A Crash Course In Operations With Rich Warwick of Plum

In this episode, I talk with Rich Warwick of Plum. Rich is an experienced executive and currently the COO at Plum, Inc. During our discussion, we give founders a crash course in operations. If you want to become a better operator, listen to this interview. Enjoy!

Have comments, questions, ideas, or feedback? I want to hear it. Tweet me at william_griggs.


Topics Covered In This Episode

  • What the heck does a COO do?
  • What are the 3 most important tasks related to operations most founders/CEOs screw up?
  • Where do you see CEOs/founders wasting time early in the life of a company?
  • What is the one thing that you find yourself helping startups with the most when mentoring them at Capital Factory?
  • If you could only recommend one book on business to your kids or grandkids and could pass on no other knowledge or resource what would it be?
  • If you could give one piece of career advice to your 25 year old self that might change your trajectory what would it be?
  • What 1 or 2 people were most influential in your career and why?



Startup Slingshot Radio’s audio transcription is done by GMR Transcription

William Griggs: Hey, Rich thanks for coming on the show today.

Rich Warwick: Glad to be here.

William Griggs: Awesome. So, you know the goal of this episode. The goal of this episode is to get to know you a little bit but also for you to give our listeners a crash course in operations. You know, we’ve got a lot of people out there listening that are running their own start-up and they’re thinking about it and they need help with the operations piece but before we dig in to the operations piece, tell our audience briefly about your background and what you do on a day to day basis at Plum.

Rich Warwick: Okay. So, I guess you could call me a veteran entrepreneur with a lot of battle scars and battle scars means that you and all those people around you have made many, many mistakes over the years and survived to tell about it. You use those experiences to not make the same mistakes again. I’m currently doing my eighth start-up company and all of these scars are definitely more valuable than you could imagine. These start-ups have spanned many technologies and many markets – I guess I’m a little bit of an odd duck where in the start-up world because I’m equally comfortable in hardware or software start-ups.

We have spanned enterprise software which was Vignette, it was one of the – it was the fastest growing software company in history at the time and mobile software Evernote, Firmware and the hardware spans from very big complex silicone chips to in a board level – a box level in system products and wrap based products.

William Griggs: Sounds like you got a lot of backgrounds, a lot of expertise and a lot of experiences that you can share today in this interview, in this episode to help maybe some of the listeners avoid some scars. If there are some scars they can avoid, we would love for you to help them avoid it. So, on your LinkedIn, it says that you’re the COO, what the heck does a COO do?

Rich Warwick: So, you don’t see that too often in a start-up company but in start-ups, you come up with the roles based on the skillsets of the executives that you have and our CEO is Utz Baldwin and he is a very strategic thinker, he is very well known in the industry, he was the CEO of the CEF Trade Show and Trade Organization, which in the connected home industry that is the pinnacle of tradeshow organizations and everyone that’s in that market is involved in that organization. So, he is extremely plugged in to that industry and has good vision for what the product needs to be and where the company needs to go, so he’s very strategic in nature.

He’s strength is not operational. He’s not necessarily a product guy. He can envision products but he hasn’t built them and I have built 34 products over my long tenure with a very strong track record of delivering them on time and on budget. So, I’m an execution guy. Execution of products, of software products, hardware products, system level products, consumer products, I deliver them and deliver them on a predictable schedule as well with predictable finances. So, what I do is – he handles the fund raising and the strategic vision and I handle – I manage and own all of the day to day operations, financial operations, manufacturing operations and engineering operations of the company on a day to day basis.

William Griggs: Got it. That makes a lot of sense. So, you kind of have one person doing one piece of the work and you’re doing another piece and coming together as a team to kind of make a stronger start-up. So, some of the people listening in the audience, they might have some people that are a natural shoe in or natural fit for this type of role but some of them don’t. Some of them are just CEOs, founders trying to figure this stuff out, so if you had to say the three most important tasks related to operations for founders and CEOs and maybe the three most important tasks that they screw up, what do you think they would be?

Rich Warwick: Well, two definitely come to mind and this is coming from someone who has also been a CEO, in the hardware world everyone always wants to low cost manufacturing region as soon as possible because they see that as their lowest cost and the highest margins and all that sort of thing but I’m here to tell you that I have seen this kill a company over and over again. It’s a critical mistake that people make, is they think they want to rush off to that low cost region and the reason why is because when you’re ramping into production with your product, which you all hope that that’s what you’re going to do, all of your engineering resources are going to be heavily engaged with the manufacturing resources and those resources need to be very close by so you can get in a car and drive over there and you can spend day after day there and you can grab whatever resources in your company is necessary and they can jump in that car as well because you will have a lot of problems.

Once you get through what I call a stabilization of the product then you can smoothly transfer that off to a low cost region, so what you need is to select the right manufacturing partner that is the right size for your company, so you don’t want a really huge contract manufacturer and you want someone who has something here in the States where you’re within driving distance and they also have another facility in a low cost region, so that you can – after it stabilizes you can transfer the product over to that low cost region. That is a battle scar that I definitely want to share with people.

William Griggs: Yeah, that seems that that could apply to both software and hardware start-ups. Obviously there’s low cost providers around the world for both and it seems like you’re saying super crucial, super urgent to get the right people on the ground day one to help you get through those iterations before you work with someone that’s time zones away and languages away as well.

Rich Warwick: I don’t know if I would say necessarily if you’re doing like a pure – like a fast start-up or a pure software start-up, I have seen successful cases where using Skype or Google Chat or whatever, you have remote developers that even from the very beginning – if they’re really, really good and they’re totally bought in to the dream, they can probably work remotely. I have seen it happen, it is more difficult. It’s harder to have the same level of energy in the office if everyone is not there feeding off of each other in person but the most important thing is absolutely that you have the best people that you can find.

Every one of your start-up employees needs to be a “ten-exer”, someone who can do ten times the work of a normal average person. They are definitely out there and those are the kind of people that you have to have, you can’t fill your company with those people indefinitely but in the very, very beginning that’s what you need to start with.

William Griggs: Very interesting, so what’s the second mistake?

Rich Warwick: So the second one is that if you don’t budget – when you come up with the idea of the business and they just want to get rolling and they don’t budget their head count and their expense and stick to that budget and continuously force themselves to go back and re-assess where their operating plan is due to lack of funding. You know, some of them will go through it – it’s a painful process and it’s the thing that no one wants to do and then they put a plan in place because everybody tells them they have to have that but they don’t go back and revisit it because fund raising is as far from exact science as you can possibly be.

The continuous lack of funding because funding is never going to happen on a time table that you want, also it’s going to affect your operating plans so you have to go back and continuously update that budget and to find out what you can actually spend and what you can actually afford and who you can actually afford to hire. If you don’t do that, you’ll get yourself upside down in the finances, then you get into a death spiral where you’ve hired too many people or spent to much money and then the only way out of that is to start cutting people and when you start cutting people, it’s very hard to get out of that loop.

William Griggs: That’s good stuff for our listeners to pay attention to. We talked a little bit about operations a minute ago. You said you focus on finance, you focus on manufacturing – are there other pieces of operations that you focus on as a COO?

Rich Warwick: Well the vast majority of your early time is all in engineering the product and engineering it in such a way that can actually be built. I’m kind of biased towards hardware because of what I am in right now is a hardware start-up, so getting the product designed – and here’s another actually, I don’t know if we’ve gotten to mistakes – CEO screw-ups. So this is where the whole company screws up in a hardware world and I see this just all the time, you’ll go out and see a kick starter company who is going to go off and build this cool killer hardware product and then all of a sudden they hit a wall and they can’t deliver and they can’t deliver and they can’t deliver because they failed certifications.

They are going out for UL certifications or FTC of something like that and they never can pass and if you go to the test houses and they will tell this happens all the time where a start-up will get to the very end and when they’re ready to go into certifications and submit their product and then they fail. They didn’t design from the very beginning to pass. The way I do it from the beginning is when you have nothing more than just a high level concept of what you’re going to do, you put that into your very first schematic and then you go off and you review that.

You pay the money – you’re only talking about a few hours of consulting but you actually take it through a screening with the test house for FTC, UL etc., so you go through all these different levels of screening and once you have your very first prototype, you go in and you pay them to test it just like they were going to test it and they do the testing. You do this several times all throughout the product development cycle so by the time you get the agency there are no surprises and you should never fail agencies if you follow that process and get to that point.

William Griggs: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. So, instead of waiting till the end like you said to go through the testing, go through as your iterating so you can figure out what the problems are, as you’re kind of planning out and developing the product, that makes a lot of sense but something definitely that could easily be overlooked and probably overlooked by lots of the people listening to this very podcast. So, that’s great advice. When you – where do you see – as you work with different CEOs and founders of the Capital Factory, where do you see them wasting time early in the life of a company with regards to operations?

Rich Warwick: Lots of times I see CEOs and founders that are – they gravitate towards what they enjoy or what excites them and so they get buried into the cool technology instead of fundraising. The hardest and the most unpleasant part of being a CEO is the fundraising itself and it’s critical to the survival of the company. I have this thing I call the half-life rule and I apply it wherever I am. If I’m out raising money and you go pitch to anyone about your company, as soon as you – that’s an interaction with the investor.

Then you punch the clock and then every day that goes by that you do not have an interaction from them, not from you but from them, then the probability that you’re going to move to the next step with that investor has gone down by one half. So, if it’s been three days since they have contacted you, you’re down three half-lives and so you – when you’re out raising money you got to keep track of the half-lives of every single one of the engagements that you have because they decay off very, very quickly. I’ve tried resetting that clock myself by interacting with them but trust me, that doesn’t work.

William Griggs: So what can founders do if it’s not about you interacting with them, it’s about them interacting with you? Is that just the term at hay, you know I’m talking with five different venture capitalists, you know the half-life is very short on some of them, so maybe I should start looking for more? Is it to help you find out should you start looking for more or is there more –?

Rich Warwick: You have to have a funnel and you have to – very few are actually going to make it off the bottom of the funnel so you have to engage with a lot and you cannot force these people to get back with you, all you can do is do what one of my past mentors shared with me. He said you have to get to all the yes buts…the yes buts are yeah, this is some cool technology but blah, blah, blah. Why would they not be interested? Why would they not fund it? You always have to ask the hard question when you finish pitching because they’re never going to tell you that part.

They’re just not going to get back to you, so you have to ask the question…okay, if you did not invest in this, what would be the reason why? And if you pose the question in that way, you will actually get a honest answer back and so most likely if that half-life continues to run out on that particular investor you have a good clue as to why it was and you need to get that same question answered by literally and I am not kidding you, 100 VCs before you’re going to get funded, typically.

It is not uncommon at all to have to go out and pitch that many times to that many different investors. They could be VCs; they could be angels, whatever.

William Griggs: Yeah and is the goal to take that but why wouldn’t you do it and take that feed back into the company and change things about your business? Or is that just to know where they stand?

Rich Warwick: Well, both, I mean if you get the same yes buts ten times in a row, you’re probably off in the weeds and you better go correct it but there’s also you’re not going to be the right investment for everybody. I mean there’s going to be just a small subset of investors where you actually fit what they’re looking for, what they want in their portfolios, where they are whether early state, mid-state, late stage, where your evaluation sits, so you’re going to have to pitch to a lot of different people until you find that connection.

William Griggs: Got it. That makes a lot of sense, so – yeah, go ahead.

Rich Warwick: The mistake there is getting buried under the technology instead of being out there fundraising, that’s the first one.

William Griggs: So when is something – I mean when should people start doing that? Is it as soon as you have a prototype, is it –?

Rich Warwick: The fundraising?

William Griggs: Yes.

Rich Warwick: Oh no, the fundraising has got to go from day one. You have to sell the vision, unless you – if you have the luxury of having plenty of financial reverse where you could fund it yourself then that’s perfectly fine. The longer you can go without having to go out and bring in money, the better off you are but in most cases you’re not going to be able to self-fund this thing for very far and then you’re going to have to go – and whatever you do don’t wait until you need the money to go out and raise it because it’s going to take you three to six months to get any decent sized round.

William Griggs: So sounds like – you’re kind at the same time you’re meeting with the venture capitalists, the angel investors, trying to build up a relationship, show them the vision, get them to poke holes, fix that along the way as you’re building your prototype, is that correct?

Rich Warwick: Yes and even if you’re not raising money, let’s say that I have enough to self-fund this thing for the next six or eight months and it’s a software company and my burden is low, I still want to go out and pitch this company to a lot of different places. I want to be specific and tell them I am not raising money right not but I will be in this time frame. So, that you’re on their radar, they are already thinking about you and you’re keeping them up to date so they’re lining it up if they’re interested in it, they’re lining it up in their investment portfolio and Q3 or something like that.

So, even if you’re not raising money right now you need to be out there raising money for the future.

William Griggs: Great advice. So what is one thing that you find yourself – you know you work a lot with Capital Factory, which is an accelerator down here in Austin, an incubator as well. What is one thing that you find yourself helping start-ups with most when you’re there mentoring?

Rich Warwick: Actually I just thought of something else that I wanted to share before we jump to that question.

William Griggs: Yeah, go for it.

Rich Warwick: So, you’re talking about the CEOs wasting time and making mistakes, one huge mistake and this is a tough one to learn actually, one huge mistake that’s commonly made is being to transparent with your employees about how much money is left. Now this is a tough thing because in a start-up you want to have very open communication and I’m a firm believer in that but there’s one piece of communication that you have to be careful of.

I’ll give you an example, I have taken companies right down to the wire many times and the example that always comes to mind for me is in 2007, my start-up actually ran out of money 12 times during the year. So, when I say out of money I mean we were within 24 hours, much less than 24 hours of shutting the company down 12 times. Now, the E staff never gave up and we assumed that this wall that we were headed towards at Mach one was just going to be Styrofoam and we were going to be able to blow through it somehow and you have to have that attitude and you have to sell that attitude to your employees.

In that case the big funnel finally came in and we were rocking and rolling and the employees never knew and if we had told them, our key employees would have left and we would never have had that opportunity to succeed, so this is the most stressful part of being a start-up executive but this is where you have to step up and you have to led and you have to have vision and not waiver. That is a very tough thing because you know that these people believe in you and if it ever does fold, they’re going to think you deceived them, right?

And that’s the stress that we all carry, “Why didn’t you tell me we were about to run out of money?” Well, I have to assume that we’re not going to run out of money and we’re going to find a way to get there because we always do.

William Griggs: Right.

Rich Warwick: So, anyway that was the thing I brought up.

William Griggs: Yeah, that’s –

Rich Warwick: What was your question again?

William Griggs: I’m glad you brought that up, that’s a good thing to think about. Just like you said, it can be super stressful because here you are kind of putting a face on but you have to believe it in your heart as well, down deep in your gut that you’re going to figure it out, you’re going to make it happen. Otherwise like you said, you could spook off the best employees or all the employees thinking hey they have to look out for their own self.

The next question was really was what was the one thing as you mentor companies at Capital Factory that you find yourself helping them with over and over again?

Rich Warwick: The most common thing is that many of them have these young start-ups down at Capital Factory, many of them have a really cool idea but there’s some things that they’re missing like they don’t have a financial model or a spreadsheet or something that shows that they actually have a buyable business model. You know, that shows all the money coming in and all the money going out and that they’re actually going to be able to make a profitable business out of that and it’s got to take into account their headcount plan, all the real people that they’re going to have to have and all the real jobs.

And an org chart that goes along with this spreadsheet, this business model and a close second to this is that they haven’t done a market analysis to see that they actually have a product that can really sustain a business. They may have in their head; oh I can sell this for 90 bucks if it were a hardware product and it turns out that it’s going to cost them 85 to build it, that’s not going to sustain a company. I’ve seen that happen many times where they have an idea and they just make the assumption that they can make a profitable business by selling it because somebody will buy it at a particular price point but that is not a recipe for a solid business.

William Griggs: So what is something that people or how can they can tackle that kind of business model operating plan mistake or problem that they’re facing and you’re helping them with? How do they tackle that?

Rich Warwick: Well the best thing you can do is leverage mentors. I mean the Capital Factory is a fantastic place for that, there are other places that have mentors or you can seek them out on your own and I strongly advise any start-up to find people who are out there, who have experience, have battle scars, been there, done that and get someone that’s kind of bought in to your dream and give them some stock and then advise them to be there when you need them and ask them how to do things. They can give you a little advice each month and you can pick up the phone and call them and they can save you a lot of trouble.

Here’s an example business spreadsheet from a past company – you know, change some stuff, leverage it out so you can at least see how you do it – this is how you do a headcount plan, this is how what a typical work chart would actually look like in a real company that’s doing the things that you’re doing, have the company go off and do that and I’ll come back and check it again later. But if you’ve never done this before, there’s just no possible way you can come up with all of those pieces on your own even though when you’re 25 years old you think you can.

William Griggs: Right, so find someone that’s been there, done that, maybe have some examples from businesses they have invested in or businesses they’ve created, like you said, kind of looking at the headcount plan, the business model, some of the cash flow or operating models. What other type of stuff should they be looking to kind of create so they can get in front of investors or really make sure they have a viable business before they continue down the path?

Rich Warwick: Well clearly the investor pitches are a crucial part and that is something that if they engage with a – you know, apply towards an incubator – incubators are really taking off now a days for start-up. Like one of the top ones would be like Tech Stars for example, we actually went through the Tech Stars program and I highly recommend it for start-ups and they have mentors that help you in every aspect of your business but they also help you in honing your investor pitch and let you practice it over and over and by the time you get to the end of the incubator which is typically like a three month process, then they set you up to pitch to a lot of investors.

So, they pull them all together and you’re pitching to a lot of influential and wealthy people or VCs at the end, so that’s all very helpful to the company.

William Griggs: Makes a lot of sense, definitely good to look at accelerators and incubators in your town but also in other towns that may specialize specifically on – whether it’s hardware start-ups or what specifically you’re trying to target sounds like.

Rich Warwick: Right. For example, we took part in a Microsoft incubator that was up in Redmond and that was a long way for us but the incubator was specifically around a connected home and we’re building connected home products, so it was a good sit for us.

William Griggs: So if you could only recommend – I kind of like to kind of ask some off the wall questions every once in a while but some that kind of cut through the clutter – there’s too much to read, there’s too much to do in the business, there’s too much everything really and it’s a good thing, it’s a bad thing. I like to ask some questions to kind of cut through the clutter, so maybe if you could only recommend one book on business to your kids or grandkids, I don’t know if you have them or not but let’s say – and you could pass on no other knowledge or resource that you ever learned about business, what’s that one book? What’s that book that some people call a quake book, something that kind of changes your perspective or something that can send you in a different direction in your career that you think other people should know in the audience?

Rich Warwick: I think for me, it was probably the Geoffrey Moore series of books starting with Crossing the Chasm. That was a kind of a turning point for me when I really started to get it on how you build a product that could actually go mainstream, it’s not a niche but how you actually cross a chasm and build something that a very large number of people are really going to want and the average consumer would actually want to consume. So, I would have to say it would be that book.

William Griggs: Very interesting. That’s a great book. Another one of those questions that kind of fits in there is if you could only give one piece of advice to your 25 year old self – make it a career piece of advice that might change your trajectory or help you get to where you were going but you didn’t know you needed to do it, what would that advice be? Again, there’s tons of career advice out there, there’s tons of business advice but if you could only give one piece of advice to your 25 year old self that would help you be more successful quicker or be more successful, what would that piece of advice be?

Rich Warwick: If it was only one, I would say it would definitely be listen to the guys who’ve been doing this for 25 or 30 years. Now when I was 25 years old, I always thought whatever they would speak of…these are different times, these are different problems, they’re old guys who can’t hang with me. Now that I know that the old guys will be waiting for you at the finish line because they don’t step on all the landmines during the race and there’s just absolutely no replacement for experience. The interesting thing about experience, it is one thing that you can legally steal.

What I mean by that is that the vast majority of people out there who have a wealth of experience, if you have the right attitude when you approach them, they are very willing to share that with you but you have to do it in such a way that you really want to hear it and it’s not from a point of arrogance. That’s why I call it legal stealing because if you could gain half the knowledge of five guys who have been in the industry for 30 years because you worked with them, you listened to them and you absorbed all the lessons that they can share with you, it’s literally a short cut by stealing experience and they are very happy to do it.

William Griggs: Yeah, I think that’s a no brainer but a no brainer that people like you say, younger people tend to kind of overlook, they tend to think oh, well you know, this is a different time like you’re saying, there’s crowd funding, the internet, you know all this different stuff has changed the landscape but a lot of business fundamentals and foundations are the same but that is also after those people have been successful throughout their whole career. They’ve seen the transition and been able to adapt to it and made a lot of connections along the way that even if they can’t help you, other people in their network would be able to help you.

Do you have any recommendations? Because you know, that’s kind of a no brainer in a way that people are kind of going a-ha, yes I should be doing that, do you have any advice on next steps on how maybe they could best connect with those people, so they found them on LinkedIn or heard about someone that kind of fits into their niche and what they’re interested in, is there a certain approach that they should take?

Rich Warwick: Well, in Austin we have Capital Factory, which you mentioned I think early on, it’s kind of like the start-up mecca in Austin and a lot of start-ups go down there, they pay a little bit of money to have a little bit of office space down there. It opens up the opportunity to be able to get on the calendar of a large list of mentors. There may be – whatever city you’re in, there may be an organization like this that has mentors and has the ability for you to go down there and participate. You pay a fee or something and then all of a sudden you have access to these mentors and everyone that you meet with, they have a very vast network and if you can connect with these people then you’re tapped in to their network.

Another thing that’s actually very valuable – I leverage LinkedIn very strongly and I always had a policy of never connect to anyone that you have not actually worked with. My one exception to this rule is for recruiting purposes, your network on LinkedIn is your total reach into being able to see everyone, so recruiters are connected – I call them – this is an improper term but I call them Linkwhores, they will connect to absolutely anybody because they want to build their own network and so if you connect to a recruiter, you automatically tap their entire network.

So, if you connect to 50 recruiters, your network grow exponentially and when it’s time for you to look for an IOS mobile software developer or a hardware board designer and you do a search in your network, it makes all the difference in the world who actually shows up. So, I want to tact that little bit of advice on as well.

William Griggs: Yeah, I never heard that one. That makes a lot of sense now that you explain it and definitely something our audience should take and execute tomorrow or today if they have time. It seems like what you’re saying is a couple things, you can go to places like accelerators, incubators, with just their websites and see who’s involved there because you’re kind of going to the place where everyone’s connected. You said it’s basically a hub, right?

So, that can be on Angel List, that could be on LinkedIn, that could be the accelerator or incubator in your town to kind of find the people and then you could attend events or you could do a bunch of different stuff to kind of get in front of them. That makes a lot of sense. On to kind of our last question and it kind of fits the theme of the last three but it’s also a little bit about kind of giving back in a way because lots of people listen to this podcast and they’re not where they want to be but if they look a little bit farther down the ladder, they’re farther ahead then a lot of people. So, they can also help people kind of give back regardless of their age. With that in mind, what are one or two people that were most influential in your career and why were they so influential?

Rich Warwick: Well, I would say there are two people that come to mind and they’re actually both in the same company. This is Vignette, that was an amazing company, we grew from – I can’t even remember, I’d say probably 300 employees to 2,400 employees in 24 months. It was an explosive growth time. I went to 18 billion market cap but at that time there was a person by the name of Cal Killen and Cal was an executive at IBM who ran a very large organization, thousands of employees at IBM. We brought him in to be an engineering VP and he had some very strong views on how to lead and one of the things [inaudible] [00:35:37] talk about stealing experience, I stole from him, is he had something called info free meetings and I have used them ever since then and he had a clear definition of it.

What it was…was you communicate openly and often, regardless of the size of the organization, if you’re the leader that’s what you do. So, once a week, only a leader speaks, there’s no slides, no more than 30 minutes and your giving the state of the union. As the company grows to be really large, you might bring in every once in a while some guest speakers from different parts of the organization or even a customer but once a week you get the whole team together and another guiding principle is you always tell the truth. No matter how bad the news is, you tell them. The people will always respect you for it.

So, that was one very valuable lesson I learned from him and I have used it ever since. The second thing is Bill Daniel. Bill Daniel was also at Vignette and he was my boss there and one of the things that he taught me is that every problem that you are facing ultimately comes down to a business decision. You can get caught up in things like your attorney is telling you, you can’t do this because xyz, there’s risk involved in this, it doesn’t matter whether it’s a legal issue, whether it’s an HR issue, whether or not it’s a personnel issue, everything comes down to a business decision.

At first I thought that he was very cold and analytical and trust me, he really can be that at times but he also taught me to separate myself from the emotion of the situation and to analyze it strictly from a business perspective. So, sometimes that is – or many times that is an extremely important thing to be able to do and removing yourself from the emotional portion of like when you have to make decisions where to downsize staff and destroy people’s lives. You can’t think about that part of it because your responsibility is to the business.

You have to remind yourself of that. So, whether it’s a legal issue, a personnel issue, a layoff issue or whatever, you have to be able to abstract yourself from it and make the proper business decisions. So, those are the two people that really come to mind for me and have really kind of shaped things that I’ve done going forward.

William Griggs: Yeah, that’s really interesting and I really appreciate you sharing those and all the other good kind of knowledge nuggets that you shared on this episode. If people want to connect with you, are there certain things you’re looking to do or certain types of people you’re looking to connect with? How would they go about connecting with you?

Rich Warwick: That’s a good question because I get connection requests just literally tons a day.

William Griggs: Is it Twitter? Is it email? Is it they can figure it out? Whatever you decide.

Rich Warwick: It’s probably through LinkedIn. It helps if you know someone that I already know because I have to filter through the noise but that’s probably the best way. You can always find me on LinkedIn, just search Rich Warwick, Austin, Texas and you will find me.

William Griggs: Perfect, well I really appreciate you coming on the show.

Rich Warwick: All right, thank you.

William Griggs: All right, have a great day.

Rich Warwick: Bye bye.


Rich Warwick’s Bio

Rich WarwickRich is a results-oriented executive that has grown and built high-performing businesses from the ground up, and turned floundering organizations into profitable entities. A recognized leader in the high-technology field, Rich has delivered revenue-generating software and hardware products quickly and with minimal resources. Innovative, Rich have created products in software (SaaS, Mobile, Desktop, Enterprise) and hardware (silicon, board and system level).


Connect With Rich




Do you enjoy this podcast?

If so, please leave a short review here. It’s very important to helping keep the show alive. Email me a screenshot of your review to receive a free 30-minute Clarity.fm call (a $250 value).

  • Proven Founders Reveal How You Can Raise Money For Your Startup



On Sale(Normally $197)

Free Course: "Become a Better Founder in 10 Days" + Secret Bonus

(Valued at $197)

This amazing course will help you launch a tech startup as a non-technical founder over the next 10 days.

100% privacy guaranteed. I'll never share your email.

About William Griggs

William Griggs

William Griggs is a product and customer acquisition strategist who has helped numerous startups including companies backed by Andreessen Horowitz, FLOODGATE, & 500 Startups. In addition to his consulting work, he has written for Mashable, VentureBeat, & ReadWrite. You can check out his podcast on iTunes (The Startup Slingshot TV) or follow him on Twitter @william_griggs for Tweets chock-full of delicious knowledge nuggets.

In addition to everything tech startups, William loves breakfast tacos, dogs, short emails, and Amazon Prime. He currently resides in Austin, Texas with his beautiful wife Elizabeth.

  • The Startup Slingshot © 2024. All Rights Reserved.