Campbell Brown has been involved in several startups. Including raising $34M for one, exiting two of them, and is now helping others grow their businesses.
During our time on the DealMakers podcast, Campbell Brown shared his journey to Silicon Valley, how he was inspired by scale, the trials of startup fundraising, how startups and talent are different outside of the Bay Area, and what he is working on in-demand intelligence.
From The Beach To The Bay
Brown was born and raised on the small island of New Zealand. A beautiful place with lots of beaches, paddleboarding in the morning, and wine.
Today he lives with his wife in San Francisco, California, where he is working on his latest company.
Campbell describes New Zealand as a nation of entrepreneurs. His parents and siblings are all entrepreneurs.
Before making it to America he did a pitstop in London working in ad-tech. It opened the door to even more travel and building a network. That’s where he fell in love with tech. Though it was back in New Zealand where he fell into startups.
He and four others grabbed ahold of this idea, found product-market fit incredibly fast. They grew the team to 150 people and sold the company in less than three years.
That doesn’t mean everything was simple and easy. His biggest takeaway was the determination it takes to get those great results. He is clear that this hustle doesn’t mean you should be sacrificing time with your family. It shouldn’t be sacrificing your health either. It means having the grit to keep going and to keep taking the punches and getting out of bed in the morning to do it all again.
Startups: America Vs. New Zealand
What are the biggest differences being doing a startup in New Zealand versus the Bay Area? The scale was one of the biggest that struck Campbell Brown. Compare a nation of just 4.5M potential customers to moving to California. LA has almost that many people. NY has almost double that.
He also found the talent different. He finds Kiwis “very pragmatic in their approach to problem-solving.” Whereas Americans seem to excel in ambitious go to market plans. Blending the two together has since proven to be a great combination for him.
Then there is also the capital you find in the states. When you have all the capital that is in Silicon Valley, you can also find the experience too.
Next Campbell joined Online Republic.
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