As I’ve mentioned before in posts like this one, I love what my friends in Las Vegas are doing. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if you don’t think they are building one of the most unique and vibrant startup communities in the world, then you are going to be surprised! Go check it out if you haven’t already. Hey, it’s a trip to Vegas! Anyhow, one of the companies down there (and the people, too) that I’ve been particularly impressed with is Tracky. You’ll learn more about who they are and what they do from Sarah Evans, their Chief Evangelist and a key part of their startup story. Sarah is also the owner of Sevans Strategy, a public relations and new media consultancy and the author of new book, [RE]FRAME: Little Inspirations For A Larger Purpose. So let’s hear a startup story about Tracky — who they are, what they do and what the startup life is like for one of their early team members, Sarah!
“I started my journey with two suitcases of clothes and a dream of making it big.”
No, it’s not the beginning of some famous actor’s True Hollywood Story. It’s something you might hear from the founder of a tech startup who went “all in” on their big dream of making the next big thing. In this case, a game-changing productivity app called Tracky.
You might assume said tech startup founder would end up in Silicon Valley, but that’s not always the case either. At least, not in this story. This story takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada, home to more than 500+ startups in the VegasTech community. It’s a burgeoning group of entrepreneurs who want to contribute to the technology field in their own, unique ways.
My role at one such startup, open social collaboration platform Tracky, is as their Chief Evangelist. It’s my mission to convince people they need a social collaboration platform and convert them to Tracky. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. All kidding aside, it’s the coolest job title I’ve had.
Tracky helps people and companies organize all of their to do’s, work projects and social connections in a single, easy-to-use dashboard – from planning a wedding to launching an international brand. We’ve put together the most popular types of productivity and collaboration tools into one (amazing) platform, including:
Cloud-based file sharing
Told you I was an evangelist. I digress…
Most startups are homegrown, with small, but mighty teams. It’s not odd to hear a founder (or three) say, “That was back in the days when I ran the company from my bedroom.” It’s typically a bootstrap kind of beginning (unless you’re independently wealthy) with an uncertain future. Talk about risky. At least there’s the possibility of reaping a great reward. I don’t just mean money — even though it’s a really nice perk. Working with Tracky, I found a team committed to doing the right thing and building the best productivity platform possible. We are provided with an environment to do great work and use something we really like.
This team is indeed special. They’re smart enough to question one another when they know something isn’t working. We’re not a “looking through rose colored glasses” kind of team, we’re more of “hey, look at my black rim hipster glasses now-let’s-get-to-work” sorta bunch.
I hope I didn’t just trivialize how important these people are.
These initial team members are the core people who set the tone for the culture and determine whether or not the startup succeeds. A recent post in AllthingsD, shared insights from Pinterest’s CEO who said the secret behind Pinterest’s growth was marketing, not engineering. Without a solid product you can’t market and without superior marketing you won’t get people to your product. Ah, such is startup life.
And, to throw another wrench in the wheel, most startups barely have the bandwidth to promote themselves effectively, let alone run integrated marketing and PR campaigns. A startup teams’ work is never done and everyone wears multiple hats.
Like at Tracky, where developer David Longnecker is also an honorary member of the Tracky public relations society (i.e. me). He’s a self starter who views his job as more than just a title with limitations. From traveling several hours to meet with a radio station interested in implementing Tracky as part of their internal editorial process to creating “how to” tutorial videos — he doesn’t view himself in a silo. All this and David works remotely in Kansas. Yes, Kansas.
Stories, like David’s, are one of things that makes working with a startup a unique experience. He knows Tracky’s success depends on each of us being evangelists.
There is no task too insignificant or beneath someone. “It’s not in my job description” doesn’t fly here (or at any startup, I imagine). If you’re going to become “the next” whatever you want to be, there’s no room for ego.
The Tracky leadership team of David and Jennifer Gosse, are a husband and wife dynamo who have worked together for more than 17 years. They hand selected each member of our team and it’s no coincidence we all gel pretty well, even when working remotely. We share core values and a united vision to make Tracky succeed. Hiring great people is more than a talent because you’re not just hiring people, they’re hiring you, too. Does this sound like a love-fest? Kind of, but when you’re directly accountable for the success of a product, you better love, not like, what you’re doing.
It’s because of this my Tracky family and my IRL family are making a go of it in Las Vegas. It’s why I moved my family across the country and why my husband quit his job. We believe in what we’re doing and there’s no stronger endorsement than that.
Want to learn more about Tracky or trade startup stories? Reach out to me on AngelList or shoot me an email — sarah AT tracky DOT com.