Startup Life

Question: Who Is RJ Gossett? Answer: SpareFoot’s Resident Pub-Quiz King

By John Egan   July 15, 2014

RJ Gossett

Alex Trebek, eat your trivia-loving heart out. You’ve got nothing on SpareFoot’s resident quiz host, RJ Gossett. Well, at least we humbly think so.

Could the “Jeopardy!” host keep up with Gossett? We doubt it. Every Monday and Tuesday night, you’ll find Gossett plying his part-time trade as a quizmaster at two venues in Austin, TX, that aren’t nearly as cushy as the studio where “Jeopardy!” is taped.

For Gossett, a member of SpareFoot’s Client Relations Team, working as a quizmaster is no trivial matter. (Yes, the pun is intended.) → Keep Reading

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Every Day Is Take Your Dog to Work Day at SpareFoot!

By John Egan   June 20, 2014

Liebe and Katie Smith

Only 12 percent of U.S. dog owners can bring their pooches to the office on a regular workday, according to a recent report from Wellness Natural Pet Food. Fortunately, SpareFeet are among that 12 percent.

Every workday, dogs of all shapes and sizes scamper and sleep and eat and entertain at SpareFoot. The office just wouldn’t be the same without our daily dose of doggies. In honor of Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 20), we’re highlighting nine SpareFoot dogs and the people they own. → Keep Reading

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SpareFoot CEO Chuck Gordon: ‘Austin Is Growing Up, and We Need to Grow Along With It’

By John Egan   June 18, 2014

Chuck Gordon

Five years ago, the company now known as SpareFoot packed up and moved to Austin from Los Angeles to join the Capital Factory incubator. Of course, there wasn’t much packing to be done, as the barely-off-the-ground startup had only two employees at the time—co-founders Chuck Gordon and Mario Feghali.

Today, SpareFoot now has close to 160 employees, and we should have about 190 employees by the end of this year. As SpareFoot has grown, so has the city that it now calls home. In 2009, SpareFoot settled into a city with a population of about 750,000. Since then, Austin’s population has skyrocketed past 840,000 (as of July 2013). In that relatively short span, the city has gained roughly 90,000 residents.

Along with SpareFoot’s growth and Austin’s growth have come the inevitable growing pains. Recently, a new local magazine called Citygram reached out to Gordon, our CEO, to get his take on the changes he’s witnessed in Austin. Here are some of Gordon’s answers to questions posed by local freelance writer Rachael Genson. → Keep Reading

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Pedal to the Medal: Patrick Davis Wins SpareFoot’s National Bike Month Challenge

By John Egan   June 12, 2014

Patrick Davis

Throughout the month of May, SpareFoot’s Patrick Davis pedaled 522.3 miles on his bike. To put that in perspective, the drive from San Antonio to El Paso, TX, is about 550 miles. Of course, no one in his right mind would cycle from San Antonio to El Paso. We think.

In conjunction with National Bike Month, SpareFoot challenged employees to hop on their bikes, and ride them whenever and wherever they wanted. Participants tracked their mileage through the MapMyFitness app (an Austin product), and then plugged the numbers into a spreadsheet. → Keep Reading

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Back to School: SpareFeet Participate in Special Storytime at Austin’s Reilly Elementary

By John Egan   June 11, 2014

Jeanette DeHay

Traditionally, adults read stories to kids, especially at bedtime. Earlier this month, the reverse happened at Reilly Elementary School in Austin: Thirty-one fourth-graders took turns reading self-published stories to a group of employees from SpareFoot.

The reading session at Reilly capped a project in which each of these fourth-graders wrote and illustrated a story that was published as a hardbound book. Employees of SpareFoot chipped in about $300 to get the books published by a company called Student Treasures. → Keep Reading

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How SpareFoot’s Tony Emerson Became Our ‘Biggest Loser’

By John Egan   June 6, 2014

tony emerson

We’ve got a big winner from SpareFoot’s “Biggest Loser” competition.

Tony Emerson (top photo), a leader on our Product Team, bested 14 other SpareFeet to claim the “Biggest Loser” crown. During the 12-week program, Emerson racked up a weight loss of 9.78 percent. In second place, but still a winner in our eyes, was Craig Barrett, who leads our Paid Media Team. Barrett notched a weigh loss of 8.62 percent.

“At first, it was all about self-improvement—I was really in it for my own health,” Emerson said. “But as the contest reached the final weeks, it became clear that Craig and I were neck-and-neck for the lead, and it became a real competition.” → Keep Reading

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Provo, Utah: An Incubator for the American Dream

By Camilla McLaughlin   June 2, 2014

Provo

Not that long ago, Provo, UT, was best known for sheep ranches and Brigham Young University. Today, the region, anchored by Provo and Orem, consistently garners top rankings on “best of” lists, ranging from best for business to happiest in the country.

The Provo area has emerged as one of the country’s top tech hubs, bypassing Seattle, Dallas and Cambridge, MA, to capture fifth place on The Atlantic Cities’ list of America’s top 25 tech hot spots. Forbes says it’s the best place for business, careers and jobs. The Milken Institute ranks it the No. 2 “best-performing city.” And in April, The SpareFoot Blog named Provo the fastest-growing “on-the-rise startup hub” in the U.S. → Keep Reading

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Save the Date! SpareFoot to Host Speed-Dating Event to Recruit 25 ACE Employees

By John Egan   May 30, 2014

stopwatch

SpareFoot is getting into the speed-dating business. Calm down, though. It’s not quite what you think.

On June 18, SpareFoot will host a speed-dating event to recruit people for our Amazing Customer Experience (ACE) Team. One of the speed-dating sessions will be from 6-7 p.m. and the other from 7:30-8:30 p.m. at SpareFoot’s headquarters (720 Brazos St. in downtown Austin). During each session, 15 ACE applicants will visit for three minutes each with 15 members of the ACE Team. “When the gong sounds, you rotate seats and get to meet someone new,” SpareFoot recruiter Katie Smith said. → Keep Reading

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America’s Top 5 Under-the-Radar Tech Hubs

By John Egan   May 21, 2014

Boise ID

Last year, tech observer Dan Blacharski declared that Silicon Valley had become obsolete. Plenty of tech entrepreneurs, investors and executives—particularly those in the land of Apple and Google—would take issue with that bold statement.

Still, a strong case could be made that the universe of tech startups does not revolve around Silicon Valley. In fact, Blacharski maintains that cheap, reliable cloud-based technology has enabled tech startups to start up in a lot of places outside the cradle of the U.S. tech industry.

“When we think of high-tech innovation and startup culture, traditionally a handful of cities always come to mind. But today, there’s a different story emerging,” Blacharski, editor in chief of Techie.com, said in a news release. “High-tech development and innovation is being democratized, and midmarket cities throughout the U.S. are rolling out new tech parks, incubators and programs designed to encourage tech development.”

In the spirit of the democratization of tech startups, we’ve come up with a list of America’s Top 5 Under-the-Radar Tech Hubs. Clearly, you won’t find a Silicon Valley or a San Francisco or an Austin on our list. → Keep Reading

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Nexthire CEO Bob Myhal: Traditional Résumé Soon Will Be a Thing of the Past

By Deb Hipp   May 14, 2014

Bob Myhal

Boston startup Nexthire isn’t your typical recruiter.

Rather than relying solely on résumés and interviews, NextHire works as a “digital hirer,” harvesting information from places like social media, published articles, even games you play online, to create digital profiles—warts and all—of job candidates for potential employers.

Plenty of NextHire’s first clients were startups, said Bob Myhal, CEO of Nexthire. Myhal is former president and chief marketing officer of Apollo Fitness, a packaged goods companythat he grew from a startup to more than $40 million in annual revenue in 12 years.

The SpareFoot Blog asked Myhal to share his insight into hiring practices at startups, and how the growing trend of digital hiring is changing the playing field when it comes to landing a job.

Why are digital hiring methods so appealing to startups? → Keep Reading

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