Envoy modernizes businesses’ front desk. From collecting names, emails and NDAs, to pre-registering visitors and texting their host when they arrive. Envoy makes visitor management simple – and it’s a joy to use.
This week, Ideascrunch had the privilege of an exclusive e-interview with Larry Gadea (Founder and CEO) of Envoy for an insight on what it takes to run a tech startup which makes front desks around the world more delightful, organized, and efficient!
How did you come up with the name for your company?
We were thinking of names related to people going places and signing-in. We considered a lot of different ones too based on .com availability, but Envoy stuck.
How did you get funded initially?
We raised money from a variety of angels here in San Francisco. The full list can be found on TechCrunch.
How many people did you start the company with and how many people work for you now?
We started with two people and now we’re five
How many failed startups were you involved in before this?
Before this I worked at Google for four years and Twitter for almost three years. I hadn’t attempted a startup before. Crossing my fingers 🙂
What’s the top 5 Struggles you face as an Entrepreneur?
1. Having never done many things related to starting a company, it can be difficult to be confident about some decision making.
2. My previous experience was related to free products at both Google and Twitter. It’s very different now as we sell a product for money. Not used to this.
3. Hiring is really hard. There are lots of great people out there, but appealing to them can be difficult. It seems the easiest time when you can hire amazing people is when you’re already big — but when you’re big, they aren’t as critical anymore.
4. Knowing when to step in on product and engineering versus letting the team figure it out can be difficult. You want to make people feel empowered (because theyre much happier and efficient that way), but you also want to go in the right direction that follows your and the company’s philosophies
5. Lots of meetings with lots of people. I’m an engineer — our culture is to strongly avoid meetings at all costs. It’s very different from the CEO role i’m in now which is all about relationships and leveraging your people network to accelerate the growth of your company.
At which point will you consider yourself a successful entrepreneur?
I can be a pretty pessimistic guy, so it’s probably impossible for me to ever consider myself successful. I guess when others on average tell me I’m successful?
What inspires you? Or Who?
Products built on making people happier and more efficient. Specifically, where monetary gain isn’t the priority. Some names come to mind: Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, Tim Cook. Companies and people need to listen to them more… as cliche as it is.
Do you have an inspiring quote which you like to share?
One of Google’s ten principles: “Focus on the user and all else will follow.”
Couldn’t be more true.
What advice do you have for fellow entrepreneurs getting started?
Only start a company or product if you love people and you find yourself naturally striving to make others happier in all aspects of your life. Only then can you be a decision maker that knows what to prioritize in your business. Hint: It’s not revenue.
Top 5 mobile apps you’re in love with and why?
– Twitter, helps me talk to a lot of people at once
– Google Maps, gives me *accurate* data when I need it most
– Gmail, gives me fast access to all my emails, not sacrificing features i’d get on the web client
– Authy/1Password, keeps my data secure
– Venmo, because i owe people a lot of money