This is a podcast about people. Every week, we have an in depth conversation with a person of interest. We'll talk about how they got here, what they're up to and what motivates them. The goals are to highlight people, share their narratives and dive into what they do.
21: Building an esports platform with Grant Farwell
Grant Farwell is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Matcherino, an esports platform that helps game publishers and tournament organizers run successful esports tournaments.
Prior to Matcherino, Grant founded Barc, a social web browsing experience for people browsing the same web sites. This was before the rise of services like discord and slack and offered some of the same functionality. Grant says that while the team had a solid technology base, they struggled with sales and monetization. This led to the eventual shutdown of Barc and the start of Matcherino.
In this episode, we talk about the esports industry and challenges tournament organizers face, we talk about doing sales in startups, and we talk about brands and sponsorship in esports.
And it was really like an aha moment… All these fans wanted to donate money… and to not just financially, but in so many different ways, contribute to this event that was happening.
– Grant Farwell
story behind the camel
economics, crypto and financial platforms
Barc'ing up the wrong tree
listening to customers but not taking suggestions literally
matcherino and techstars
esports, tournaments and payouts
sustainability in esports
how brands navigate esports
present and future of esports
being at esport tournament with fans, seeing communities getting together and helping support it
life is quite boring at home, mostly working
treat everyone like how you would want to be treated
k- closing notes
if you want to engage with esports fans, matcherino can help you reach these audience and drive whatever KPIs you're looking to drive
Matcherino: Grant's company, esports platform to help game publishers and tournament organizers run successful tournaments
Techstars: Startup Accelerator
20: Nick Hughes and Building a Global Community of Entrepreneurs
Nick Hughes is the founder of Founder's Live, a global entrepreneurial community started by Nick to inspire, educate and entertain entrepreneurs around the world.
Prior to starting Founder's Live, Nick had already done multiple startups. It was through the process of recovering from a failed startup that Nick started "Feature Friday", an event for early stage entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas in 99 seconds and network with others in the Seattle community. This event proved extremely popular and led to Nick scaling it out globally with events now in over fifty cities.
I know Nick from going to the Seattle Founders Live events. While Nick didn't pay me to say this, I'm happy to say that I've always end up meeting interesting people from the event and come out of it feeling highly motivated about doing my own thing. In today's episode, we talk about Nick's entry into entrepreneurship, lessons from having a startup fail, and Nick's vision with Founder's live and where this is going.
Have enough courage to say things aren't going well and I'm feeling down and have you had this before? Most people are gonna say "Oh yeah , I know what you're going through and here's what I did!"
– Nick Hughes
how Nick got interested in business
study habits and business lessons
first startup experience and lessons learned
marriage aka finding a co-founder
founders depression and Nick's experience with it
starting Founders Live and expanding globally
Nick's world tour and living up to your potential
being at Founders Lives events and seeing early stage founders getting on stage and pitching
studied kinesiology and human psychology - used to be a strength coach
Founders Live core values
open doors for people
close to announcing something cool around social impact
The 360 Degree Leader: Developing Your Influence from Anywhere in the Organization
Iconoclast: A Neuroscientist Reveals How to Think Differently
Social Impact Program
19: Hospitality and Community with Alex Mondau
Alex Mondau is the Community Ambassador at the Collective. The collective is a co-working space located in Seattle's South Lake Union, and is described by its founders as an urban basecamp for the mind, body + soul. Alex started The Collective Seattle one and a half years ago with business partners Tommy Trause and Scott Barber in order to create a diverse community where people can build genuine relationships as well as find refuge from life outside the walls.
Prior to founding The Collective, some of Alex's former roles included selling sustainable real estate and working tables at the Agua Verde Cafe. As a kid, Alex wanted to be an adventurer and spent time in the mountains of Nepal trying to be a mountain guide in the Himalaya.
In today's episode, we talk about hospitality and its tight feedback loops, we talk about The Collective and its origins, and we talk about community and ways of fostering it.
I fell in love with hospitality industry. You could succeed or fail every five minutes…for hours in a row and your feedback loop was so tight that you really get to know whether you were meeting that customer's expectations.
– Alex Mondau
childhood growing up in Olympia and wanting to be an adventurer
selling sustainable housing and green real estate
feedback and the hospitality industry
The Collective Seattle and its origin
building community at The Collective Seattle
lessons and challenges of community building
next steps for The Collective Seattle
spontaneously going paddle boating at night to appreciate nature
look for opportunities to be generous
recognize Native American tribes and communities that stewarded this place
figure out to be good stewards of this place
Agua Verde: Don’t miss out on the new Rockfish Tacos with Mango salsa and the Carnitas now served on house made tortillas
The Collective: An urban basecamp for the mind, body and soul
wework: Starbucks of co-working spaces
18: Leaps of Faith with David Mays
David Mays is Senior Public Relations Manager at Amazon where he oversees multiple high impact initiatives. I actually worked with David in my former life at Amazon but we never had a chance for an extended conversation. But as they say, better late than never and today's conversation makes me wish I'd done this earlier. Turns out we have much in common, besides the common employer and the pathological need to run long distances. Prior to Amazon, David has had an expansive career across multiple industries, including public news, the department of defense, and healthcare.
David's father was a Methodist minister and David remembers moving frequently from small town to small town as a kid. He came across a group of runners in one of these towns and insisted on joining them which led to him running his first marathon at the age of 13. This initial catalyst has sparked a lifetime of running, coaching, and the ability to deal with adversity. David has an amazing ability of coaching civilians into champion runners in just about all the places he's worked - this includes coaching his now wife and clinical psychologist Janice Alley who won her age group during her first half marathon race and continues to race competitively today.
In today's episode, we talk about David's childhood and how it sowed seeds for his current narrative, we talk about success as it relates to running and mentorship, and we talk (corporate) talk and explore how David has helped some of the world's biggest corporations shape their own narrative.
"Running as a discipline has always been something that has prepared me for adversity, for always having two or three option plans when things go wrong , [for] failure and the ability to overcome failure, [and for] the desire and ability to mentor and coach and help others"
childhood stories and frequently moving
overcoming obesity and running first marathon at age of 13
thoughts on running, mentorship and facing adversity
inviting and coaching non-runners into competitive athletes
taking leaps of faith and working across different industries (public news, defense department, oil, healthcare, consumer, etc)
supporting the CEO of Kaiser Permanente and defining corporate communication strategy
making decisions in short and long time frames
"davy gravy" and work under Bush administration
vision for the future
long distance mentee, captatain in US army, and competitive runner and triathlete suffered medical condition with unsuccessful surgery
seeing her handle situation with calmness and resiliency
used to play the violin
treat other people the way you want to be treated
kind words about the podcast and interviews within (thank you David)
17: Following the Filmmaker's Journey with Bao Tran
Bao Tran is a professional filmmaker currently raising money for his first feature film, The Paper Tigers, a "Kung Fu indie feature film about three guys who are one kick away from pulling their hamstrings".
Despite knowing that he wanted to do film from watching kung fu movies as a kid, Bao got a degree in computer science as it was the responsible thing to do for someone that is the child of immigrants. This tension between following your dreams and doing what is expected is a theme that is explored both in film and in life for Bao.
Outside of The Paper Tigers, Bao's editing credits include CHO LON, one of Southeast Asia’s highest-budgeted action blockbusters, and JACKPOT, a heartfelt comedy selected as Vietnam’s official entry to the 2016 Oscars for Best Foreign Film.
In today's episode, we talk about kung fu and the action movie genre, we talk about what its like to fundraise for a film, and we talk about telling a good story and what that might mean.
You have a lot of people you might start out with earlier on but they kind of go their separate ways or they go civilian as we say… Its just industry is very tough and its very hard to keep going and continue doing this.
– Bao Tran
how Bao's love of kung fu films let to a career in film
pursuing passion vs fulfilling family expectations
marketing and sales for people that would rather do anything else
Bao's first feature film - The Paper Tigers
film fundraising and kickstarter
diversity and shooting with a mixed race cast
shooting action movies and telling stories
as artist, always looking for the work that goes behind art that looks effortless, really impressed with Beyoncé's homecoming
have a background that is not just film (eg. computer science degree)
the golden rule
always looking for people that could support the film and want to help - if that's you, reach out
Bao's website: http://pov-films.com/
Bao's email: email@example.com
The Paper Tigers Page
The Paper Tigers KickStarter
Subscribe for news on auditions and volunteering
16: Friends, Family and Startups with Robert Sweeney
Robert Sweeney is CEO of Facet, the premier platform for hiring senior contract software engineers.
Before becoming a founder, Robert was a senior software engineer himself at companies such as Netflix and Microsoft. Robert knew from an early age that he wanted to be an entrepreneur from working at his grandpa's grocery shop. Robert left Netflix with a friend to start a software development studio with an initial verbal contract from Western Digital.
In 2014, Robert founded Numetric, a SaaS based analytics startup. After working on the company for close to four years, hiring over 40 employees, and raising over $16 million in venture capital, Robert was fired from the very company that he founded.
Today, Robert is working full time on Facet and helping other engineers make the leap from full-time work to doing their own thing.
In today's episode, we talk about negotiating contracts, hiring and firing friends, and that time Robert's house almost burned down.
We had to make the decision that day… That didn't give us enough time to sign the contract. So we quit our jobs on a verbal yes.
– Robert Sweeney
being fired from my startup - changed my perspective on startups and venture capital and also provide extra motivation
deal with anxiety
successful entrepreneurs out there don't have anything that you don't have
working at grandpa's grocery store
early years at Microsoft and Netflix
first startup and quiting Netflix on a verbal agreement
working with western digital and communicating expectations
hiring and firing friends
that time when the house almost burned down
keeping a family together while doing a startup
Numetric, working with family, and getting fired from a company that you founded
facet, how it came to be and where its going
Netflix Engineering Blog
Why I Turned Down My YCombinator Interview