Time on the Hilltop
What is your favorite Georgetown memory?
I met my wife there! It doesn’t get much better than that. I also had a really great group of friends with whom I am still very close. My wife formed a strong group of friends, and we all keep in touch with each other.
What advice would you give to your younger self (or current Georgetown students)?
In addition to prioritizing academics, build as many relationships as possible because that’s the legacy that sticks with you in life. The friendships and relationships I built during my time at Georgetown are what I’m happiest about taking away from my college experience. I also held several different internships while at Georgetown; when it came time to job searching senior year, it was the wealth of work experience I had that employers looked at more than the degree.
How has Georgetown shaped you?
My life would be very different if I hadn’t gone to Georgetown. I met my wife and lifelong partner on the Hilltop, and for that I’m incredibly grateful. But my experience at Georgetown also gave me the foundation on which to build great things. Georgetown helped legitimize all that I wanted to do; it gave me early credibility for the start of my career.
Career Information and Reflections
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
I received what could be called an antithesis to career advice, but I needed to hear it to prepare for starting my own business: I had been in the tech and startup field for two years when someone said to me, “being an entrepreneur isn’t a career path. If you are going to take that path, you are going to fail or succeed. Entrepreneurship is not like other career paths; you are not going up the ladder of success. It is very uncertain and you are creating it all yourself.” Without hearing that, going into the world of entrepreneurship would have been very difficult.
What are the big trends in your industry that you’re seeing now?
The digitization of our economy is occurring in every industry. We need employees with data-related skills straight out of college now. I’m also seeing a much stronger demand for jobs with the rise in unemployment—the demand for jobs is outweighing the supply of jobs available. I’m seeing that unemployment goes all the way up the ladder; it’s not just blue collar workers or restaurant workers who are unemployed—everyone is affected by the mass unemployment we’re seeing now as a result of COVID-19.
What has been the most rewarding moment of your career?
That’s a no-brainer! About seven years ago, I was CEO of a startup called HopStop, which was acquired by Apple. It is not everyday you can say you sold a company to Apple.
A Day In the Life
What does your workspace look like? Are you at a desk frequently or on the road? What do you have on your desk or with you at all times?
We originally had an office, but 12 months ago we went completely remote. At the time that was a bold move, but it doesn’t sound irregular now. Since we’ve been in the remote environment for more than a year now, we are completely able to work from anywhere, and we know what works and what doesn’t. As long as I have my computer and phone, with a reliable team, they too can work wherever. I float all over and enjoy being mobile (when I can be).
What is one part of your daily routine that you couldn’t live without?
There is no regular day. When you are the founder of a company like ExecThread, you are wearing multiple hats. You have shifting responsibilities. There are many facets in which I have to get involved, so no two days really look the same. On a personal level, I need to get in a form of exercise every day to achieve my best physical and mental state, and to release stress. On the business front, my last three startups were very community-based. You get a ton of user feedback within those communities, where people can share their experiences and feelings. Looking at that feedback is an important part of my day.
What are your words to live by?
I have one that is a quote: Luck is the residue of hard work. People that work hard get some luck. Luck doesn’t just happen—it comes directly from hard work.