Alan Warren worked at Google for nearly 12 years
before making the leap to health insurance startup Oscar earlier this week.
Warren helped build Google’s New York City office from 50 engineers to more than 3,000 and most recently led engineering for products like Docs and Drive as well as its “Classroom” education efforts.
He tells Business Insider that he’s excited to work on a smaller team — Oscar has 400 employees and as CTO he’ll be working closely with its 55 engineers — but admits that he’ll miss one thing in particular about working for an enormous, sprawling company like Google. And it’s not the gorgeous offices or cushy perks.
It’s getting to see all the drastically different kinds of projects his colleagues were hustling on.
“Google has the luxury of being able to spin-off in lots of different directions, from self-driving cars to AlphaGo’s artificial intelligence and machine learning,” he says. “And that was always fun to have an ‘inside tap’ into. It’s very exciting to get to see those things very early on, and have people working on those kinds of things around you. I will miss having that inside peek into wildly different arenas.”
Oscar, on the other hand, is highly focused on health care and finding new ways to use technology to make health insurance cheaper and easier to understand.
“It’s also very cool to be in a place where people are singularly focused on a common mission,” Warren says. “And that’s Oscar through-and-through.”