We built that company over five years and completely revolutionized the healthcare industry, and then we got acquired by a bigger company. I worked for the buying company for about a year and a half – until they ran into some problems and laid off our entire Utah division.
This end is where The whistling begins.
After the layoffs, I did my best to help those who lost their jobs. We had been in growth mode, and I felt bad because we had just hired a bunch of people, cut them out of their careers, and then said, “Sorry, you’re out of a job.” I spent several months helping to find places for them to go, especially those I worked closely with in my division.
During this time, I was introduced to many different companies that I had not been aware of because I was upside down working at American HealthCare Lending. I started thinking about what I should do next – whether I should start something for myself, join another early-stage startup, or look for a job with a later-stage company.
I met with more than 100 different founding teams that summer. I kept a list. I’m a goal-oriented person, so I set a goal to meet 50 teams, and I met 50, then I set a goal to meet 100, and I met 100. I’ve met a lot of people who do great things, and I explored a few ideas of my own, but nothing felt right for me. I went to my brother and said, “I haven’t found anything I’m excited about. I’ve met with 100 different founders and haven’t found the right fit.” He was actually the one who introduced me to some guys who were working on this idea called Whistic in the summer of 2016.
Hitting my stride in Whistic
The company was only one year old and at that time three people were working. Although I wasn’t a co-founder, I got involved with Whistic very early on, they didn’t even have paying customers yet! They had an initial version of the app and a vision of where it was going, which I was very excited about.
When people ask what Whistic is, I explain it as a vendor security network, so we deal with the challenges involved in evaluating third-party vendors. We are all familiar with data breaches such as Solar windsso this is the space in which we play.
In the beginning, our office was a 10×10 square meter space. We were next to a lady who did credit repair services and the walls were paper thin; I was pretty sure she was breaking some laws with her credit repair services. She was so loud that when we did an interview, we would all have to leave our room to sit on these two chairs downstairs by the toilet. People thought it was too hard to go to the bathroom and get passed while we were working. Good times.