Innovators. They come in many forms. They dream big but they aren’t just dreamers. They form raw ideas into cool products with disruptive business models. They shatter entire industries and leave established leviathans running scared with their tails between their legs. The Innovators interview series connects you with the most driven people on the planet. What makes them tick? What advice do they have for tech founders? What tools do they use to get the job done? Read on to find out.
Gregarious is a serial entrepreneur, product strategist and startup advisor. He has been discussing, designing and developing social tools and applications since 2003. Armed with a background in sociology, design and development, Greg constantly seek out new and interesting ways to put the human collective to use.
Greg is the Co-Founder of Chute, where he is building a media platform to help power the next generation of media-rich applications. Previously, Greg was the VP of Product (and first hire) at Klout where he helped establish the Klout Score as the standard for influence online.
What do you enjoy most about your work and why?
Solving new and interesting problems is probably my favorite thing in the whole world. When at work, I’m constantly engaged in that process on all fronts, both internally for our small startup and externally for our clients and customers. The sense of accomplishment that comes from solving a difficult problem is more addictive than any drug out there.
Where does your passion come from? What drives you, inspires you, excites you?
I really love building things that can let new things get built on top of them. Creating a new platform that empowers a broad range of people to do new, interesting and seemingly impossible outcomes is extremely rewarding. Also, being a huge admirer of all things well-designed, helping people be better “designers” in their own right makes me extra happy.
Someone reading this wants to start a tech company. What’s your best advice for them?
Don’t wait! Most people will have an idea and talk about it for ages. The reality is that idea is running away from you every day unless you chase it. I don’t think you need to quit your job, blow your savings, and alienate your family (that all comes later), but you can always find ways to put good, productive energy into refining your idea and understanding of the customer it helps.
What are a few tech startups that you’re really excited about right now and why?
Getting onto someone’s daily radar is such a hard task, it’s amazing any of us do it. That said, there’s a couple of new ones that I really love. First is Zapier – it’s like IFTTT but for business automation. We use it, for example, to update our Campfire chat rooms with other info from tools like Asana. Also, I really love how Vizify has moved the needle in the personal roster.
What tech tools (websites, apps, gadgets, etc.) do you rely on both for work and in your down time?
We use GitHub for most of our engineering efforts – it’s fairly robust and is central to most of our teams. Asana is really useful if you’re version of PM is list-oriented. My latest favorite, though, is Any.DO. It’s more than a ToDo list manager – it basically is everywhere. If you own an Android, it really shines as it prompts you after meetings and calls for new action items – most useful.