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startups

once more unto the breach

I started my first business in a coffee shop, here are some of the key things I’m taking away for my next one.

Back in 2003, I started my business at a small table at a Starbucks. I didn’t know what it would be, but that journey led to an amazing adventure as I built a team, a scalable business, and a broad set of customers. We ended up growing a successful mobile business with a fantastic team, amazing clients and hundreds of millions of downloads.

After a decade running that business, I sold the business and am stepping away to both reflect and to go back to where it all began. Coffee in hand, I’m starting on a new journey. Once again, I’m uncertain where it will lead. The lessons I’ve learned from my first company are broad but the key point for me is starting with a purpose and vision.

My purpose is to have a positive impact and to inspire others to create products, invent technologies and produce content that in-turn also produces a positive impact.

I start this journey with the letter that I ended the last one.

Nov 12th, 2019

Thank you.

I started back in 2003 in a coffee shop building software and technology and it’s amazing to see what we’ve been able to accomplish. It’s truly amazing. Our work has touched millions and perhaps billions and we’ve truly built technology, tools, solutions, and friendships that will last a lifetime. As I close this chapter and start the next one, I wanted to leave you with a few tenets that have served me well and I hope they help you on your journey.

Strive for wow.
From the projects we take on – to the people we hire – to the expectations we have from ourselves. When you strive for Wow, you’ll set yourself apart from everyone else and achieve something that’s truly inspiring.

Encourage half ideas.
Ideas are the most vulnerable when they are in their infancy. Create an environment where people feel safe to say those ideas out-loud and let them take shape.

Work-life balance
You end up spending a lot of time at work so it’s important that you really care about the people you work with. Build friendships, vulnerability, and trust and it’ll help you find more of the happiness and the balance you’re looking for.

Ask questions that people can say YES to
All too often we ask nuanced questions of our teams, clients and co-workers. When we ask questions that can be answered YES, we create momentum. Not every question gets a YES, but you’ll find you’re more likely to get a “Yes and…” in return.

And lastly… Be bold, have fun, celebrate the wins, and build things that don’t suck!

Love, Greg Raiz


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