I've been an entrepreneur for my entire professional career. Before graduating college, I had a few internships, but I've never worked a full-time job at a company that I didn't start myself. It's been a great journey so far and one I plan on continuing indefinitely. Here's a brief overview of what I've been working on over the past decade.
First Try #
My first startup was a complete failure. After graduating from college, I joined up with, David Renteln, a friend of mine from my hometown, and moved to Silicon Valley to start a company. We had the pretty typical vision of starting a tech company, raising venture capital, and scaling the company to IPO. Naturally, that didn't happen. We did wind up launching a few small web and mobile apps, and we learned a ton in the process. I improved my programming skills significantly and we started to learn the basics of how the startup world actually worked. We had raised $17,000 for the company, which wound up lasting us about 6 months, before we went out of business. Great experience, would definitely recommend to anyone graduating from college who has any hesitancy about joining a big company.
From 2013 to 2017 I served as co-founder and CTO of Soylent, a health food company I founded with David Renteln, Rob Rhinehart, and Matt Cauble. This was the typical startup experience in every way. Rapid growth, glowing press coverage, and term sheets from top-tier VC firms. I learned a ton as we scaled the business from a few people in a one-bedroom apartment in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco into a 50 person company doing 9 figures of revenue. It was a really wild ride and helped set me up for future entrepreneurial endeavors.
With Soylent in a stable position and expanding into retail stores, David and I left the company to found Lucy with Samy Hamdouche, who was our head of R&D at Soylent. I'm currently actively working on Lucy and love our mission of reducing tobacco related harm to zero. Cigarettes are a terrible blight on humanity and I love that we have a real shot at putting a dent in the massive health crises caused by smoking. At Lucy, I serve as the co-founder and CMO, which has me working on our ecommerce site, advertising initiatives, and, as always, a bunch of other projects.
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