“I won’t make that mistake again.”
“Oh, I know better.”
Famous last words. And Cynthia Del’Aria would know. She’s said them herself.
After selling her first company at 19-years-old for $1.8 million and her second tech company for $4 million in her mid-twenties—you’d think that Cynthia would “know better” and not “make mistakes.” But she didn’t know how to manage her money, and after a bad investment, she found herself re-mortgaging her house and eyeball-deep in credit card debt.
Now, she helps other would-be entrepreneurs avoid similar mistakes with Raika Technologies, a company that helps people validate their idea before they spend their lives and burn through their savings with little to show for it.
Listen now.Read More →
didn’t give up. And that’s something that no one can ever take away from you.
Chris Graebe 0:07
Welcome to the startup camp Podcast where each week we’re going to bring you inspirational founders and angel investors. They’re going to give you the inside tips and tricks on how to build your business and become a successful angel investor. I’m talking about founders like Brendan Synnott, a co creator and founder of bear naked granola, Eli Crane featured on Shark Tank for his company bottle breachers Rachael Cruz, the creator of the Rachael Cruz show, and founder and author Simon Sinek, who wrote the book start with why we bring you interviews from inside the world of angel investing, interviewing Scott Belsky Paul Foley, and Jeff Clavier. Just to name a few. It’s a fresh season. I’m your host Chris Graebe and the StartupCamp starts right now.
On today’s episode we’re talking with the founder who had a $2 million exit, and her very first company at the age of 19 years old, but she didn’t stop there. She exited her second company in her mid 20s. For right around $4 million. I’m talking about Cynthia Del’Aria. But not only that, she shares the ups and downs, the roller coaster ride, that is the entrepreneurial journey even after she had two successful exits. I mean, look, a successful exit where you walk away with a large sum of money, but she was at a young age and she shares the journey and the ups and downs but how she continued to navigate throughout. If you want to hear a story and really just be inspired, you’re going to love my time with Cynthia. I truly did. She’s a fighter. She’s a hustler, and I have a lot of respect For what she has done in her life and what she’s building, she’s the CEO and CFO of tech, startup ninja. We talk all things startup world what she learned her losses, you’re really gonna enjoy our time together. So without further ado, here is Cynthia.
Cynthia, welcome to the show. We’re glad you’re here.
Thank you, Chris. I’m excited to be here.
Chris Graebe 2:29
Absolutely. Well, it was fun kind of just chatting before we jumped on the microphone here. But I love your story. I love what you’re building. You are a person who’s gone on a crazy journey with sort of worlds and life and all of that when someone says hey, Cynthia, what do you do? What’s your story? What do you tell them?
Well, I typically tell them that I’m a startup ninja or startup junkie, depending on the day. I haven’t kicked the habit I haven’t tried. So who am I? I built startups for a living. That’s what I do. And how I got started is I started my first company when I was 15. Doing basically consulting building websites for small businesses in the 90s. You know, selling it by saying, This is the phone book of the future, you need to make sure you’re, you’re in it, you know, sold that company at 19 to a competitor, because of a contract that I won. That was a really attractive contract. Few Years Later, I started my second company. Doing this was when download speeds got a little bit faster, which is why you’re this would be let’s see, 2001 to 2000.
Chris Graebe 3:38
Just the server listening, you sold your first company for a million dollars at 19. Totally normal. Everyone does that. Okay, let’s keep going.
And then, yeah, so so 22 2001 2002 started my second company, download speeds, were getting faster, like I said, so we were part of this early technology to figure out how to make sure that only people who had paid for the software were getting it making sure that the keys were all correct some of the algorithms for streaming downloads in a way where if it got interrupted or it stopped, you could turn it back on or start it back up without having to start back over at the beginning. So about four years later, in late 2006, I sold that company and then second company sold may 21. One was a million Are we allowed to talk about that? 1.1 point 8 million was first one second 1.8 we want just shy of 4,000,004 mil?
Chris Graebe 4:33
All right, in the mid 20s. Alright, so you just you just batting 1000 here? Well, yeah, yeah, is so great for entrepreneurs when they start to have that kind of success. Tell me tell me a little bit about your story there.
Yeah, I got I got a good Smackdown both times actually. So after selling my first company, I grew up exceptionally poor. Never had money didn’t really know what to do with it. So you take a break. For Kids who grew up in a trailer and hander a bunch of money, it’s not going to go well. Right. And I didn’t know anything about getting a good CPA or a financial advisor like I didn’t know any of that stuff. So it was about eight months after I sold my first company. I was living
Chris Graebe 5:13
with the water. Yeah. But you might as well just hit the lottery might
as well just hit the lottery. That’s exactly what happened. That’s exactly right. So I’m living living are showering in my gym that those were the two things that I didn’t even have a paid for car. I still had a car payment. I had my car payment, and I had my gym payment that I paid every month. And that was how I got by for. I bet she was a nice car though.
It was a Toyota Celica. Oh, I loved that car. I loved it.
Chris Graebe 5:43
If you’re if you’re banking on living in a car that’s gonna last you a while but that’s exactly
right. That’s exactly right. So, okay, so then what happens?
Chris Graebe 5:52
Do you Where do you go? You’re in your mid 20s. You know what?
Yeah, so so I got some I got a couple jobs working for other people doing some software development. Then started my second company. I was like, Okay, now I’m back in my world, sold my second company and I was like, I’m not going to make that mistake again. Famous last words, right? I’m not going to make that mistake again. So I said, I told you I sold it. Late 2006. I, a very good friend of mine who has since passed away, unfortunately. But he was a trainer for an organization called CCIM, which deals with commercial real estate investments all over the world. This is a guy who built like nine or 10 of the major airports around the country in the last 50 years. He owned two thirds of the bank buildings in the country at one time, like he knows commercial real estate. So I called my friend is it Gary? I got this money. I want to invest it. I want to do it better than I did the last time. He’s like, come on over, let’s talk and I start sending him you know, commercial real estate deals around Denver. And he keeps telling me No, this one’s bad because of this, and this one’s bad because of this. The terms on this one are bad and this one has, there’s no upside in this and And finally, I was like, You know what, he doesn’t know the Denver market. He doesn’t have any buildings here. This is a really good deal. And I’m going in on it. Now, here’s what he told me before I went in on this deal. He said, Cynthia, you, there’s two other partners in the deal, and you’re the only one with the liability. He said, that’s the first problem. The second problem is I wouldn’t even care about the first problem if you had $10 million sitting in the bank to be able to cover if you had a couple down years, and he said, but you don’t. And he said, so you need to seriously consider this is not a good deal for you. And I was like, man, I know better. Also famous last word. Oh,
Chris Graebe 7:36
yeah. You every take these down. If you say these words, this week, it’s
like reading your head. Yeah, get yourself down. Put it down. Punch your stuff in the face. Okay, go
ahead. So when we bought the building, it was like, I think we closed in July of 2007, maybe August 2007. We had 92% occupancy. I was getting checks every month for like 15 grand. It was awesome. Live? Yeah, good. It was good. It was good. Cut to June of 2008. Between June and August of 2008. We went from, I think we were at like 990 90% 87 90% something in June, we went to 12%. occupancy.
Chris Graebe 8:17
Yes. This is not a golf. You don’t want the number to be lower.
No, no, no, no. So So all of these companies had declared bankruptcy. So there was nothing to go after. For the remainder of their leases. There’s no money. So I went from making 15 to 18,000 a month to literally in August of 2008. I wrote a check for $13,000 to the bank. Now, my two partners in the building had actually sold out in the beginning of 2008. So they were in the deal for like six months, they saw the writing on the wall. I was the young stupid kid who had no clue. So they got out because they could so in September, The bank comes to me, and they call the loan. And I remember sitting there with this woman and she’s looking at me, she’s like, you have no job. She’s like, I mean, you have some money in your retirement accounts, you own your house, whatever. But we don’t see how you can keep making this payment. So we’re calling alone. And I said, Will you give me six months? I said, I will make this right, if you will give me six months. And she was like, if you put everything that I would need for you to pay over the next six months in escrow in our bank, I’ll give you the six months. So that net that following February 2009, I had everything out of my 401k my 401k was empty. I had mortgaged my previously bought for house to 95%. I put a load on my car, and then I wrote $350,000 worth of credit card advanced checks to cover the rest. Yeah. And I paid her every red cent. And she looked at me across the table and she’s like, I’ll listen to you anytime. I don’t. I don’t know how you did this. That’s amazing. So that was done. But now here I am a fully mortgage house loan on my car, like all I have is it’s like $650,000 in debt. That’s it. I have no savings. And I’m like,
how did I do this?
Chris Graebe 10:19
Oh my gosh. Yeah, so just see this. So I’m like your mid 20s right? You know, are you are you like married kids or anything of this time?
No. single it’s just me. I you know, I had never really wanted to get married. I never wanted to have kids. I have you know, I’ve been with my my fiance for 10 years. I’ve got two stepkids. That’s great. But, you know, I didn’t want to get married and want to have kids. So thank God, I didn’t drag a family through this whole idiocy. All right, well,
Chris Graebe 10:50
so here we go. Let’s the the entrepreneurial dilemma and I hope that people listening out here just like here, you know, if you’ve never grown up around it i think you know, I told you about this before if you’re surrounded by entrepreneurs or people who maybe have walked through some of these struggles, they’re gonna help you but when you kind of just you’re out there blind and you’re doing on your own, you’re gonna find yourself you’re like, there’s no way I could do this again and people are like,
Unknown Speaker 11:15
oh way, like,
Chris Graebe 11:17
Groundhog Day, you’re back, you’re back again. So sometimes we have to learn lessons a couple times before we figure it out. But you know, you’re resilient you’re sitting here you’re in a house right now as we’re as we’re chatting, you know, get a smile on your face. So what happens when your whole world is mortgage for a bank and you’re like mid 20s and you’re stressing out what do you do
you know what you read every financial self help guru book you can find and for me it took learning what a budget was and how to how to live by one how to live below my means. I sold a lot of stuff out of my house, you know, TVs and electronics and extra cars and bikes and and took about four years but I paid off every cent every every penny of interest along the way. And that’s I think the thing that I have learned the most one is how to be what does it actually look like to be financially responsible? Was it look like to manage money, but I didn’t give up. And that’s something that no one can ever take away from you and what I know about myself now, you know, this this situation that we’re in currently in, in the market, it’s crazy. I mean, everything’s upside down. There’s nothing but uncertainty. Everybody is living in the moment because that’s all we understand. And what I know about myself, we my fiance, and I had this conversation the other night, I was like, here’s thing, if we lost everything because of this, and we were living in our car, me, you and the dogs. I know we would be okay. Now he doesn’t know that because he’s never made a mistake like this before. His his big mistake is, you know, $100,000 mistake. You know, mine. I’ve lost more money in the first eight years of my career than most people with a really good job will make over their entire lifetime. So my level of stupid is just really, really high. But I picked myself up and I built the next thing, and I never I haven’t stopped and I didn’t let it. I didn’t let it break me down because what I’ve what I’ve learned through this whole process, you have success and you have failure. Success doesn’t define you any more than your failures do. It’s who you are, when you’re experiencing those things that define who you are. And this is doubly triply 10 times as much when you’re an entrepreneur because you’re gonna have days where you’re winning and days when you’re failing days or you’re winning and it just it goes back. It’s it’s a constant. And who you are inside of all of that stuff is who you are. Yeah,
Chris Graebe 13:55
that’s so good.
Hey there, we hope you’re enjoying this episode. We want to take a second talk to you about what’s happening over at startupcamp.com. Guys, we are in the world of angel investing, we’re helping the everyday man step past their fears and step into the world of angel investing. Once you had to have millions upon millions of dollars to be able to even think about the idea of being an angel investor, well, good news, the JOBS Act, open them all up, you can literally invest in a company and own a piece of that company. I’m not talking to shares I’m talking angel investing, where your returns could be exponential. And you can do it for as little as $100 we want to tell you all about it, head over to startupcamp.com/angel startupcamp.com/angel and you can learn how you can get started angel investing today for as little as 100 bucks. Guys, we can’t wait. We’ll see you over startup camp. Let’s jump back into today’s episode.
These lessons are massive. I hope you guys are hearing especially To those of you who may be in the middle of the entrepreneurial journey, or those of you thinking about stepping into it just just know, like, it’s a wild ride. And I think what I love is that out of this kind of massive pain that you experienced, you have founded an opportunity found an opportunity and founded a company called dragon technologies that really help people avoid some of the pitfalls that you did. So let’s talk about this company and where the vision came from and what you guys do.
That’s exactly right. So like I said, we build startups for a living. I like working with people who, I mean, if I’m sitting in a restaurant, there’s times where I’m listening for someone to say, I had this idea for an app, and it’s like a homing beacon for me, right? Because I’m like, ooh, you’re probably not very far along in your journey yet. And that’s exactly where I want people. My whole mission in life is to is to reduce or eliminate entirely the number of times people tell a story that goes something like this. I spent $250,000 in software and the last five years of my life, trying to get this thing up and running, and I have nothing to show for it. So many times, I would say 100% of the time that story should be preventable. Because we start with what is your market really look like? Do people want, what it is that you’re building and what you’re trying to offer? So we do we always start with what’s the problem you’re solving? Who are you solving it for? Who is your ideal end user? And then we talk 200 to 150 people match that ideal user persona, and we say, does the solution we’re proposing resonate, and we do it with really low fidelity wireframes or prototypes. We don’t have to build a thing and have it out in the world to answer these questions. And that’s the thing that I work on most with brand new startuppers typically people who either have never started a business before, or they do have a business but it’s a non tech space, and now they’re trying To build something that has a technology component to it, whether it’s new streams of revenue, or there may be like one of my people, she’s actually solving a problem in her industry. So her customers are her competitors, which is really cool. So we bridge the gap with product market fit. What is the ROI really look like? How long is it going to take you to see your return on the money that you have to invest? How much money are you going to need to raise to get to market to revenue and then to profit? What is all that stuff look like? Because I believe that a founders job is to keep the energy and excitement in the the spark is what I call it, they have to have that my job is to help them see the realities around all of that so they can make a real decision and then live with the consequences of their decision. I think the thing I see most is when an entrepreneur has decided to move forward with their idea and they’re super excited about it. And at the end Have that three or four or five years they realize all the things they couldn’t foresee. They didn’t know. And then they regret the decision. I’m trying to. I’m trying to put a spotlight on all the potential stuff that’s coming in all of the stuff that you need to know and all the realities of it so that if you make that go decision, you can make it confidently
Chris Graebe 18:19
Yeah, no, I love that. Okay, so let’s let’s just dive deep into some of the things you’ve seen over your time helping, you know, early stage founders or even I think you mentioned before, there’s people who have been successful entrepreneurs and have excellent
and they just know like, hey, look,
I need this done. Can you do it?
Chris Graebe 18:39
Tell me if this is a good company or not. I had an idea over dinner and I and maybe maybe it is written which I think is great. So where do you fall on the the passion scale? Like are you do you do you ask people like, Alright, how passionate or because we were like, I’m going to change the world. This is the greatest thing since sliced bread like I’m so happy. about this, are you in the you gotta be passionate about a camp? Are you in the like, do not be passionate about this because you will make stupid decisions because you’re where do you fall in that world?
I would say I am right in the middle. I think there has to be passion to a certain level. I think that looks different for different people. But I do think you have to you have to be able to be coachable. So if your passion is so extreme, that the only way this thing is going to happen is the one path that you have seen so far. And you’re not open to pivots and what the markets telling you and what your users are telling you, then that is passion that is too far into ego. I love passion that is coachable. And that’s really what I’m looking for. And that’s why we designed you know, we have we have our sort of program which is called our startup program. We designed it a particular way to give us a chance to have a relationship with a founder for for the, you know, two to four months that we’re working with them. And through that process, we learn what is their level of passion, what is their level of coachability. And that is just as much an indicator of whether or not they will be successful in either this initial thing or finding a pivot and being successful at that, as is any ROI and perform a, you know, whatever sensitivity analysis reveals, like, all of that stuff. They’re equal to me. So I think passion is important, but it’s got to be coachable.
Chris Graebe 20:33
Yeah, that’s really good. Are you seeing a lot of single founders, co founders three, like, where do you fall in that and maybe out of what you’ve done, what have you succeed seeing from a success level moving forward?
I typically because we’re so we’re involved. So early stage, typically, we’re involved with the original founder, single person. However, what I always tell people and what I encourage people is especially if you’re not a technical person which most people come to us aren’t. The very first thing you’re looking for once you’ve settled on the the right idea that’s viable is you need a technical co founder, this does not work well, with a single person, you have to have a team, the team is everything I do a talk about the five critical success factors for a startup number one, without a doubt is always your team. investors invest in teams, you need people that you know, you can depend on who have skin in the game like you do. So while I’ve seen companies that are sort of structured financially with like a single guy sort of at the top do well, there’s always a team there. And it’s so incredibly critical. And that’s one of the things that we help people do. Typically, once they’ve made that decision. Yes, I want to move forward. It’s okay, now we got to build out your team. Like here’s all the things, here’s all the areas that you need people who are really great. Let us help you find those people to fill out your team.
Chris Graebe 21:57
Gotcha. That’s really helpful. All right, where does Some things that have surprised you, in your questions and your learnings and your dealings as you keep coming is there like this, like common theme that you keep finding, like founders hitting or like, wow, this is something we learned. We didn’t see, through our years of doing this. What’s something that surprised you? Maybe a couple things.
So when we first started ryka, you know, I had I had two successful exits. I had a third company, which I still own. That’s a sass company. Very, very successful. I originally built my incubator and the startup program and everything thinking that everybody’s like me that everybody throws himself into a thing. 1,000% and there’s no option but finding a way to succeed. I quickly learned from from our first like two projects, we learned that is not the case. So we had to rebuild our startup program to learn about you know, like you were asking people’s level of passion, people’s level of commitment to the thing that they said they want to do. Because that is That more than anything is the make or break. Every founder I’ve seen who’s gone the distance, they they work nights when they have to, they travel on their personal credit card, if that’s what it takes to get to the investor who’s going to give them the next hundred thousand dollars to pay their team to get to the next milestone, they will go to whatever lengths are necessary and are reasonable. And I’m gonna come back to that, but they will go to those lengths, because in their mind, the success of their company is entirely dependent on them, making it successful or not. Now, why do I say within reason, there are times where I’ve had some of my coaching clients, you know, what I could think of in particular, he called me and he said, Okay, this investor, they’re, they’re really interested, I think they would write a check for 350,000, which would get us another year of development and in building up our sales pipeline, and I think we could get to profitability on that. But he’s in Thailand, so I got to take like two weeks in Fly to Thailand. I was like, Whoa, where’s the signature saying that if you come to Thailand, you’re getting $350,000. And he was like, well, but I was like, No, no, no, no, you’re gonna spend a couple thousand bucks of your own money, by the way, because I know you don’t have this in your business. And you’re going to spend two weeks away from your team trying to do the like dual time zone thing. This is not feeling right to me. Like you tell me if you think it really feels right. Or if the excitement is just about, you’d really love to just have this problem solved and be back to doing what you’re doing. And he was like, Yeah, you’re right. It doesn’t feel right. I was like,
Chris Graebe 24:37
yeah, so just a couple days away in Thailand wouldn’t be too bad either in the midst of the crazy..
would be awesome.
Chris Graebe 24:42
Yeah, right. That’d be nice.
But you know, you could say you got it. I think that that’s probably the other thing that surprised me is how much your intuition and checking in with your gut, on decisions. It matters. There’s so many times where people call me and they’re like, Oh my gosh, you know, I got this offer and expires today at five o’clock and I’m like, okay, that’s not real. Like, if you think about it tonight and tomorrow, you know, and take a couple days to do a gut check. That is your gut check. So anything that’s rushed or anything that seems unreasonable or anything that seems too good to be true. Probably they they are not the right thing. And so I would say that the the, that’s another thing that surprised me is how many lessons I haven’t learned through my own experience because I’ve had, I mean, literally, right, because my fourth company, my first three are all wins. My first two are great exits. My third one, it’s a great company. It’s just out there running doing its thing. You know, pay me a really great income every year. I haven’t had I haven’t had a real like, loss, other than my stupidity. There’s business and personal right. That’s right. That’s right. So I think just watching journeys and learning about what is the loss look like and what is the what is struggle really feel like for people, you know, what does that really look like?
Chris Graebe 26:12
Yeah, that’s good. Okay, where do you fall on the you know, cuz all the startups want I want in a second, I want to talk about, like, what are some success rates that you’ve seen out of, you know, you’re trying to avoid failure. But before that, I mean, I’ve got a I’ve got a friend who’s live, I mean, a lot of friends in the startup world and and this guy thinks the next thing to help bring them more money is to make the app just a little bit better. If I could just make a little bit more better and I could put a little bit more money into it. And I’m like, go sell like, Yes, go sell like, you could make that gap the greatest freakin app on the planet. But if you’re not making nothing else, that’s right. Apps gone, bro. That’s exact. So where are you living, you know in that sales versus development versus beta. Get it? out there. What do you live in all that?
Yep. So there’s a reason why we call it a minimum viable product. In most cases, I tell people, you should expect your MVP to be embarrassing, and just barely get the job done. But if you’re solving a big enough problem that’s painful enough that people will change their habits spend money or both, and they resonate with your embarrassing, minimum viable product you’re in. That’s all you need to worry about. From a development standpoint, I am actually even more a fan of pre selling whatever that looks like. You know, we talked briefly about him working with a FinTech company right now. We’ve got ello eyes Letters of Intent from nine banks who are potential customers who are like when this launches, I’ll sign a contract on it. That is worth way more to me than the technology being cool and sexy and totally finished. Money. cash is king, baby. So if you You aren’t pre selling and Uber selling and launch event selling. If you’re not selling, it doesn’t matter how cool the thing is that you have, because sales is what continues. So we do product market fit on the front end to say, what is the viable market? Who are your ideal customers? Do they resonate? product market fit is something you’re constantly doing all along the way, regardless of what size your company is. Apple doesn’t go to the worldwide developer conference with a new thing that they don’t already know you are going to need the second you realize that you never had it before. Okay, they’re constantly doing product market fit. That’s what selling is sales and business development is an opportunity to keep having conversations with ideal customers and finding out what are the things they need, how can we solve their problem? And by the way, if you aren’t selling and you aren’t talking to people, you don’t know what to build. Next you’re going with your ego about I think this is cool. Who cares if nobody’s going to pay for it? It ain’t that cool.
Chris Graebe 29:05
Oh, it’s so true. I used to, you know, because I did e commerce for many, many years, people would come and go, Hey, Chris, I have an idea for a product I think would crush it on Amazon. I was like, does anybody search the thing that you’re asked you think you want to create? They want like know
Unknown Speaker 29:19
Chris Graebe 29:20
Nobody’s typing tell me the keyword that they would actually type in. Well done before well, then they’re not gonna find it. That’s like, you know, they are searching for they’re searching for Tupperware. Yeah. Or spoons in their kit like that is what they are searching for some kind of product, like, do not do it. Do it as your like, third thing after you’ve been successful a couple times and you just decide you want to throw a bunch of money away. That’s exactly right. So okay, kind of last question. Before we jump into our final three questions. What do you see in from success? Right? Like what what’s kind of what are some learnings you had in this time period? I guess Give me the time period that you really started to ramp this up.
So we started raketech, just three years ago this month, I would say that we learned a lot in the first year and a half. And so really the last year and a half is when we kind of narrowed the focus, understood what the market was asking from us and kind of got into the rhythm that we’re in now. For me, a success rate probably looks different than than it does to some people. For me a success rate is how many people work with me on an idea, realize that there’s no there there. It either pivot or find something else to do. And that is a very high success rate. I mean, I would say over the last year and a half, at least 80% of the people we’ve worked with have gotten to that sort of aha moment where they’re like, oh, there’s nothing here, or they’ve gotten to that moment where they’re like, my original idea doesn’t work. But if I pivot one and a half degrees this way, all of a sudden there’s a huge market, and everybody’s like, yes. When can I sign up? When can I sign up? Those are all successes in my mind. Now, if you take those and project those out over the next five to seven years, I think probably my group of startups will have a higher success rate so far, you know, in typically, like in a VC firm or seat, you know, investors are like we expect about 10% success rate, which is why they set these ridiculous metrics like 10, X and five years and blah, blah, it’s just crap. But it’s because they’re trying to make up for the nine failures with the one big win, right? I’m seeing more even in the year and a half to my oldest client has been working with us since the beginning three years ago. I’m seeing about a 50% success rate. Now the metrics we’re using for success right now are how quick how quickly are they getting funding? How accurate are all of our projections about what they need to be doing? And some of it’s skewed a little bit by this weird Mark? Get that we have right now. But I would say at least 50% of the people I’ve worked with in the last 18 months are on the track to be very successful. And I would also say that those are the ones that are willing to go the distance for their companies. A bunch of the other 50% have kind of like hey, I just don’t care so much now you know, they’re they’re the squirrel shiny thing people there Oh, there’s something new I’m gonna go Oh, now, you know. So
Chris Graebe 32:27
you specialize in being a buzzkill? I love it. I do.
I’m a buzzkill.
Chris Graebe 32:34
Because I care about you are going to be a buzzkill. Right?
Chris Graebe 32:39
And save you a lot of time, a lot of time and a lot of money. A lot of heartache, so Exactly. Well, I love it. I’m super excited just to see the companies that come out of Riot technologies, what you guys are doing and I know you’re just gonna keep doing cool startups. So all right, well, let’s jump into the final kind of three questions we always ask first ones this What’s a book that’s impacted your entrepreneurial journey.
Ooh, where is it? Okay, so this is one that I had never seen before. It’s called inspired. It’s by Marty Kagan. It’s called inspired how to create text, tech products customers love and I am so loving this book. I was introduced to me by a product owner that I interviewed for a client of mine a few weeks ago and I’m like, how did I not know this existed? Great book.
Chris Graebe 33:23
Alright, cool. Love it. All right. Well, since you are serial founder and entrepreneur and starter junkie, junkie or Ninja,
yeah, startup junkie or Ninja,
Chris Graebe 33:33
depending on you know? Yeah. If you were going to start something today, brand new, knowing all you know, what would you start in? Why?
Ah, it’s a really good question. I have been toying with the idea of building a, an online platform that brings together the where the entrepreneurs kind of the center of the universe, and there’s the coaching and advisory element like what I do, there’s the founder dating app. element, there’s an investor element. And then there’s also like a work for equity hire elements. So like talent, who likes you know, in bringing all that stuff together in a way where people can find each other and find projects that actually interest them much more easily and much more quickly than what we have today. And I first started pitching this idea about six months ago to my my investor group, San Francisco, Denver, some in Miami, some in Atlanta, one or two in Chicago. And they are all like, I would absolutely pay to be on that platform. And entrepreneurs love it because they’re like, you know, and so my that’s sort of the thing I’m actually working on right now. It’s rolling around in the back of my head. We’re like this close to taking some checks to actually go start building it. So I don’t know,
Chris Graebe 34:49
pre sailing. I like it your presale. Exactly right. You want to find you want that thing you should pay for it.
That’s right. That’s
Chris Graebe 34:57
a build it and then pay me after I build it. That’s right.
Chris Graebe 35:01
I like your style. All right, last question. founders, angel investors, who is somebody you know, in your life that you think would be great to be a part of this
podcast, my friend, Inder Singh. He was CIO of the global x CIO of Bank of America. He, he was the first CIO of lifelock. That took that company public. This guy is a wealth of information and knowledge. He is he’s a, he’s a mentor of mine. He’s involved in a bunch of different investor groups. And I think, anybody I just introduced him to one of my co founders, and we had like an hour and a half conversation the other night and my co founder was like, This guy is amazing. And that’s what I think. I think he’s incredibly interesting. He’s got a fascinating background. His brain works so fast. He’s amazing.
Chris Graebe 35:54
I mean, sign me up. Okay. We’ll bring him on and we’ll we’ll tap into that brain of his Like, thanks for that. Thanks for your time here today, where can people find you look of your company. These people have an idea kicking around in their head. How do they jump
in with you? So right the tech.com we actually have more offering for your podcast listeners, the first hour for free. And that’s at raketech comm slash startup camp. And then you can find me on LinkedIn and Twitter and YouTube. I’m the startup therapist, and I do what I do with my coaching on the startup therapy couch. So
Chris Graebe 36:33
love it. We all need to go to that couch. That’s right. All right. Well, thanks for being here. We’re cheering you on. Really, really appreciate your time today.
Chris Graebe 36:50
All right. I hope you enjoyed this episode. As always, we’re cheering you on over at startup camp calm. If you have not come to our website, you’ve got to come check it out. There’s so many exciting things happening there. And hey look, if you’re ready to get started in the world of angel investing, or even just learn about it, all you have to do is go to startup camp comm slash Angel startup camp.com slash Angel. We’ve got a ton of great resources and some free tools for you to learn more about it and know how you can get started today. You can get started for as little as $100. Guys, this is an opportunity, the door is wide open. I’m inviting you to come join this journey with me and thousands of others who have stepped in the world of angel investing and who are changing their life. Don’t forget the website is startupcamp.com/angel startupcamp.com/angel. Well, that’s a wrap for this episode, guys. We will catch you next time on the StartupCamp Podcast.
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