Here we go again! It was almost exactly fifteen years ago when I last launched a company, but I can recall perfectly this feeling of excitement (and a little fear) for the unknown.Today we are unveiling our newest venture, Curious, after a year of design, development, and testing. Curious is a marketplace for lifelong learning, where you can learn short-format video-based lessons from teachers of anything. Sort of like YouTube if it were actually designed for learning and teaching things. You can read more about Curious and our launch here.
So why exactly am I doing this all over again? My ride with Homestead was so incredible, and we spent so many years trying to get big, what’s with this desire to start completely from scratch again? When you are the CEO of a small company it can often feel like you are single handedly carrying the weight of your employees’ livelihoods, your investors’ expectations, and your family’s needs on your shoulders... and that the world is against you. So starting another company is not a decision to be made lightly, especially when you are closing in on twenty years out of college, have three young and delightful children waiting for you at home every afternoon, and aren’t quite sure how you pulled it off the first time around.When I left Intuit (which acquired Homestead at the end of 2007) I was the Chief Growth Officer for a 1.5 billion dollar business. My group spent over a million dollars a day. A few hundred thousand dollars here or there hardly made a difference. Hundreds of people were involved with any product, marketing or customer facing decision. Now I’m back to working with only a handful of people, worrying about every dollar we spend, obsessing about every pixel on the screen, and handpicking every word in every email, error message and marketing page.
But here’s the kicker: I find this way more fun, and there is nothing I would rather be doing. Even though there are a lot of stresses that come with starting a new company, it’s totally worth it. There is no professional privilege greater than working with a team of amazingly talented and dedicated folks (like we have at Curious) to create something out of thin air. If Thai, John and I hadn’t decided to work together again... if we hadn’t recruited our awesome team... if we hadn’t listened to our hearts when deciding what kind of company to build... then Curious wouldn’t be standing before you today.To be clear, the earth would still be rotating on its axis without our launch today. But it would be without one little new idea that just might turn into something big. It’s already changed our lives, and the lives of thousands of beta testers and a bunch of great teachers.
To say that I’m curious about where Curious will take us from here is quite an understatement...