy
ClusterTruck + Slack — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6t8aZQPB68&ab_channel=ClusterTruck

Special Guests: Brian Howenstein and Sundi Myint.