I love to cook. It's a fun and creative outlet that can be enjoyed every day.
My occasional travels abroad convince me that everyone should try slowing down a bit and really focus on the nightly family dinner. Get together, often, with friends over a good meal. Life is too short, and the many lasting benefits of regular all-family meals are well-documented.
I also love technology and the Web.
So, back in 2000, I began to look closely at how the Web could help each of us solve the "what can I make tonight?" problem that hits us every day. Most of the recipe sites I tried at the time seemed, to me, overly cluttered with ads, and not really targeted at the end-to-end problem we face in putting together a meal, from recipe discovery through grocery shopping and tip-sharing. BigOven is all about solving this "what should we make tonight?" problem, in a personalized way, for you.
As part of this, I thought there should be a place where people could meet, swap their favorite recipes, and plan their meals more easily.
BigOven's grown dramatically since I launched it. As just one measure, as of August 2008, BigOven had over 140,000 members and more than 1 million unique users each month, up more than three-fold year over year. But it's primarily still a labor of love. Quite honestly, I'm lucky enough at this stage of my life where money isn't my top priority; this freedom allows a great deal of flexibility.
Thirty years ago, not yet in junior high school, I furiously ripped open the box to a brand new Apple ][+ and wrote my first program. I pretty quickly decided that's what I wanted to do with my life, and went to Carnegie Mellon University for an Applied Math/Computer Science degree, then to Stanford University in California for a Masters in Computer Science. I worked at Bell Communications Research (Bellcore) for a couple years on communications services for the telephone companies, and then, wanting to build a business in technology, I went to Harvard Business School for an MBA. I worked for Microsoft for about 7 years, then left and started an online travel company, VacationSpot.com, which grew pretty quickly before it was acquired by Expedia Inc. for $87 million in 2000. At Expedia, I led the vacation packages team, before departing in early 2002.
On BigOven.com, you get a lot of stuff for free. You'll meet people who have exactly the same food tastes, desires and constraints as you. I think the daily chore of deciding what to cook each night, getting the household grocery list assembled, visiting the store, making it, plating it, and sharing your successes and tips with others can be made easier, and more fun, with great people and great technology.
What are your dreams for the site? What would help you answer the "what should I make tonight?" problem? How can BigOven be a better solution for you?
Drop by the Feature Requests section of the Message Board and send us your thoughts. We're listening!
News on BigOven
BigOven, a recipe site out of Seattle is growing leaps and bounds. The tiny start up has introduced a new logo and online tools, like a Windows software and an iPhone app at a the perfect... more