Current business: Co-founder and CEO, Chaotic Moon, Austin, Texas
Successful companies: 3
I first started my own businesses in college. I was doing some consulting, I had a web hosting company, and a t-shirt company, mostly stuff for fun. But my first real company that had any value was Simply Interactive, a company that develops custom e-learning and interactive marketing solutions.
I sold the majority of that company in 2006, and I left it in 2010 to start Chaotic Moon, which is a mobile software company. Most recently I co-founded Team Chaos, which is specifically focused on mobile gaming.
One lesson I've taken to heart the important of choosing the right partners, both in the founding stages and as investors. With Simply Interactive, my partners and I had a similar goal but different visions for how to get there: I wanted to focus on building the culture and bringing in the right people, but they were more focused on the economics and going after big clients.
I think the business didn't perform as well as it could have because we weren't aligned. So when I started Chaotic Moon I spent a lot of time with my co-founders beforehand and worked on a few side deals with them.
I was really upfront about how I wanted to build the culture. We 100% agree on not only our goals but how to get there. We're already landing bigger customers than I did with Simply Interactive.
When it came time to choose an acquisition partner, we were just as picky about finding in equity partners who had that same vision. William Morris Endeavor recently bought a big stake in the company, and they've a perfect match -- they agree with our vision and we feel lucky to have co-founder and equity partners that our fully aligned with our vision.