Chris Hutchins is an endless optimizer of money and life, and a longtime entrepreneur.
This story begins with him being laid off in 2008 and founding an organization called LaidOffCamp, where he hosted dozens of events around the country to help the unemployed learn new skills for the evolving job market.
Then in 2011, he co-founded a company called Milk. This venture was short lived, as they were acquired by Google 13 months later.
Today he is the founder and CEO of Grove, and his mission is to make financial planning accessible and affordable for everyone.
In this conversation, Jon and Chris discuss:
- The varying skillsets required for product management and biz dev
- Where and how to find business partners
- The true value of relentless optimization
Now, let’s hack…
Highlights from the interview
- [4:20]: Chris explains that he’s an “optimizer,” and that he plans out courses of action to find optimal decisions in advance of taking action.
- [8:00]: The inspiration for Grove came from Chris’s own friends and family asking him for financial advice. He created Grove to help people optimize their own finances for today’s economic landscape.
- [13:10]: Chris recounts how he started LaidOffCamp after he himself was laid off in 2008, in the wake of the economic recession. They did twenty events across the country, helping the many people who’d been laid off recently at the time.
- [20:25]: Chris got guidance from several different people during Grove’s initial growth period, including a business coach, other founders he’s met through mutual investors and partnerships, his cofounder, and his wife.
- [21:10]: One of Chris’s mentors gave him a piece of advice once: “Figure out all the things you know about your company, and find the biggest unknown.” That’s where time and energy should be spent: discovering things that were unknown before, that could potentially work to generate profit.
Resources and links from the interview
- Chris Hutchins
- Startup Weekend
- Chris Hutchins on Twitter
- It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be. by Paul Arden
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