Today We Announced Our Series A. Now the Real Work Begins.

Yesterday we announced our Series A led by AXA Strategic Ventures. A moment that has sparked a moment of introspection and gratitude. While this isn’t anything more than a very small milestone on my entrepreneurial journey, I thought it worth stopping to reflect.

Looking back over the past 5–7 years, I’m reminded of the guy who was working in the Big 4, hating his job and dreaming of the day when he could work for myself.

I remember vividly when I first started pitching my idea of a better apartment hunting tool back in 2010 to friends / family / strangers. The excitement that I had then would lead me to learn to code (albeit poorly), network at night to find a technical cofounder, and pour myself into the art of the startup all while working 50+ hour weeks in order to support Andrea and myself while she was starting grad school. In the midst of the recession.

I remember the fear that I wasn’t ready, I remember the embarrassment in those early days that I wasn’t successful yet (because we’re supposed to be overnight successes right?), and I remember many long sleepless nights staring at the ceiling thinking to myself that I was a failure.

I will forever remember words of encouragement from friends and family.

I’ve learned how truly blessed I am to have such an amazing wife, and that sometimes the “best of times” happens when your spouse stands by you and tells you you’re worthy, even when you’ve stopped believing it for yourself.

I remember learning first hand that focusing on the customer problem is a surer strategy than focusing on specific solutions — which is what took me from Rent Savvy to cofounding Modern Message // Community Rewards.

I remember leaving the office one day at noon very early on believing it was all over, but then the next day a contract came that basically saved the company.

I’ve learned what faith looks like in practice.

I remember our early days crammed into one small office, fundraising on what we believed would change our industry then working my tail off to make that a reality every since and return a profit to our investors.

I remember saying “if” a lot in those early days and John always correcting me with “not if, when”. I will always be grateful for that.

I’ve learned that trust is central to any relationship, and that relationships require time and attention to remain healthy.

I’ve learned that being afraid to fail is what keeps most of us from achieving our true potential, and that a culture of experimentation is required for a healthy startup. It’s also something I hope to teach my children.

I’ve learned that the older I get the less I actually know, and therefore constantly work to improve myself so that I live up to the level of excellence of those around me.

I’ve learned to hire smart people and get out of their way. In fact, I’m truly left speechless when I look around our office at all the amazing people who work here, and all that the team has accomplished over the last several years.

And the best part is that I know that we’ve only just begun to hit our stride.

Ok time to get back to work!

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