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My Thoughts on Entrepreneurism & How TidySurveys Came to Be

Griffin GranbergHey there!

My name is Griffin Granberg and I am the creator of TidySurveys.

Josh usually handles the blogging and he writes really well, and knows (and follows) english grammar rules a lot better than myself — but still, I wanted to start blogging here to give a more candid insight into what TidySurveys is, how it came to be, what entrepreneurism is to me, and why I’ve decided to dedicate my life to being one.

It’s a little deviation from a lot of the great informational posts we have on surveys, surveying, and how using our platform can really help you — I am hoping my posts help you in a different way:  to gain a vision into TidySurveys as a company and for some help steer you to become or steer you away from being an Entrepreneur — because it surely isn’t for everyone, but at any rate, here I go… :)

Why Should I care about your Thoughts on Entrepreneurism?

Good question with a somewhat easy answer.  I have been an Entrepreneur for a long time.  I started my first company in South Dakota in middle school and it was a mobile DJ company.  For all intents and purposes it was a functional company that DJ’d local middle & high school dances.  I started it with one of my best friends and we continued to DJ dances from 7th grade to senior-year of high school.  It was my first foray into entrepreneurism, before really even knowing what entrepreneurism was all about.  After high school, I tested out the college scene at ASU in Tempe, AZ (granted only for like 3-4weeks), and found that even though I didn’t mind it – school just wasn’t for me.  I had things I wanted, wait no, NEEDED to do and goals to accomplish.  I didn’t want to wait (a whole) 4 years to do those things.

It was a short sighted vision, I admit to that, but it did lead me into starting my first actual company which specialized in web development and later in SEO/Online Marketing – that company no longer actively takes new clients, but believe it or not, we still have clients from when I started the company when I was 18!  I’m pretty proud of that.

During the time from starting the mobile DJ company to now being _almost_ two months into TidySurveys, I have gone through the ringer of experiences you may expect from a young entrepreneur going through 10+ years of running and steering his own ship — great business deals, great almost business deals, and deals where being stabbed may have been easier to endure.

With all that, I feel my experience and insight on the topic of entrepreneurism/entrepreneurship is extremely valid and I hope it helps.  I am always asked where I come up with the ideas and companies I am working on or with, and thus, this post was born!

Ok, how’d you come up with TidySurveys?

Last year was a crazy year for a lot of reasons (the most crazy ones I’m starting to document at my personal blog, gogogriffin), and during that crazy period my mother and myself were going to Buffalo Wild Wings nearly everyday — at my persistence.  During one of those visits there was a placard describing if you took a survey you’d get 10% off your meal.  Who wouldn’t like 10% off your tab?  So my mother pulled up the URL on her iPhone and after searching for the actual survey finally found it.

She selected to pull up the survey, and what followed was one of the WORST experiences on something so simple.  It’s a survey– you get asked 5-10 questions, you fill it out within a couple minutes, and BOOM! you are on your way to 10% savings, right?

WRONG!

What followed was nearly 10 minutes of fumbling around what seemed like an exhaustive list of questions where pinch zooming was required.  Phone auto-zooming on the text fields, and just an overall experience that was ridiculous.  Why does it have to be so difficult?  Why did filling out around 10 questions have to take over 10minutes to complete?  Would less persistent people been like “screw this?”   Are they getting decent responses?  What can we do to make this easier?

All valid questions, right?  The thing is there are so many ways to accomplish the goal here.  Which is:

GET VALUABLE DATA FROM CUSTOMER AT THE MOST OPPORTUNE TIME

Having programmed in some form or another since I was 10 years old, I can easily say there are countless ways to achieve a result to accomplish the goal above.    The problem is there were companies in the space doing well at executing at a “good enough” level, but after looking further into it — I thought the whole process could be so much simpler — from creating the survey, to deployment, to the respondent responding, and finally the analysis.

From that experience and research, the idea of TidySurveys was BORN!

So, you had the idea — WHAT NEXT?!

As I mentioned above, I was not in the position to add anything new to my plate — not from just a time standpoint — I was medically unable.  So, after finding and procuring a GREAT name (TidySurveys was such an awesome find and rather low-cost investment), TidySurveys got tabled for months.  The tabling was necessary because I had to spend the next several months getting my health back in order.  After my health was in check, I made the move to Chicago from Denver for a change of scenery — after arriving, I was ready to tackle a new adventure.  I had many ideas, and I am excited to share the whole brainstorming ideas and idea selection process with you, but that will be for another day and a different blog post — back to what happened after my move.

I decided that I was no longer going to do consulting and web development anymore for clients.  I ended up meeting Josh (co-founder of TidySurveys) while working out in our building’s gym, and we became fast friends.  Josh was like me in that we can both be intense people, but he’d never really went out there and did the entrepreneurial thing like I had — the thing is he wanted to.  So after chatting over drinks at my favorite neighborhood bar, we kind of decided that we would do something together and of the ideas and possibilities TidySurveys came up and it was decided we would make a go of it.

Of course, there were a lot more in-depth conversation about how it would work, how I saw it working, etc etc — but we had our goal and we just pushed forward — and a couple months, countless redbulls, and  lots of overnight working sessions later — I made TidySurveys’ launch time (July 15th, 2013).  It’s pretty crazy because now we are 2 months in and I am loving (and hating – at times) the craziness that a tech startup brings.

It’s a complete whirlwind of stress, excitement, anxiousness, exhaustion, love, and feeling awesome.  I’ll get more into that stuff at a different time, but for now you know how TidySurveys came to be — taking a crappy survey at an amazing place to get wings.  Funny when ideas come to you – mine was over enjoying some Spicy Garlic boneless wings.  :)

Next, I will get into the whole idea process or what entrepreneurship really means to me having done it for 10+ years — but those are posts for another day.  Check back soon or add us to your RSS reader!  Thanks!

~griffin

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