161 episodes

As we hear The Startup Story of some of the most successful companies in the world our focus is singular…
To give you the belief and courage to Start Your Story.
Every successful startup began with a single decision. It’s not about the dream, it’s not about the vision, it’s about having the courage to take that very first step -- to start.
How did UBER grow to $50 billion? How did Spanx become massively successful without one dime of venture capital? The stories are out there. But The Startup Story goes even deeper. What exactly did they do to go from idea to launch? What was that first step and how did they decide to take it?
Each week, hear from the courageous founders behind some of the most successful brands in the world as they share their Startup Story. We’ll unpack the early beginnings, and uncover those first steps that ultimately led them to where they are today.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur who’s in the thick of it and not making much progress, or feeling stuck in the fear of failure, not sure if you have what it takes, this podcast was created for you.

The Startup Story James McKinney

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 181 Ratings

As we hear The Startup Story of some of the most successful companies in the world our focus is singular…
To give you the belief and courage to Start Your Story.
Every successful startup began with a single decision. It’s not about the dream, it’s not about the vision, it’s about having the courage to take that very first step -- to start.
How did UBER grow to $50 billion? How did Spanx become massively successful without one dime of venture capital? The stories are out there. But The Startup Story goes even deeper. What exactly did they do to go from idea to launch? What was that first step and how did they decide to take it?
Each week, hear from the courageous founders behind some of the most successful brands in the world as they share their Startup Story. We’ll unpack the early beginnings, and uncover those first steps that ultimately led them to where they are today.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur who’s in the thick of it and not making much progress, or feeling stuck in the fear of failure, not sure if you have what it takes, this podcast was created for you.

    David Sellinger, founder of Deep Sentinel

    David Sellinger, founder of Deep Sentinel

    About this episode

    My guest this week is David Sellinger, founder of Deep Sentinel.


    David’s startup resume is remarkable and includes such highlights as:



    Being an early employee at Amazon working directly under Jeff Bezos and co-inventing Amazon Advertising which now generates BILLIONS of dollars in revenue
    Co-founding the real estate brokerage RedFin (now a multi-billion company)
    Revolutionizing the shopping experiences for major brands like Macy’s and Office Depot with his RichRelevance startup.
    Inventing the next HUGE advancement in home security with Deep Sentinel.


    Deep Sentinel brings artificial intelligence to the home protection industry. With the Deep Sentinel the technology can identify threats in real time and once a threat is identified a live guard is engaged to notify and warn off the threat. The Deep Sentinel hardware is not just a camera but a sleek yet incredibly intimidating piece of technology that allows the Live Guards to engage while police are on their way.


    In this episode, you'll hear:


    How being raised by two immigrant parents shaped his ambition and value of opportunities
    His learnings about organizational culture from the founding brothers of Dutch Bros. coffee.
    Lessons learned from Jeff Bezos as it relates to data-informed decision making
    About the next evolution in home security
    How important it is to speak honestly about your mental health


    Resources from this episode

    FREE Access to Grindology: https://www.grindologymagazine.com/


    ExpressVPN: Get 3 Months Free → https://www.expressvpn.com/startupstory


    Get Emails: https://app.getemails.com/referrals/newaccount?ref=R18HWW5


    The Startup Story on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thestartupstory
    The Startup Story is now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/jamesmckinney
    The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory


    Deep Sentinel Website: https://www.deepsentinel.com/


    Deep Sentinel “STOPPED” YouTube Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPrVzjHFY6Acoy54iYvo21RW5xjpWNf8m


    Share the podcast

    The Startup Story community has been so incredible in sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. So please keep sharing!

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Clay Alexander, founder of Ember

    Clay Alexander, founder of Ember

    About this episode

    My guest this week is Clay Alexander, the inventor and founder of Ember. Ember is a temperature control brand that seeks to disrupt how the world eats, drinks and lives. Their very first product was a Travel Mug and was launched in 100 Starbucks locations. Since their launch they have expanded to other product lines.


    Clay has an incredible founder story that I hope more people discover because I think it brings encouragement and inspiration to so many. Let me be clear, when I say "encouragement" I am not talking about the type of fuzzy-feelings you get when you receive a Hallmark card. I'm talking about the actual meaning of the word "encourage", to place courage inside of. That is what Clay's story will deliver to you, courage to keep moving forward despite the obstacles or challenges you might be up against.


    See Clay grew up incredibly poor, in fact to use his words "dirt poor." Aside from his economic challenges he was diagnosed with ADD and dyslexia, and he still is. Yet despite all these challenges he has founded two amazing companies and invented numerous patented products, that I'm sure when the story is over will deliver well beyond $1-billion in revenue. I know this episode will quickly become one of your favorites but like all other founder episodes we need to start at the very beginning.


    In this episode, you'll hear


    How Clay's upbringing was not one where entrepreneurship was an inevitable journey for him. In fact, everything about his upbringing would have pointed towards obtaining a steady 9-5 job to help simply put food on the table.
    About how his creative and inventive mind was at work from a young age and how he even replicated the famous Inspector Gadget bicycle, including switches for smoke screens
    The journey through college helped set the stage for him to refine his lighting expertise and led to his inventing the brightest LED bulb in the world
    The steps he took to negotiate a licensing deal with GE for that very bulb he invented
    How cold scrambled eggs became the catalyst for the first temperature controlled coffee mug on the planet
    The reason why the Ember mug, iPhone, Macbook Pro, and Apple iPad all look so good together
    Why any inventor or entrepreneur should never accept the answer of "No" as final and complete
    Clay unpack the future of Ember and the various industries that will benefit from his many temperature control solution ideas


    Resources from this episode

    Join Grindology: https://grindologymagazine.com/


    ExpressVPN: Get 3 Months Free → https://www.expressvpn.com/startupstory


    Get Emails: https://app.getemails.com/referrals/newaccount?ref=R18HWW5


    The Startup Story Inner Circle: https://www.thestartupstory.co/vip
    The Startup Story on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thestartupstory
    The Startup Story is now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/jamesmckinney
    The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory


    Ember website: https://ember.com/


    Share the podcast

    The Startup Story community has been so incredible in sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. So please keep sharing!

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Michael Werner, founder of HomeX

    Michael Werner, founder of HomeX

    About this episode

    My guest this week is Michael Werner, founder and CEO of HomeX. Until 2003, Michael served as President and Vice Chariman for his family's 100 year old business, Werner Ladders. The Werner Company continues on today and is now a $1 billion dollar global brand…but Michael has moved on and launched a technology startup within a $500 billion market.


    HomeX is the first of its kind home services platform for both homeowners and service providers that is radically improving the complex and fragmented home services industry.


    One of the many things that peaked my curiosity about having Michael on the show was that I am just not a handy individual. Despite the fact that I could watch a YouTube video of how to change my garbage disposal I would much rather have an expert walk me through the process, or just do it for me.


    Well, that is one of the consumer solutions that HomeX is bringing to the marketplace, direct access to industry experts to guide you through the solution or enable you to hire the expert to come and take care of it for you.


    HomeX is truly changing the game for homeowners and service providers. And having just come off a $90 million dollar capital raise, things are about to get very interesting for Michael and the HomeX team.


    In this episode, you'll hear:


    The importance of reiventing an industry.
    The nuance of leading a legacy brand.
    Why global manufacturing is critical to business success.
    The importance that small business plays to our economy and communities.


    Resources from this episode

    Grindology: https://www.grindologymagazine.com/


    ExpressVPN: Get 3 Months Free → ExpressVPN.com/StartupStory


    Get Emails: https://app.getemails.com/referrals/newaccount?ref=R18HWW5


    The Startup Story on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thestartupstory
    The Startup Story is now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/jamesmckinney
    The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory


    HomeX for Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.homex.lightning&utm_source=web&utm_medium=cta&utm_campaign=newcta


    HomeX for iPhone: https://apps.apple.com/app/homex-we-got-this/id1505761821?utm_source=web&utm_medium=cta&utm_campaign=newcta


    Use the code "STARTUPSTORY25" to receive 25% off your first Remote Assist session.


    Share the podcast

    The Startup Story community has been so incredible in sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. So please keep sharing!

    • 1 hr 14 min
    TOP EPISODE: Brandon Muñoz, founder of Monkwood Studios

    TOP EPISODE: Brandon Muñoz, founder of Monkwood Studios

    About this episode

    Whenever I’m asked which episode of The Startup Story has been my favorite, I truly can’t give an answer. I enjoy every single episode because of how much value every entrepreneur brings to the table and how much I learn from them. However, if I were to be asked which episode stands out the most in my mind, it would have to be one of my earliest episodes: my interview with Brandon “Monk” Muñoz from Monkwood Studios.


    Out of all of the interviews I’ve held, I’ve only hosted two founders who were woodworkers. Brandon is one of them. His episode stands out because of how incredibly eclectic his entrepreneurial journey has been.


    Brandon was both extremely transparent and vulnerable about his story and amazing at telling it. He explains how both he and his startup, Monkwood Studios, got to where they are today. If you want to learn from a talented and hilarious entrepreneur, tune into this conversation with Brandon “Monk” Muñoz.


    In this episode, you'll hear:


    How Brandon got into woodworking as a kid.
    The mentor and friend that taught him how to build furniture.
    Why he was inspired to go out on his own.
    How much he failed and learned from his mistakes at the beginning of his entrepreneurial journey.
    Why how you make something is more important than what you make.
    Brandon’s experience doing ministry in London and building the unique startup of a church.
    Why he became an entrepreneur by need, not by choice.
    How he finally niched his business down and began specializing in wooden desks.
    The connection he feels with the people who purchase his desks.
    The risk all creative entrepreneurs have to take.


    Resources from this episode

    Grindology: https://www.grindologymagazine.com/


    ExpressVPN: Get 3 Months Free → ExpressVPN.com/StartupStory


    Get Emails: https://app.getemails.com/referrals/newaccount?ref=R18HWW5


    The Startup Story Inner Circle: https://www.thestartupstory.co/vip


    The Startup Story on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thestartupstory
    The Startup Story is now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/jamesmckinney
    The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory


    Brandon in Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/monkwood_/


    Monkwood Studios: https://monkwoodstudio.com/


    Share the podcast

    The Startup Story community has been so incredible in sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. So please keep sharing!

    • 1 hr 3 min
    TOP EPISODE: Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media

    TOP EPISODE: Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media

    About this episode

    This week we are featuring Randi Zuckerberg, founder of Zuckerberg Media. If her last name sounds familiar, it should. It’s also the last name of her little brother who had a startup about a book of faces or Facebook or something like that.


    Randi Zuckerberg is an entrepreneur, investor, best selling author, and Emmy-nominated tech media personality. She is the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, with the mission of supporting current and future entrepreneurs through investment, mentorship, and media.


    Growing up she wanted to be a Broadway actress, yet while in college she had to pivot from that dream to pursue a career in advertising. But what I love about the stories of many of the founders this show highlights, is that we always find our way back to our passion, in one form or another.


    Like every Startup Story founder, we need to go back to the early days to find out what life was like for Randi before Facebook LIVE, before two best-selling books, and before receiving two Tony awards. You’ll soon hear how her beginning wasn’t all that different from others who have come before her. This is Randi’ Zuckerberg's startup story.


    In this episode, you'll hear:


    Her aspirations of becoming an actress and how those dreams got crushed early on
    About creating her first ad campaign for the Special Olympics
    The transition from working in an ad agency to working for Facebook and becoming the creator of Facebook LIVE
    About the time she received a call from the producers of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages and the start of her Broadway career
    How her experiences have taught her that none of us have just one calling and there are so many chapters and phases of our lives, each with different callings
    Her realization that her best skills were on the production side of the entertainment and Broadway industry; and how she began to apply those skills as an entrepreneur
    The founding of Zuckerberg Media and Randi’s hopes and ambitions for her venture


    Resources from this episode

    Grindology: https://www.grindologymagazine.com/


    ExpressVPN: Get 3 Months Free → https://www.expressvpn.com/startupstory


    Get Emails: https://app.getemails.com/referrals/newaccount?ref=R18HWW5


    The Startup Story Inner Circle: https://www.thestartupstory.co/vip
    The Startup Story on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thestartupstory
    The Startup Story is now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/jamesmckinney
    The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory


    Zuckerberg Media: https://www.zuckerbergmedia.com/
    Michael Littig, Zuckerberg Institute: https://www.thestartupstory.co/zuckerberginstitute


    Share the podcast

    The Startup Story community has been so incredible in sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. So please keep sharing!

    • 51 min
    TOP EPISODE: Richard Garriott, Video Game Creator and Astronaut

    TOP EPISODE: Richard Garriott, Video Game Creator and Astronaut

    About this episode

    As a pioneer, there is not a single roadmap to work from. There’s no way to model your success off of another because there is no other--you’re it. You’re the front runner. There must be an internal competition established within your brain to be constantly improving. Richard Garriot has experienced all of this throughout his time in the gaming sector.


    Richard is an investor and private astronaut as well as a pioneer and legend. What drew me to him was his role within privatizing space travel as well as his experience as a video game entrepreneur. However, I had no idea how rich his background in the gaming sector was. Tune into this episode to hear how iconic he truly is and how he reached this level of success.


    In this episode, you'll hear


    How entering science fairs prepared Richard to be a great independent competitor.
    How he published his first product.
    His experience as a freelance game creator looking for publishers.
    What caused him to start a company with his brother.
    Why packaging was important to him even before building a brand.
    His experience losing the faith of everyone he worked with and making up his own philosophy from scratch.
    How he navigated his business with the emergence of the internet.
    The period of time when he took a break from gaming and pursued space travel.
    His vision for space and the future of space travel.
    The power of being multidisciplinary.
    The key things he learned from his failures.


    Resources from this episode

    Grindology: https://www.grindologymagazine.com/


    ExpressVPN: Get 3 Months Free → ExpressVPN.com/StartupStory


    Get Emails: https://app.getemails.com/referrals/newaccount?ref=R18HWW5


    The Startup Story Inner Circle: https://www.thestartupstory.co/vip


    The Startup Story on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/thestartupstory
    The Startup Story is now on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/jamesmckinney
    The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory


    Richard on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RichardGarriott
    Richard’s website: http://www.richardgarriott.com


    Share the podcast

    The Startup Story community has been so incredible sharing our podcast with others, and we thank you! We do have more stories to tell and more people to reach. There are three ways you can help.


    First, the most powerful way you can support this podcast is by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.


    Second, follow us on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to share your favorite Startup Story episodes with your friends and on social media. Tag or mention @thestartupstory.co so we can give you a virtual high five and a thank you!


    Lastly, share the podcast on LinkedIn. The Startup Story podcast is for entrepreneurs. Don’t underestimate the power of sharing on LinkedIn so other entrepreneurs can discover us.


    With your support, we hope to further our reach in encouraging and inspiring the founders of today and tomorrow. Thank you!

    • 1 hr 34 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
181 Ratings

181 Ratings

doorman02 ,

Amazingly Informative for the curious entrepeneur

James does such an incredible job asking the right questions to help entrepreneurs that are eager to learn. Every episode features actionable insights and intelligent conversations that inspire listeners to improve their own business. I truly enjoyed the latest episode with Clay Alexander that dove into his inventor mindset and a deep dive into licensing.
::
Co-Founder of Noonan Golf Co.
A golf company that aims to make golf colorful, inclusive, and fun.

noonangolfco.com

HOCOA San Diego ,

Massively Helpful For Any Startup!

Lots of tips and best practices that you may have already known or forgot about or even have an even heard of yet. Wonderful content that you can take and put into action in your own start up. Eye-opener and lots of encouragement for the Solopreneurs to business partners and more. This should be definitely on the top of your podcast list for any entrepreneur!
Highly recommended from Richard and Sam
mypadl.com
The original Personalize and Customize Paddle Banz for your pickleball Paddles

Rooshi Patel ,

Amazing Content

Great podcast for anyone interested in entrepreneurship! Love the content and lessons learned from James and the guest entrepreneurs that are featured in the episodes.

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