Not only does vision matter, but a personal vision matters. It’s hard, but that’s OK because hard things have big rewards. Having vision makes hard things easy.
I grew up in northwest Georgia, the youngest feral child of a heroic single mom. Like most kids in a small town, I got up to mischief. But, unlike most kids, I had a talent for taking things to the next level. Flaming arrows arching into neighbors’ backyards, fireworks shot at cars, being chased off neighbors’ roofs were just a few of the things that a long-suffering mom had to deal with on a weekly basis.
Fortunately, my innovative streak propelled me to MIT, where my talents were more productively employed.
After MIT, I founded GrubHub and ran it for 12 years through the IPO. To this day, I’m asked the question, “Why did you leave?” by friends, reporters, and dumbfounded podcasts hosts alike.
The business world is chock full of people who just don’t understand why anyone would walk away from so much money and prestige. Which, in turn, has always dumbfounded me.
These are not the things a well-lived life is made of.
After GrubHub, I took a few months to get my head on straight and rode a bicycle from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with a big detour over the peaks of most of the Rockies.
Since then, I’ve gone back to the grindstone, creating a tech-forward handyperson startup, Fixer, with the intention of rebooting trade education in the United States. Why? Because it’s hard, and it’s needed.
I founded GrubHub because I wanted a pizza and getting pizza was hard.
I didn’t expect how it would change me to want to make a difference in the lives of my employees, my community, and even the world.
This is why I believe personal vision matters. When you know what you stand for, you know how to make a difference in what matters to you.
Hangry: A Startup Journey
Mike Evans wanted a pizza, but getting a pizza was a pain in the neck. Insightful and hilarious, HANGRY candidly follows Mike’s personal journey from the excitement of creating something new, to the satisfaction of changing the way America eats, and then ultimately, to the horror of seeing GrubHub turn from its roots to become a byword for exploitation in the restaurant industry. Increasingly suffering from anger and frustration, Mike rage quits the company he started, leaving it all behind to ride a bike across the United States in a longshot attempt to regain his sanity and find a new purpose.
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