Tank Talks
Tank Talks By Ripple Ventures
Tank Talk: Devon Wright (GM @ Yelp!) - Bootstrapping a Startup & How to Succeed After VCs Say No!

Tank Talk: Devon Wright (GM @ Yelp!) - Bootstrapping a Startup & How to Succeed After VCs Say No!

On today’s Tank Talk! We welcome our guestDevon Wright, General Manager at Yelp! In San Francisco & former Co-Founder & CEO of Turnstyle Solutions.

This talk is a special one for me personally as I owe a lot of my entrepreneurial and venture investing career to Devon. Not only was Devon the first person I wrote my initial angel check into back in 2012 to help start Turnstyle before it was even a company, but Devon has become one of my closest friends and supporters to push me to leave my cushy job on wall st and start my own venture fund. I could go on and on, but you will hear more about that and more on the show.

On today's Talk, we ask Devon about the humble beginnings of starting Turnstyle in 2012 along with my initial capital investment that in hindsight was truly based on a ridiculous idea. We also dig into what it was like trying to find a Venture Fund let alone one to pitch to in Toronto during the first few years of the company. We learn how Devon found a way to beg, borrow and hustle his way through the early years at Turnstyle with limited capital and supporters. Finally, we dig into Devon's journey building Turnstyle into a profitable 40 person company with some amazing talent around him even after all the VC funds turned him down and why he decided to eventually sell to Yelp in 2017. Devon's entrepreneurial journey is one of hustle, persistence and the desire to prove others wrong in the face of adversity.

Books Mentioned In The Show:

-Loonshots - How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas that Win Wars - by Safi Bahcall

Brick by Brick - How Lego Rewrote The Rules Of Innovation - By David C. Robertson

-The Perfect Store - Ebay’s Story - By Adam Cohen

-Teams of Teams - New Rules of Engagement for Complex Worlds - By Gen. Stanley McChrystal

Devon’s words of Inspiration Be fair and be generous to everyone on your team when it comes to equity. It is really easy to get sucked into the capital side of your balance sheet. But don’t forget your role as an employee. And how important those people are to your success every day. Do what you can to give your employees ownership of the company. To make sure they win from the upside of your success. “

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Tank Talks
Tank Talks By Ripple Ventures
Join your host, Matt Cohen, Founder & Managing Partner at Ripple Ventures for weekly conversations with leaders in the startup ecosystem discussing the truth about investing, building and running startups.