On wellness routines
My office schedule can change at a moment’s notice, but my workout routine is steadfast. I dedicate time every morning for the gym and spend most of it doing high intensity cardio and strength training. I’m at the club with my family a bunch as well. My wife enjoys playing tennis and my kids swim on Saturdays, so I’m active then too.
On making time
In the early days of OfferUp I was in the office writing a lot of code for our app, so there’d be 100 hour-plus work weeks with a lot of hunching over a bright screen in a dark office. I wasn’t able to work out regularly and it was hard to have time to refresh my mind. This is the typical story for most start-ups because it takes a lot of time and dedication to bring your dreams to fruition. To prevent an eventual burnout, I made a commitment to myself to schedule time for working out and getting active. I feel healthier than ever, and the only potential burnout now is in the weight room.
Americans spend trillions of dollars each year on new stuff, billions each year on storage units, and every day, they throw a lot of these things away. We have too much stuff. The reason I started OfferUp [in 2011] is because my house was full of things that we no longer needed, as my wife and I were expecting our daughter. I needed an easy solution for clearing it out, but there wasn’t one. I thought there must be a lot of people like me because it was a simple time-value question. How can this be done easier? And why can’t I sell something with just a simple photo from my phone?
Because of OfferUp, I’ve become a minimalist. My wife is happy because I was able to clean out “the room full of stuff,” and now I have a son and a daughter who also need a lot of things at different stages—newborn, infant, toddler. Everything we buy is from OfferUp. I buy their toys, their bikes, and some of their clothes, like winter jackets, on OfferUp. When they’re done or have outgrown it, we resell, giving these items a new life.
On time management
My best advice is to get organized and be very regimented about how you organize your time. Building a start-up is a marathon, and you’ve got to build the muscle for it. I add little tricks into my schedule to make sure I’m ready for the next day. For example, when I go home tonight, the first thing I’ll do is pack for the gym tomorrow. Building routine eliminates excuses. You have to build good habits and be thoughtful with your time. Oh, and definitely allocate time for yourself; it won’t be anyone else’s priority but your own, and it’s important.
On wellness in the office
I think about how we can set aside more time to be active at OfferUp as well. And not even just physically active. We think about how to make people’s day-to-day easier. One thing we do is live in the product. All the decorations, tables, chairs, and art in [the office] is from OfferUp. The second thing we do is foster an open office environment. We bring people together for open dialogue every week during free-lunch Fridays, where the whole company gets together and hangs out. We are always finding excuses for bringing people together because we want to develop our people as a whole and keep work fun. They’re our most important asset.
On the future
We’ve come a long way from being a small team with a dream, working together in a garage. I’m excited because we’re the largest mobile marketplace in the country, and now people have a better option for buying and selling online. Happy customers make me happy. But when I think about the future, I feel like we still have an immense opportunity in front of us. We’re like Amazon when it was still in its selling book phase. We’re not even close to where I think we can go. We want to be a household name and an experience people use in their daily lives to engage with their community.
On improving others’ lives
The impact I hear from our customers never ceases to amaze me. I spoke to a woman the other day who told me an inspirational story. Her husband died a year ago in a car accident. On her way to a meeting, she got into a car accident, literally 365 days after her husband died. She’s fine, but she says OfferUp was important to her because her husband was the breadwinner. She started selling things on OfferUp just as a way to make ends meet. She then started finding things in markets and secondhand stores around town, and now that’s her primary income. We’ve heard so many stories like that, where people fall on hard times and can turn to OfferUp to support themselves. It goes beyond my original vision for the company and is inspiring.
On true happiness
For me, it’s the customer and employee stories that make me feel good. Business and financial success are great, but the dream, and true test for OfferUp, is when we can all connect and prosper together.