Why I started Podia

The 3 reasons I decided to launch my 4th company

After people ask me, “what’s Podia?” they often follow up with “why did you start it?”, so today I’m going to share with you “the why” behind the founding of my latest company, Podia.

For me, it comes down to three things: Podia is a throwback to my favorite time as an entrepreneur, the mission of Podia, and to my love of helping people.

Reason 1: A throwback to my favorite time as an entrepreneur

Podia is my fourth startup.

TypeFrag, Carbonmade, and Uncover are my three others over the past fifteen years and I had a lot of fun working on all three, but of the bunch, my time working on Carbonmade was the best.

I loved working with the Carbonmade customers. They created such beautiful and interesting work, they were so kind, happy, and thoughtful. It was a pleasure working with every single one of them.

I think the reasons for that were:

  1. They were all individual creators looking to get noticed and show off their work
  2. They were all thrilled to have our product and help to do what they loved

With Podia, I wanted to go back to working with individual creators again.

When building software to sell to businesses (Uncover, my company in-between Carbonmade and Podia did this), you have this lack of connection with your customer on a personal level. I love talking directly to the customer, who not only sees the product benefits for him/herself, but also has the buying power.

And to be honest, businesses are just less fun to work with and tend to be less creative.

But it wasn’t just the customer base that I wanted to get back to, but also the type of product.

Carbonmade is a beautiful, simple portfolio product for individual designers and artists to display their work online. With Podia, I wanted to care about design, brand, and copy in the same way we did at Carbonmade, as well as get back into the CMS space.

There’s something about working on really well-done CMS that makes me happy.

With both Carbonmade’s customers and Carbonmade’s product in mind, I was inspired to start Podia.

Reason 2: The mission of Podia is the mission of my life

Those of you who I’ve had the pleasure to speak with in person (or over the Internet) know that I love helping entrepreneurs. I never turn down a request to help an entrepreneur who is thinking through a problem.

Throughout the past fifteen years, I’ve talked to hundreds, if not thousands, of entrepreneurs--both freelancers and people starting bigger companies--and I just love it.

I always come away inspired by what they’re doing, how they’re thinking about things, and feel good that I’m actually able to help them.

When I started thinking about building Podia, I knew that I wanted to help the same people I’ve been speaking with for years, break out from behind their desk job and to explore what they’re passionate about.

There’s nothing quite like starting a company. It’s both exciting and terrifying at the same time and neither of these emotions ever end throughout the entire life of the venture. I wanted more people to be able to live out these emotions and take the ride with me.

Podia's mission is to help people make a living off their passions and this is something that’s resonated with me since I was kid. I’ve only ever worked for myself and never drawn a paycheck from another person. I want to see more people walk down this path.

Reason 3: I love helping people

I truly love people and getting to work with individual creators and entrepreneurs again makes me so happy. That’s why I still do all of the live chatting with our customers, all of the customer support, and all of the customer phone calls. That’s why I open up my calendar to any of our customers who want to talk to me. I just love it.

Most people ask me how I have the time to run the company as the CEO and I just tell them that it’s something that I love doing and that I’ll always find time for it.

Both Podia and Carbonmade (and the two companies before it), have put me back into a position to learn, help, and touch people’s lives.

Not only can I help by talking to them, but our entire product is setup to help them succeed. There’s no better feeling than helping someone through the entire process, from building their audience to creating and selling their first digital product.

I feel almost as happy as they must feel when the money starts flowing in for their hard work.


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