One of the best things about our CEO Brent Grinna is he’s a warm, open guy. But he’s also an exceedingly humble guy, which means it can be hard to get him to talk about his very personal reason for creating EverTrue or his beginnings. Luckily, his recent interview with IdeaMensch gives us a rare window into Brent’s story:
Where did the idea for EverTrue come from?
I volunteered to serve on my reunion fundraising campaign for Brown University. During that process, I was equipped with spreadsheets filled mostly with out-of-date information. That made it challenging for me to effectively reach out to my classmates and prioritize my efforts.
I went on to learn that nonprofits raise $300 billion per year in spite of inaccurate or inaccessible data. As donor information rapidly shifted from legacy databases to social platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn, I saw an opportunity to connect donors and nonprofits with highly accurate information accessible through intuitive interfaces. That was the catalyst for founding EverTrue.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
I’m excited about the move toward an application programming interface for nearly everything. Philosophically and architecturally, the first wave of software companies consisted of inflexible walled gardens. Systems didn’t talk, and that stifled creativity and innovation. Web 2.0 companies slowly bucked this trend, starting with Salesforce and accelerating with Facebook and other social platforms. Internal and external APIs have become a must to compete in both software and hardware businesses. Consumer tech is leading the wave. My scale connects to my food diary, and that diary is integrated with my fitness tracker. The same level of connectivity will transform the enterprise in the near future.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I grew up on a farm in rural Iowa, and most of my childhood was spent around agriculture. My first — and worst — job was on a chicken farm. My cousins and I were on a team that caught chickens and loaded them on trucks during hot summer nights. The work was difficult (chickens are much stronger than you’d think), and the pay wasn’t very good.
We competed against the other teams to see who could get the most done in the least amount of time. I learned that sometimes a job might not be fun, but — if you’re going to do something — you need to give it your all. I also learned that chicken farms smell pretty bad.
Read the full interview on IdeaMensch here.