When I joined MakesSense, it was only a month or so after it had become an official company. It’s now been a little over a year since MakesSense was incepted; August 1st, 2016 was that day.
Anthony, our President, and Isaac, our CEO, co-founded this company with a dream: to come up with solutions to problems in the tech industry. To give companies resources and tools to be successful, whether they needed coding for software development or help building their website. Shortly after that idea came to fruition, they added on Devin, our CFO, and Kelly, our CTO, to complete the foundation for the team. Then came everybody else, including myself, to continue to make the dream happen. We’ve had a couple of faces come and go, but we now stand strong with ten employees, all of us young and eager to do something really, really cool.
You don’t get to see this kind of development with a company that’s already been established. If I was working with any other company, I would simply be doing my job, coming to work day by day, and that’s all. But here, at MakesSense, everything I do is imperative for the company to even get started. I’m not helping MakesSense profit, I’m helping it exist. That’s a responsibility we all have, and it’s a humbling one.
I strongly advise each and every one of you to work for a startup at some point. It’s remarkable. You get to see it really, really grow, and you get to introduce entirely new ideas to people who had never heard them before, and watch their faces glow with interest and excitement. When we went to TechDay earlier this year to introduce ChowDown to the world, people got really excited. I can’t even tell you how many people actually said, with eagerness, that they can’t wait for this to come out.
I have friends and family always asking me about where we stand right now, wondering about what’s next for MakesSense. We’re looking at offices, we’re thinking about our future, and we’re trying to put in place what we hope to be a company that will stand tall for years, decades. You don’t get to do that when you just tackle regular 9-5’s.
There’s so much more reward than simply getting a paycheck. You can compare each month to the last one and see exponential growth with the company. You get to work closely with every single person on the team. You, yourself, will grow, learn and mature so much more with a startup than almost any other experience in your life. You’re taking a monumental concept and breathing life into it, and as it grows larger and larger, it’s harder to control; it’s arms are reaching farther and farther, so everything you do matters more and more. But when something works, when somebody is really impressed with what they see, it feels that much more fulfilling.
It’s far from a normal job. It’s far from anything else you’ll experience, really. It’s also hard to put into words. As difficult as the job is, and as often as you may think “I should just get a normal job”, there’s something within the spirit of us as humans that keep pushing on with a project like this. It’s almost competitive. We see other companies out there doing things similar to us, who are successful, and we look each other in the eyes and say, “we can do that”. We truly believe we will be successful, and there’s something to that.
There's so much risk. There’s so much that can just disappear overnight. There’s the chance none of this works out, but there’s the opportunity that this could change all of our lives. There’s the hope that what we create will improve everybody’s lives, and that MakesSense will become a benchmark for something positive.
It’s…terrifying, and it’s been terrifying. There’s nothing scarier than putting so much time and effort into something that isn't a sure thing. But if we all lived and died by sure things, nothing would ever happen. Nobody would ever innovate, people would never build, society would never change.
Working for MakesSense over the past year has been invigorating. I’ve learned more than I imagined I would in a year, and I’ve met people I never would have before. I joined a team of six that has grown to ten, I’ve gone to New York with them, I’ve contributed to build something that we believe is going to drastically improve the restaurant industry.
This company started out as an idea between two friends, and in just a year it’s grown to gargantuan proportions.