A word from a CEO #29


Hello all –

I typically like to use these to share what I’m thinking about as it relates to the business, our vision, and our culture.

But Hispanic Heritage Month started on September 15th, and so I wanted to take this opportunity to share a little bit about what that means to me.

As most of you know, I was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens — and am a first-generation American.

My mom, Cecilia, raised my brother and me as a single mother. She was from Ecuador and didn’t speak English well, so we spoke Spanish at home and I learned English by watching the Brady Bunch and Gilligan’s Island. My mom worked seven days a week out of our apartment as a seamstress to support us — and as hard as I think I’ve worked, I don’t think it’s even 10% as hard as she did.

And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Elias and I ended up starting two companies together, Performable and Drift. As I mentioned a few weeks ago — we have a shared vision, shared values, and complementary capabilities. I believe our shared values are likely as a result of both being raised by single mothers — his Nicaraguan, mine Ecuadorian — and having many similar experiences.

We both know what it’s like to not come from much — and have to prove ourselves every single day.

You might not know this — but only 2% of VC-backed startups are led by Latinx founders. And 98% of Latinx businesses report less than $1M in annual revenue.

We want to build an enduring company because we believe in what we are doing (and we have a hard-working, dedicated team to get us there). But also because growing up, neither of us even knew that building an enduring company like this was even possible. And so we want to be role models and show other underrepresented minorities what is possible beyond where they are today.

I appreciate having this month to remind me about where I came from — and where I want to go.

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