Episode 41: How Greenlight.guru is Revolutionizing the Medical Devices Market with David Deram

Who is David Deram and the key takeaways in this episode?

David Deram is the CEO and Founder of Greenlight.guru and he bas been involved in building remarkable commercial software companies. But more than just building companies and immersing himself with startups, David is also involved in The Progeny Foundation, where he devotes his time and resources to change kids’ lives. In this interview, you’ll learn:

  • How does he plan on changing the world
  • How clarity impacts your company
  • Which companies David admire and why
  • The process they use when recruiting for members of their company
  • What he thinks about failure

The Questions

[4:21] Greenlight.guru, what is it? How does it work? Tell us about it. Tell us how you came up with the idea.
Answer: A guy named John Speer has been working on medical devices. If you and your friend invent this device that you stick in your ear and you press a button and it cures headaches, in order to sell that to the US, you’ve got to get that through the FDA. So, John’s an expert on helping companies with that process.

Over 15 years, he realized that there were just no good tools for this. So, he started buzzing me about building this product for him. He knew that I had built a number of other successful software companies and it was like a bad girlfriend. This guy wouldn’t go away. You hear that all the time as an entrepreneur, “If we add this, we’d be gazillionaires and we’d do a lot of good in the world.” What I told John was that if you had the right tech team, this can’t miss. There’s nothing in the market that does what this does.

We actually did a trade show together. We bid 200 customer development calls and I just looked at that, I’m like, “This thing. It really can’t miss.” So, we dove into this in 2013 and built out a product and when we turned this sucker on, it was like a fire hose. It has been a very interesting ride. As we put our product set together, we’re looking at a huge launch for this summer to have the full sweep of what you need as a medical device company to get products out on the market.

So, from a company mission perspective, we’re looking to improve the quality of life and we do that along customers and build better devices and we do that by being number one in the world. You can see how our culture grows up from when we want to be number one in the world and that’s a tall order.

[7:55] What’s Greenlight.guru going to look like 12 months from now?
Answer: We’re adding guys to our team. Across the board, sales marketing development, executive team. Across the board we’ve got a very detailed playbook that we’re going to execute like the Navy Seals. We’ve got an incredible product that we’re going to jump right here, the air strike.

We’re bringing in airstrike and we’re going to do so much good for the industry, so much good for the people that are [00:20:43] those devices. So, over the next 12 months, you’re going to see that and you’re going to see the pace really pick up. You’re going to see us just get into attack mode and just keep building and building on that.

[16:06] What is the common mistake you see entrepreneurs make over and over again as they go down this path?
Answer: I think not having the core value set is big and you just kind of bring people in here and there. Suddenly, you’re adding Kyrie Irving and Lebron James and you throw in a Shaq and there’s not enough balls for everybody. You’re not architecting a team. You’re just bringing in people and kind of slapping them and hoping it works out and really also having a strategy around everything so that your guys are moving as fast as they can point to point and they’re very clear, having clarity. Clarity is really big for us. Having clarity on what we want to do and how we’re going to do it. How everything fits into our playbook is extremely important for us to move at the pace we move.

Culture According to David Deram:

I had an interview a couple months ago and this kid really summed this up for me. He said, “You work how you feel.” And your culture is what determines how you feel. So, whether you’re high energy or you’re low energy. You’re motivated, or whether you’re demotivated, the culture does that for you. So, this was a big piece of what we do.

Go To Quote for Inspiration

Book Recommendations:

  • The Flinch

What David Deram Wants His Company to BE:

  • BE a Finisher
  • BE Innovative
  • BE Supportive

Links and Resources Mentioned in this Interview:

  • Greenlight Guru
  • Progeny Foundation

Where to Find David Deram:

Connect with John on

FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

John: David Deram, welcome to BE Culture Radio. Glad to have you.

David: Thanks, John. Great to be here.

John:  We’re so excited to talk to you. Just so my listeners know, I usually do a little pre-show talk that last maybe three to four minutes. I’ve just spent the last 40 minutes connecting with this guy on so many different levels. So, I’m just so friggin’ excited to have this interview with him.

On top of all the cool things he’s doing on an entrepreneurial level, as a human being he’s one of one. So, just so everybody knows, pay close attention to this entire interview. Take notes. There will be a short quiz later on. Just teasing.

David, before we start, how about you give my listeners a little insight as to who David is, where you come from and how you got to be the guy you are today?

David:  Sure, John. Thanks a lot. We really did chat it up there, didn’t we?

John: Yes, we did.

David: We talked about different things. I am from a north suburb of Chicago, Waukegan, Illinois. I’ve been a long time high school basketball coach and youth coach. I’m a serial entrepreneur. I’ve been in a lot of software startups.

Really I’m a high energy guy and a guy that exists for a lot of reasons that you do, which is to give back to kids and to change the world and to spread light: to be that light that shines in the darkness. I think that covers a lot of things that we talked about and that’s kind of where I approach life from.

John:  When you grew up as a child, what shaped you? Mom, dad, brothers, sisters? We don’t come out of the box assembled.

David: I think it was the whole shoot and match but one of the things I remember is my dad pulling me out of bed on a Saturday morning to go carry golf bags. It was 5 A.M., 6 A.M.. “Get out there and get something going here, kid,” and it turned out that caddie gig ended up landing me a full ride in college as an Evan scholar. Your caddie records, your grades, your financial needs. You end up with a full ride to a big time school and I ended up choosing Indiana and that kind of set my eye out.

John:  David, you do have the ability, being from Indiana, to do the basketball thing, right?

David:  Sure. You know what they say, there are 49 states and in these 49 states it’s just basketball. But this is Indiana, brother. It’s a religion.

John: You guys live and breathe it. There’s nothing like it.

David: You guys are doing pretty well in the East Coast, too, though. I give you props.

John:  We just try to stay away from that one state when we travel.

David: Yes, that’s a really hot issue lately. Thanks for bringing that up.

John:  I’m not judging. I’m just saying.

David:  I hear you.

John: David, tell us the entrepreneurial story behind Greenlight Guru. How did you get there? What’s the journey?

David: Coming out of school, all I ever wanted to do, really, was work in the Windy City, in Chicago, and I actually ended up landing in a company that was going to allow me to do some travel and eventually they were going to open a Chicago office, but I got a chance to work at some big companies. I wanted to do my own thing and my mentor, who was actually a 20-year pool shark that ended up buying 18 steakhouses, was making me work at some big companies and I ended up at Toyota, actually Toshiba, in Germany right off the bat.

Here I was, this 22 year old kid with stars in his eyes, drinking beer and eating pretzels and [inaudible 00:03:18] I got a chance how a really good process was run. So, I went from Toshiba to Toyota in Australia. I spent a lot of time at Simon & Schuster in the UK. I got a great gig at SEGA in San Francisco and got Pure in One Imports in Texas.

That big company actually led me to do something smaller and we launched a company in 1995, I was the first person to kind of jump in and spend a year building out some products, and we built a company called Progeny Software that went for 19 years now and was in 80 countries, 1900 sites.

Along the way, we built five other companies under an umbrella that had the idea of sharing software code and so we were just kind of serially chipping away those companies and ended up having chipped away two or three more now: two small ones and one big one, now. One of those is Greenlight.guru.

It kind of shows you where I came from. I had that big company mindset and then brought kind of some of those processes and some of those experiences to the startup game. The startup culture is just a super high energy place to be and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.

John: Tell my listeners: Greenlight.guru, what is it? How does it work? Tell us about it. Tell us how you came up with the idea.

David: A guy named John Speer has been working on medical devices. If you and your friend invent this device that you stick in your ear and you press a button and it cures headaches, in order to sell that to the US, you’ve got to get that through the FDA. So, John’s an expert on helping companies with that process.

Over 15 years, he realized that there were just no good tools for this. So, he started buzzing me about building this product for him. He knew that I had built a number of other successful software companies and it was like a bad girlfriend. This guy wouldn’t go away. You hear that all the time as an entrepreneur, “If we add this, we’d be gazillionaires and we’d do a lot of good in the world.” What I told John was that if you had the right tech team, this can’t miss. There’s nothing in the market that does what this does.

We actually did a trade show together. We bid 200 customer development calls and I just looked at that, I’m like, “This thing. It really can’t miss.” So, we dove into this in 2013 and built out a product and when we turned this sucker on, it was like a fire hose. It has been a very interesting ride. As we put our product set together, we’re looking at a huge launch for this summer to have the full sweep of what you need as a medical device company to get products out on the market.

So, from a company mission perspective, we’re looking to improve the quality of life and we do that along customers and build better devices and we do that by being number one in the world. You can see how our culture grows up from when we want to be number one in the world and that’s a tall order.

John:  Let me understand this. I’m an entrepreneur and I have a device. I’m going to come see you because I have no clue how to get this through the FDA.

David: Sure. It can be that. You can be like a straight startup and you just come right to us [inaudible 00:06:05] or it could be that you know what you’re doing and you just need a great place to store this data. It’s secure. It’s all in one place. It’s linked up and traceable for the FDA.

So, when your FDA inspector comes in, they take a look at it and they say, “You know what? Everything’s lit up here. There’s no thread to pull. Let’s move on to the next piece of what we have to audit you here for.” Because the FDA can audit your company every two years.

John: Wow, that’s pretty intense.

David: Yes. It’s been an interesting ride. We worked with people that do brain surgery in kids. That pull fluid out of their brains. The next day we’re working with robotic arms. The next day, we’re working with catheters that get embedded into people. It’s kind of freaky, like cybernetic organisms and things like that. Living tissue on a metal skeleton.

John:  Let me ask you a question. We’ve all had those moments where we hear the voices in our head and the lights go on, it’s the tipping point. Can you share with us, did that happen for you with Greenlight?

David: With Greenlight specifically?

John:  Yes. It sounds like you’re very passionate about it and it’s been my experience in life thatwhen I’m very passionate about something I have that moment, that very pristine moment where it all comes together for me. It rushes in. I just wonder if that happened to you at any point in time along the way or was it a series of events that happened?

David: Now that you mentioned that, I never thought of this before but it actually did happen. I came up out of bed and I had a big piece of paper that I was drawing on that night, just getting an idea together like a lot of entrepreneurs do. It was three or four in the morning and I started to connect some dots on the way that this market could shape up. It’s funny. I never thought about that before but that’s really when I reconnected with John. And I said, “If we did this and this and this. How would this connect with the marketplace?” And he said, “That would be a game winner.”

So, we started to talk about the business model. We started to talk about the way that these customers grow their products out in a way that they continue to be audited. They continue to evolve those products. There’s engineering change orders for every change that they make and all that has to be fast. That really fit into our business model really well.

John:  Let’s shift gears a little bit because I wanted to get your definition of company culture. What do you think it is?

David: I had an interview a couple months ago and this kid really summed this up for me. He said, “You work how you feel.” And your culture is what determines how you feel. So, whether you’re high energy or you’re low energy. You’re motivated, or whether you’re demotivated, the culture does that for you. So, this was a big piece of what we do.

We have playbook that we operate from and at the top of that we want to improve the quality of life and as that breaks down there’s a side of that tree that is only about the valuation, the company and our customers and building great products and the revenue streams. Everything that goes into the valuation of the company, but then on the other side, equally important, is “Let’s build a great place to work and let’s build a family. Let’s build a place where people care about each other,” and we’re very intentional about this. When we interview, we have a set of core values and you have to actually match those core values in order to fit into our culture because it doesn’t matter if you can jump out of the gym or throw up a football a hundred yards, if you can’t connect with the team then you’re actually going to take some of the fun out of what we do. We see each other more than we see our families so it’s important for us that we have that. [inaudible 00:09:24]. Somebody will ask, “How’s your dad doing?” [inaudible 00:09:28]

John:  David, we go through a process and I look at culture and I look at companies and I go through a process of evaluating how important the leadership is. I’ve come to a very simple metaphor for whether it is building a company, building a team or raising a family: it’s very similar. You have to take very, very deep care in what you put out there. That’s the person that’s leading because what you do when nobody’s looking will come back to you. How you behave when you think nobody’s looking will come back to you.

I think that I said this to someone the other day I said, “Raising a child and building a company is not too dissimilar because you get out of both exactly what you put into them.” As you and I talked about earlier on our pre-show, we are involved with young, impressionable adolescents and we’re trying to use sports to understand it.

There is a path to success in life so you can win in the game of life, behavior and cultures, everything. And I’ve got to tell you, I think in business, for far too long, we haven’t paid enough attention to behavior and culture and environment. We looked at a lot of metrics.

I think if we really want to be authentic and we really want to live to our fullest because everybody talks about fulfillment now. If we all want to have fulfillment, I think if we actually immerse ourselves in the correct behaviors, in the correct environment, we’ll get the correct culture because we’re leading authentically. Nothing’s worse than the big companies that says, “We’re X” and they act like they’re Y.

David: They’re never X.

John: I’m trying to be nice. G-rated on my show. I refer to them as suits. My listeners know it. I’m the square peg at a round hole. I walked out one day. I couldn’t do it anymore. The guy said, “You don’t agree with me?” I said, “I absolutely don’t.” and then I was out of a job and that’s what happens some days but I wanted you to share with our listeners a story on how culture helped accelerate your business.

David: [inaudible 00:11:38] You’re doing something that you think nobody’s [inaudible 00:11:40] I got a great story. I have a two year old baby girl at home. [inaudible 00:11:44] And I was just too tired to stand up so I crawled on my knees. I turned around and looked behind and there she was, crawling on her knees. She was crawling in behind me as if this is just how things are done.

I think you look at any team. Just look at the coach and that team is a direct reflection of that coach. It’s in business, too. It’s been fascinating for me to watch as far as how it’s accelerated our business and how it’s had an impact on our company. We work in a fantastic studio. [inaudible 00:12:19] We’ll take calls [inaudible 00:12:25] perfect. You can make your voice bounce off the walls and it actually feels good to be in there.

We have a sales pit that our sales team works out of. Hardwood floors, standup desks. We’ve got rope pull-up rings in there. We’ve got dumbbells in there, dry rake boards around the outsides. We’ve got TVs going in there all the time. There’s no negativity on that hardwood. It’s almost like being on a basketball floor.

If you’re negative, you’re doing pushups. If you’re late, you’re buying lunch. It’s those kinds of things that build this amazing culture and this energy. People are smiling, people like being there and they like each other so how does it accelerate our business?

When we bring a recruit in, they say, “Holy cow. That’s the place where I want to work.” We have the best foosball table that money can buy and that really has become part of our culture, too.

We don’t have people that necessarily stay here until night but we do have a lot of late conversations around that foosball table. We get our competitive juices out. It’s a five minute game. You’re off and you’re on your way. The new water cooler, I think, in tech companies, is having super competitive foosball matches. When people come in, they feel that. [inaudible 00:13:32] higher than we could normally as a startup because of that culture, people could feel it.

John:  You just received an amazing round of funding and that has got to be an adventure all by itself to go through that process. Some of it’s good. Some of it is, perhaps, not.

I’ve heard a lot of stories. Everybody talks about how rewarding it is and fun it is and the hard interviews and I just really wondered. Could you tell us? Because my listeners want to know, because some of these folks didn’t go through it. What are they looking at, David?

David: Let’s tell the truth about this because we talk at the institutional investors. We talk at the angels and it’s a whole different feel. You can have the greatest deck in the world and you can have the greatest pitch in the world but when you[inaudible 00:14:21], you had better be able to adjust that pitch to your audience. To be honest with you, just having enough conversations with people who want to do things like change the world, people that want to do things like, “We’re going to eliminate glaucoma.” That’s one of our potential customers who is working on that and they’re raising an amount of funding and one of the most amazing things to say to the guy who’s sitting on $100 million is: “Would you like to participate in our effort to step out glaucoma?” We have the same message. Would you like to take some of the successes you had in life and give back to a company that’s going to improve the quality of life?” And to be able to adjust that pitch to the person you’re working with, it’s very frustrating, it’s a a very time consuming process.

We joke around that that’s a full time job on top of your other full time job, on top of your other full time job. And, John, I know that you probably have the same experience with all the things that you do but you nailed it. It’s very rewarding. It’s also very frustrating and it’s an amazing time commitment but what you’re really doing is you’re providing oxygen for your company to grow, to bring in top talent.

We like the idea that experience is – we want to bring in guys that are super motivated, super mature. I’ve worked on teams that aren’t going to be a problem with the culture, aren’t going to be a negative force. We don’t like whiners or complainers.

That funding allows you to bring out an entirely different category of person and  to be honest with you, I’ve never been on a team like this before. Everybody’s terrifying in their skill set. This is my 23rd year in commercial software and you come into a meeting and you’re terrified of not being prepared because guys will call you out. It doesn’t matter if you’re the CEO. They’ll call you out for not being prepared and that’s fun to work on an all-star team.

John:  I’ve got to say. It’s got to be a lot of fun and I would also imagine, some people just don’t get it and as I like to say in our business, “No is okay.” As a matter of fact, no early is great. And if you don’t get it and we don’t resonate, let’s move on. Because I’m not going to talk you into something you don’t get.

I was taught long ago that if I’m trying to get you to do something you have no concept of, why am I going to waste my breath? And I think when you go through funding, everything I’ve heard and I’ve talked to 75/80 entrepreneurs and everyone has the same stories. There’s a lot of no’s. But I think “No” is okay. Because no gives me closer to yes. When someone tells me no, I thank them. Because you know what, I’m one step closer to yes because you told me no.

David: You could justify those no’s, too. Let me circle the wagons here. Let me check me with my wife. Let me go back. There’s always this go back. Let me go back to. “Who are we going back to? Who else do we need in order to make this decision? Yes, you’re right. Those are great.”

John:  I love the homework section when they give you homework. People come back, “They asked me to do this. They gave me homework.” It wasn’t meaningful homework. It was just homework. And I said, “You just got the Heismen.” They’re like, “What do you mean?” And I’ll do the pose of the Heisman. “See what they did? You just got stiff-armed.” And I’m like, “move on.”

Because there’s a difference between meaningful questions and homework and just homework. It gets you further away from the result you need and I appreciate the [inaudible 00:17:53] in which you shared it with my listeners because people need to hear that. People need to know it’s okay that someone’s not interested in your idea. It’s perfectly okay.

David: It’s [inaudible 00:18:05] fail. Not many people can fail and just say, “Alright. That didn’t work. Let’s tweak that a little bit, let’s come back. Let’s tweak that a little bit and come back.” It’s not failure of you necessarily, it’s a failure of the particular approach that you took so let’s tweak that approach. Do you know how many shots, I can’t remember, Jordan took the winning game and lost, do you remember?

John:  It’s enormous. More than he made, trust me.

David: To me, that one kind of blows me away. You blow a sales call and you think to yourself, “Alright. Just dropped a game-winning shot at the bottom of the funnel. Let’s reload the gun and go back out at 3:30.”

John: I’ve told people this a number of times. People say, “Hey, John. How many times have you failed?” And I say, “Never.”

I said, “I’ve never failed. Just some experiences that have cost me a lot more money than others. I couldn’t be sitting here today had I failed. Everything I’ve done has brought me to this point and allowed me to be who I am today.”

Now, I have made a lot of mistakes but in my mind, failure is quitting and I’m not quitting. I’m not smart enough to quit. So, from that perspective, I’ve never failed. I just spent a lot of money making mistakes.

David: I hear you. It’s funny how those mistakes are going to be much better teachers for you than those big wins. Those big wins, you just got to pat yourself at the back and those mistakes where you’re kind of staring at the ceiling wondering what just happened is where you grow. The people that have been the worst to you, those are the people you want to keep the closest, too, because you can’t possibly put that pressure on yourselves. It’s a matter of what they call adaptive pressure, anti-fragile. I’ve got do something to get myself out of my own comfort so that I can grow here. Those mistakes are what’s going to do it for you.

John: Definitely. You’ll learn so much more from things that didn’t go right than when they did go right. Because when they go right, you pat yourself in the back, “I’m so smart.” Why am I in this room alone by myself, tell me how smart I am.

David, let me ask you this. What’s Greenlight.guru going to look like 12 months from now? You have this amazing funding. What’s the capital investment? What do you do? What’s it look like 12 months from now, 6 months from now?

David: We’re adding guys to our team. Across the board, sales marketing development, executive team. Across the board we’ve got a very detailed playbook that we’re going to execute like the Navy Seals. We’ve got an incredible product that we’re going to jump right here, the air strike.

We’re bringing in airstrike and we’re going to do so much good for the industry, so much good for the people that are [00:20:43] those devices. So, over the next 12 months, you’re going to see that and you’re going to see the pace really pick up. You’re going to see us just get into attack mode and just keep building and building on that.

John:  Sounds like a lot of fun. I’m going to stay tuned. We’re going to talk a little bit more about that. But right now, I want you to give my listeners a tip. Because they’re trying to build teams. They’re trying to build their cultures and they’re trying to build a business. So, if there’s one piece of advice that you could give them, what would it be, David?

David: I think on the business I would say just do it. It’s not going to be perfect. I’m [inaudible 00:21:16] You said, around their business team and culture I think. On the business side, there’s a great book, “The Flinch” [inaudible 00:21:26]

David: John, I think you said that we wanted a tip on building a business, building a team of culture. Let’s break that down and hit these ones specifically. On the business side, I think, you just don’t want to flinch. There’s going to be a lot of scary people and events and you’re not going to want to do things but you’re just going to have to move through that fear and flinch into the punch. There’s a great book called “The Flinch” by Julien Smith and and he really has some great ideas in there about just taking the leap and you’ll figure it out. The way that we talk about it a lot is that there’s a light on at the bottom of the stairs. You know where you want to go. The staircase is completely black. You’ve got a flashlight. You can only see the first two stairs. You’ll figure the rest of it out as you get going but just launch it. Don’t be afraid. Building a great team, for us, is about having your core values mapped out and things like hard work, dedication, loyalty, integrity. Those are all table stakes. You better have that. Your core values are what make you different.

A great example of a core value is we want people that are high energy or passionate. You can’t interview for that. And that way, when you bring people into your culture, you’re not having a bunch of in-fighting. You’re not having a bunch of discord and you don’t need that in your culture. That’s a lot of negativity.

Then, as far as building a culture, you can’t build a culture. All you can do is grow a culture. So, you try to guide it and you  let it grow the way that it’s going to grow. If you try to force it, it would be trying to force a tree to grow a certain way. I think those are some of the things I’ve learned in the last 23 years.

John:  What is the common mistake you see entrepreneurs make over and over again as they go down this path?

David: I think not having the core value set is big and you just kind of bring people in here and there. Suddenly, you’re adding Kyrie Irving and Lebron James and you throw in a Shaq and there’s not enough balls for everybody. You’re not architecting a team. You’re just bringing in people and kind of slapping them and hoping it works out and really also having a strategy around everything so that your guys are moving as fast as they can point to point and they’re very clear, having clarity. Clarity is really big for us. Having clarity on what we want to do and how we’re going to do it. How everything fits into our playbook is extremely important for us to move at the pace we move.

John:  As it’s said, you’ve got to get everybody on the bus, then you’ve got to get them on the right seat. But you better make sure you have someone driving in the right direction.

David:  That’s right. Yes, we talked about that earlier. Every organization just looks like the leader. It’s almost comical when you break it down how much the organization reflects that leader.

John: Absolutely. It’s frightening. It’s also entertaining to a certain degree when people say, “I can’t believe this is happening .” Look at the person go, “Yes, I can. I’m looking at you”  As I told one of my friends that owns a business, “I can’t believe some of these people are so volatile.” I’m like, “Well, you are so why shouldn’t they be?” I told my friend, “You have the shortest fuse of anybody I know.”

David: Yes, it’s the most common thing in the world.

John: And I said, “So does your organization.” I said, “Press any button you want and it’ll implode.” He’s like, “That’s not funny.” I said, “It wasn’t supposed to be funny. It was the truth,” I said, “You know how you could tell I’m your friend? I’ll tell you the truth.”

David: Nice.

John:  Hey, David. Let me take you into the lightning round if that’s okay.

David:  Sure.

John: Do you have a book that changed your life?

David: Yes, there’s about a million of them but the one that really jumps out is the one that I already mentioned. It’s “The Flinch”. Super powerful book. It’s a free book. I’ve actually spent some time with the author. I was so moved by this book and how it pushed me and motivated me to kind of get to the next level. It’s called “The Flinch”. You can check that out. You can download that for free.

And the other one that jumps to mind – I actually went and did a session for college kids that we were recruiting and a guy mentioned a book. It was a while back. It was called “Never Eat Alone”. And it just talks about relationships and that book also changed by life. That guy’s also another scholar like me so I think he’s just a golf caddie but it really resonated with me and I think that a lot of people could get a lot from those books.

John: And you have a quote you go to for inspiration?

David:  Yes, I’m a Christian. So, I derive a lot of my strength from that. I love Lord of the Rings. I love the passion that you get from that. One of the things that really sticks in my head is that quote, “All we have to do is to decide what we’re going to do with the time that we’re given and there are other forces that work in this world besides the work of evil.” Sometimes we’re like, “Man, there’s so much bad stuff going on, but you know what? There’s a lot of forces out there that are helping us as well, too. And you can draw strength from that.

Can I throw one more at you?

John: Sure.

David: Our sales guys are big on this one. They say that success is leased. It’s not owned and rent is due every damn day.

John: I like that one. I’ve got to remember that one. What company do you admire the most as it relates to their culture and why?

David: There are so many great companies. For energy, which is kind of what we do, you’ve got Nike and Rogue Fitness or Under Armour that just blast energy off those companies but specifically for culture, if you think of Pixar, there’s just amazing culture at Pixar. An amazing creativity that they have there.

Then, there’s a company called Valve that they’re just all the way towards the end of the spectrum. If you come to Valve, you’ve got to figure out what to do. They’re not going to tell you what to do. You come there and you just figure out how to help the company. You might move your desk one day and join this team and join that team and it’s just kind of chaos but they’ve been super successful. I love people that take things all the way to the edge. Those are two really cool companies.

John: Why should people work for Greenlight.guru?

David:  We’ve got a great energy here. It’s a great place to work and we truly are improving the quality of life. We’re a company that’s trying to be number one in the world and it’s a pretty intense environment. We’re moving super fast and then we’re growing.

John: Okay. Big finish. Here we go, David. You’re on BE Culture radio so you’ve got to start each one of these adjectives with BE. For example, BE Creative or BE Exciting. So, if you were to describe your culture of GreenLight.guru in three words, what would they be?

David: BE a finisher. You want to close things out. BE Innovative. We’ve got to build great products and great systems processes around those products. And BE Supportive. We’re going to support our customers and we’re going to have fanatical levels of support and you better BE Passionate because we’re going to have a bunch of [inaudible 00:06:03] what we do.

John: I can get behind all three of those. That would work for me. How can my listeners connect with you, David?

David:  At Twitter, I’m @Derambo. D-E-R-A-M-B-O. That’s probably where the best place to hit me. LinkedIN. You can connect with me on LinkedIN David DeRam. That’s probably the best place. And my foundation is progenyfoundation.org. That’s where we work with average kids and we look at getting those kids – we want to get a ton of them into school every year with academic and athletic scholarships.

We really look at the life skills, the tutoring and the mentoring pieces of that and we’re building a foundation somewhere in the amazing work that you’ve done, John.

John: We have a lot of fun with the New Jersey Road Runners. They’re great kids and it gives me a tremendous amount of solace and light to know that, as I shared with you earlier, we can all just make a difference in one child’s life with a random act of kindness.

We can leave the world a better place than we found it. I think there’s no better thing that we can do as human beings than that, and there’s no measure or metrics greater than that. But that’s my opinion and I’m going to own that and I’m going to stick with that.

David: Yes, what an amazing program you’ve got there. Congrats on all your success.

John: Thank you. Hey, David. Any roll outs you want to tell us about with your company before you go?

David: Just that airstrike. With Greenlight.guru, we’re going to be pushing that next version of our product and it’s going to be really special.

John: Perfect. Hey I can’t thank you enough and before I close every show, I share with my guest my favorite quote. It’s from Maya Angelou, which is, “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

And we hope we made you feel like you’re part of our tribe. We hope we made you feel welcome and we hope we made you feel valid.

So, than you so much for showing up today and I want you to come back in six months and come visit us at the New Jersey Road Runners, my foundation. Meet our kids and see our program. I was teasing you earlier about Indiana, it wasn’t pretty healthy. They play basketball so damn well. We just don’t want to get beat. We don’t show up there. We just stay on the East Coast because we got a fighting chance over here.

David:  You guys do a pretty nice job there, too. Hats off.

John: David, in your travels, if you come across some of your entrepreneurial friends and you think this is a great platform for them to tell their story about their company, would you please send them our way?

David: Yes, for sure. Let’s get that done.

John: Perfect. Thanks so much. I enjoyed it. This has been more than I could’ve bargained for.

David:  Thanks, John.

John: Be well.

David: You too.

John: Bye.