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November 16, 2023 · 27 min read

Season 4, Ep. 33 – Founder to Founder: with Shane Sniteman, Chief Product Officer & Founder at Strumn

In this week’s episode, Teja talks with Shane Sniteman, Chief Product Officer and Founder at Strumn, an app that connects musicians and venues to book gigs. What started as a final project for a software boot camp program and sat dormant for years has now become a thriving marketplace for live music bookings. They talk about taking a chance on on making a career change, the music scene in Nashville, and how sometimes picking up an old project is the best business bet you can make.


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Teja (00:05):

What’s up, y’all? Today we’ve got Shane Sniteman, founder and chief product officer at Strumn, local Nashville entrepreneur. Really enjoyed this conversation, and you guys’ll dig this one. (THE FRONTIER THEME ENDS)

Teja (00:26):

So you were a dev. Like, so you built that version of the app and everything?

Shane (00:29):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yep.

Teja (00:31):

Okay, sick. How did you like, get into programming? Did you study computer science or just…?

Shane (00:37):

Dude, I didn’t, and some people may look down on this or whatnot, but I was working a finance job at one of the big four accounting firms after college. So, you know, when I was 22, got that, (Teja: Yup.) doing that for about two years, you know? (Teja: Yep.) It just wasn’t fulfilling and what I wanted to do, and I just one day said, “Man, coding is getting hot.” That’s when the boot camps are coming out, right? The, I can’t remember which one in San Francisco, but you know, they were all coming out…(Teja: <Inaudible>.) What’s that?

Teja (01:13):

The Hacker-something or whatever the fuck.

Shane (01:14):

Yeah, yeah. (Teja: Yeah.) Yeah, and I was like, “Man, if I just save up and do this, I know that I can make a better salary,” (Teja: Yeah.) “and it’ll be a challenge, and it’ll be cool.” So, saved up, quit my job, randomly, went to a three month bootcamp. From there, they were starting a new bootcamp in Atlanta, and they said, “Hey, will you come and do the mobile side?” So I went for front end, and “Will you come teach the front end?” basically, and I said, “I will teach for free if I can sit in the mobile one, and so I can learn both.” So I spent an extra three months doing that, but that’s when I was living super lean, just off the savings of, you know, my first job, and I had like eight months of runway probably, and I was like, “I’m going to develop 20 hours a day, that’s all. Like, I have to make this work.” (Teja: Yeah.)

Shane (02:14):

So I was, you know, teaching, I was going to school, doing, you know, the bootcamp mobile, and then I started building this, and I was playing shows at the time. So I was playing, I was also a musician, right? So in Atlanta, I would go to bars and restaurants, and I’d be like, “Hey, can I play tonight,” you know, “for 50 bucks or whatever?” I’ll play for free and get my chops up, and those two things kind of connected right then. It was like, why is it so hard to get a gig? And I literally named my app, “Get-A-Gig”, at the time, and it was Get-A-Gig. It was a bar, restaurant, venue creates a profile, an artist creates a profile, and they have all of their information. They have their genre, their rate, their…what type of music they have, and all that stuff, and so I just built a simple search.

Shane (03:01):

Like, give me all country singer/songwriter venues within 50 miles away that have that genre, right, and then I could send them a message, and that was all it was at the time, and that was my project of just like, you know, so that I can go to companies and say, “Hire me as a junior dev,” right? And it worked. That’s what got me to Nashville. So I built that and within, I don’t know, a couple weeks of it being on the app store, I just started sending it to places, and a company in Nashville called Aloompa, (Teja: Mmm <affirmative>.) that was building apps for music festivals, where like, “Hey,” you know, “we need a junior dev.” I said, “I’ll be there on Monday, let’s go.” Like, it’s music, and it’s developing. I was like, that is my two passions, right, (Teja: Yeah.) because I was loving developing too. 

Shane (03:59):

Like, it got me into it. So it became a passion of mine to learn how to code and things like that, and I was like, “I’ve always wanted to go to Nashville,” ’cause I love music. I wanted to be a musician. I was like, “This is perfect, and that got me there and, or here, rather, and I was developing there for like, two years while I was just in the music scene, and Get-A-Gig just went to the wayside. It was just a project at the time.

Teja (04:28):

That’s sick. Okay, so (Shane: Yeah.) started basically programming, still into music, then those two things converged. Were you still working on your company while you were a dev full-time, or…(Shane: No.) Okay.

Shane (04:49):

Yeah. I built the MVP, put it on the App Store, had no idea what I was doing. I got the job, and I never touched Get-A-Gig again for four years. (Teja: Damn, okay.) Yeah, and I was having, I mean, I was having thousands of artists download the app from all across the country. I would have artists in my Instagram messaging me, “Hey, why am I not getting this gig?” “Hey, your payment system is broken,” and I’m like, “That was just a project like, to get a job.” Like, you know, and they’re like, “Why am I this? Why am I that?” And I was like, “Dude, I’m not even doing anything with it,” and I would log in on iTunes Connect every two years, and I would be like, “I’m getting like, 800 downloads every month,” or something like that, and I was like, “Why am I not doing anything with this?” Right <laugh>? (Teja: Yes.) But yeah, I still didn’t do anything with that, and I even got, I even left Aloompa, went to Bridgestone, the tire company, and went as like, a mid-level dev, worked my way up at Bridgestone as like, a head of digital. So I did web and mobile. So I was over the devs and spearheading like, the mobile initiatives at Bridgestone Tire Company. Still never did anything with Get-A-Gig. It was just on the App Store.

Teja (06:06):

Now, so basically, this version of your company, it was originally founded like, many, many years ago.

Shane (06:14):

Yeah. A long time ago.

Teja (06:15):

Where are you now, in terms of working full-time on it, or part-time?

Shane (06:21):

During Covid, or right after Covid, I left Bridgestone. I had a, like…this was all coming to a head again, where again, as I told you before the recording, I had a software company out west. (Teja: Yup.) I don’t remember how it got connected, but I was telling them about the Get-A-Gig thing, and they were like, “This is a really cool concept. Like, why haven’t you touched this in four or five years?” Right? And I said, “I’m too busy working my normal job, also writing music a lot,” (Teja: Yeah.) and I just never really thought about it. It was always just like, a passion project for me. It wasn’t like, I’m gonna go start this company. (Teja: Wow.)

Shane (07:03):

And so I said, “What if we partnered up together? If you could give me a dev team to do this. Let’s build a full MVP of what I really had envisioned it being.” Like, it’s funny, I still like, I built the MVP of MVP, if that makes sense. (Teja: Yeah, yeah.) Like, I didn’t build all the features that I would want in a real MVP. I didn’t build calendars. I didn’t build, you know, I just had a lot of features that I wanted to build. So I said, “Here’s what I envision a real MVP, if I made this a company, that it would need,” and we negotiated, and we said, “Okay.” They became our partners. I said, you know, they even asked, “Do we wanna build on top of it?” And I said, “Well, one, it’s really old code.” (Teja: Yup.)  I didn’t do the, you know, I was still junior at the time. So I was like, “I think it would be much easier to…let’s rebrand, rename, and completely just redo the whole thing.”

Teja (08:04):

Yeah, yeah. New <inaudible> and everything.

Shane (08:05):

Yeah. (Teja: Yeah.) So, and at the time, it was funny, over the years, there’ve been some apps, you know, that had the word “gig” in it. (Teja: Yeah.) So I was like, “I just want a whole new fresh thing,” right? (Teja: Yeah.) And I had, you know, years of experience with looking at what, you know, best practices of design is, and UI/UX, and things like that as I’m developing, right? (Teja: Yup.) And so I was like, “I can make this look so much better,” and we just…a whole new company, created a whole new company, and we started building, and as we were building, so we named it Strumn, we went back to the drawing board of the flows, the layouts, UI/UX of things, how we’re going to, how we can make it scalable, what I envision the long-term being, right, so that we could set up the database to, you know, handle where I want it to go. 

Shane (09:09):

And so they just started building. I was basically like, product owner, kind of project manager at that point, you know, UI/UX, branding, all of it, and then people started seeing the idea in town that I was just talking about, and, you know, I started angel investing, or raising, sorry. So someone would put in, you know, [a] chunk of cash, and then I had these hats made, literally had artists, I started giving them to artists that I write with, because I still write music, and they would wear it, and then they would go in and a manager of a band would be like, “What is that hat?” “Oh, it’s like an Airbnb. It’s for artists.” “I want a meeting.” They would invest, and so then I just started raising capital that way to fund, you know, building what we have now.

Teja (09:59):

That’s sick. (Shane: Yeah.) I like, am so enamored with like, the scrappy founding story. (Shane: <Laugh>. Yeah.) No, dude. ’cause like, I mean, it took us maybe five years until I had a legit salary of $50K. (Teja: <Laugh>. Yeah.) Yeah, like, and so for the first couple of years like, you know, you make some revenue, you just pay like, using CashApp, or I’d go like, I’d go to like, my now, today, like, operations head, his house, his wife had a sick job as a nurse. She’s like, you know, doing the thing, (Shane: Yeah.) and <inaudible> with like, a couple hundred bucks, based on like, what’s left over after all the bills were paid, and so I remember, (Shane: Yeah, man.) when me, him, another guy, we all took $50K a year salaries, I had a fucking offer letter drafted.

Teja (10:48):

I was like, “Holy shit. Like, this is a real,” (Shane: Yeah.) but I don’t know if that’s wise, ’cause obviously I wasn’t (Shane: <Laugh>.) married, or I didn’t have kids or anything like that, but yeah. (Shane: Yeah.)I love that story of like, okay, like, build the scrappy version. Just use it to basically get a job, get the job, then you wanna rebuild the app, and like, now, (Shane: Yeah.) it’s a legit company, and that’s (Shane: Yeah, yeah.) cool. (Shane: Yeah, man.) Right now, you guys are at seed stage, right? Angel money invested. How are you thinking about like, the future of the company?

Shane (11:26):

We finished our first round. That got us to build a product that’s working for venues, bars, restaurants, and artists. Now here’s the funny thing, is like, some other apps are starting to come into the picture. We have like, a specific way that we’re doing it, but the main thing that I get all the time, is “You’re just trying to cut out the booking agent, right?” And a lot of these apps are trying to cut out the booking agent, but I’m not at all. So what I’m trying to do, is I’ve made a lot of, trying to make partnerships and connections with booking agents, and what I’ve found is that we need one more feature-build for the booking agents, so that it’s like, they’re pouring gas on the fire, right, of like, because they have the venues, they have the artists.

Shane (12:28):

So instead of me going individually to venue, to venue, to venue, I want to provide a software for the booking agents, ’cause right now, they don’t have any for them to use as well. So we’re raising a second round for building that for marketing and sales, not, you know, and it’s still gonna be scrappy. I mean, we’re gonna, it’s still gonna be me and a couple other people just calling, and going and meeting at venues, going to shows, right, but that’s gonna be the second round, is that is three kind of pieces that we need to…now that we have a product, let’s go sell it, let’s go build on top of it, bug fixes, things like that, right? And hopefully, that’ll be just the last round that we do.

Teja (13:12):

That’s cool, and then path to profitability from there. (Shane: Yeah.) Yeah.

Shane (13:17):

Yeah, yeah. (Teja: Cool.) And we’re super close. We’re talking with some booking agents and things like that to potentially partner with, and (Teja: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.) If we can get that, we’ll be at revenue once we just sign those, you know, deals. So that’s kind of the way I’m thinking of it now is like, some of these booking agents will have thousands of artists under their umbrella, (Teja: Yeah.) and they’re already booking a lot of these gigs. (Teja: Yeah.) If we can just streamline it for them, let’s just do that, and we just take a very, very, very small percentage, but over time, I mean, the amount of gigs that these booking agents are doing, we’re just getting revenue that way. Plus, artists have to pay $9.99 a month to use the software.

Teja (14:03):

So what’s your experience been in building this company in Nashville? Like, thoughts on the ecosystem here?

Shane (14:11):

Not to knock the music industry, by any means, but it’s like, the music industry is so far behind in tech, right? So if I were to build a healthcare app or something like that in Nashville, like, I think I would get more traction faster. Now, maybe it’s saturated in the market, but you know, you have to think, venue owners, a lot of them have been around for 50 years. It’s a lot of [the] old way of thinking. (Teja: Yeah, yeah.) There’s also, you know, the music industry is very political too, in the sense of like, who’s getting the shows and things like that, right, and it’s a little bit of a chess match, and there are a lot of players that have been in there forever. So I do think that, again, like I said, there’s a few other apps trying to come on the market in other cities, and I really think you have to be here, (Teja: Right.) because these are where the big booking agents are. 

Shane (15:05):

These are where the labels, and the management companies of these artists, I mean, we have the most venues per capita, you know, I mean, there’s a venue every street, right? So if you can, you know, to your question, if we can prove it here, we’re good, right, and every other city in music is looking at what Nashville’s doing, right? So if we can say, “We’re doing all this at these venues. We have these booking agents on,” they’re gonna go, “We want to do what Nashville’s doing,” and we see that in other venues, right? I’m glad that we’re starting here, because there’s just so many music connections that I’m able to make easier, right?

Teja (15:49):

That’s cool. (Shane: Yeah.) Has the tech community been supportive? Like, are you able to find like, people sort of going through the same shit, like, net investor network supportive, all that stuff?

Shane (16:02):

I will say, maybe the one saying that…it’s funny, it kind of goes both ways, where the music side takes a while to catch up on the tech, right, and I’ve also seen that the tech side of things doesn’t understand the music industry a lot of times, right? (Teja: Yeah.) and they shouldn’t. I mean, it’s crazy. When you get into it. It’s like, the way that it’s run is so much different than other industries, and so, on both sides, I’m having to do a lot of explaining and showing them how it works for them to understand, you know? (Teja: Yeah.) So does that make sense?

Teja (16:47):

Totally. It does. It’s like, you have to kind of spend time like, trying to get both sides to understand the intersection of like, <inaudible> (Shane: Exactly.) lives. What’s like, an ideal employee of the company look like? Like, a programmer, probably with an interest in music, or like, you know, somebody in partnerships with an interest in music. Like, are you able to <inaudible> those people to scale your team?

Shane (17:11):

The ideal right now is like, somebody that can go, honestly, sell the vision to people in the music industry, because I think the one good thing is, for devs, is that it does, I hear this from our team, and it’s an exciting thing to work on, because you’re dealing with, you know, shows and going to, you know, it’s a cool, maybe, sexy (Teja: Yeah.) industry, versus, you know, maybe developing something HIPAA compliant or something, right? (Teja: <Laugh>. Yeah.) So they enjoy it in that sense, but I do think like, developers just want to develop, at the end of the day. I don’t necessarily think that…they’re just trying to build complex problems, and that’s why I respect them so much. 

Shane (18:07):

They’re not necessarily looking at the cool, shiny thing. (Teja: <Inaudible>.) So for, you know what I mean? For me, I need more of like, somebody that’s going out there, trying to persuade people to use what we’re doing, because, again, the music industry is very archaic. I mean, I can’t tell you how many venues I go in, and they’re still booking using a paper calendar with thousands of messages in their Instagram, and they’re trying to say, “You can play on this date,” and it’s just so, it’ll blow your mind how archaic it is. So we need somebody to go in there, and that’s what I’m doing, is saying like, “We’re creating this way that you don’t have to cold call anymore, and you don’t have to use paper calendars, and Gmail, and all this stuff to sync up these shows. Just use what we’re doing.

Teja (18:59):

So you guys need somebody that’s like, in like, partnerships, selling the vision, going to meetings, yeah, (Shane: Yeah.) that sort of…(Shane: Yeah.) So we mentioned like, we talked about this off air, like, you mentioned that like, your wife is an entrepreneur, as well. How did you guys meet, and like, was that something that like, kind of like, helped like, that shared interest? Like, it’s so funny. Like, two folks are both <inaudible> (Shane: <Laugh>.) risk-off and one on, you know what I mean?

Shane (19:29):

I mean, we’re both risk-on, to be honest <laugh>.

Teja (19:32):

<Laugh> Yeah, I love that.

Shane (19:34):

And we just got married a year ago, so it’s like, [our] first year [of] marriage is literally both [of us] trying to build startups, and it’s it’s funny, ’cause it’s like, it brings so much stress, but it also like, makes you a team, because you both understand what you’re going through, (Teja: A hundred percent.) and honestly, when we met, I had a full-time job at Bridgestone. You know, very secure, and she was working a job as well. So it’s like, we weren’t both in that startup world. It was all…and both of these started at the same time. It was right after Covid where I told you that I met the software engineering firm, and we said, “Hey, like, maybe we make this a company.” That presented the opportunity at the exact same time where she was in Covid, you know, marketing restaurants and things like that, going around and just saying, “I’ll do your social media,” and then it was just referral-based.

Shane (20:26):

“I’ll do your social media, I’ll do your social media,” and so when it got to a point where she was just getting enough clients that she could sustain it on her own, she went out on her own and did the same thing. And so, you know, we are both just like, solving problems for people. I mean, I really feel like that’s why you should start a company and never just be like, “I’m gonna start a company today and make, make money,” (Teja: <Laugh>.) because if you have that mindset, man, every day, like, if you don’t have that like, passion for what you’re doing, you know, and a reason for why you started that, like, you are gonna burn out fast.

Teja (21:07):

[A] hundred percent, yeah. A hundred percent. I also take special issue with people who are like, “Oh, like, I want to be my own boss.,” or like, “I don’t want a boss.” It’s like, dude, your boss is like, your customers, and like, (Shane: Yeah.) they’re gonna be up your ass. (Shane: Yeah.) Like, yeah. At least bosses are like, “I need to make this guy like, feel good,” (Shane: Yeah.) “or gal good.” Like, the market doesn’t care. Like, “I want this shit fixed yesterday. Why the fuck aren’t you doing this?” Like, you know?

Shane (21:33):

Yeah, yeah. (Teja: <Laugh>.) You have like, you have thousands of bosses <laugh>.

Teja (21:37):

<Laugh>. Thousands. Yeah. Dude, I know. I always, like, when somebody tells me that, I always like, smile, ‘cause like, I don’t wanna be a dickhead and be like, “Dude, it’s not that <emphasis> fun.” It’s like, you just end up solving the problem. You know?

Shane (21:50):

Dude, that’s what I’m saying. That’s the thing that keeps you going and is the fuel for why you’re going, because I can’t tell, I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I still, sometimes now, think like, oh, I could go back and just have an easier, way easier time (Teja: Oh, yeah.) day-to-day. You know what I mean? I was there, I did it, and I’m like, wow. Like, I had no stresses, (Teja: <Laugh>.) you know? Right? The only stress was like, am I gonna get to work on time (Teja: Yeah.) and somebody be upset at that? (Teja: Yeah.) It’s like, you just do the work. (Teja: Yeah.) Now, like, people do think, like you said, “Oh, it’s so attractive to not have a boss and to be able to work,” and things like that. But like, you have to keep yourself accountable. There’s way more stresses that come with that.

Teja (22:41):

A hundred percent.

Shane (22:41):

Sometimes you feel alone, like (Teja: Yes.) You know, you feel like you’re doing it alone, and like, you don’t have, you know, yes, you have a team, but like, yeah, man, there’s just, it’s tough. It is.

Teja (22:54):

Yeah. You can’t, like, you can’t go to your team and be like, “Guys, let me tell you about all this shit that sucks,” right, (Shane: Exactly.) and them be like, “What the fuck is wrong with this guy?”

Shane (23:01):

Exactly, (Teja: Right?) because they need to believe, and this is the thing, you feel like you have to have it all together, (Teja: Yeah.) because they need to believe in you to be the leader, (Teja: Yes.) so you do have a lot of responsibility and stress. (Teja: Yes, yes.) Yeah, man. (Teja: Totally.) It’s a tough game <laugh>.

Teja (23:19):

It is. It is, but in some ways, it’s like, I don’t know. In fact, I forget what it’s like to not have the stress of…(Shane: Agreed.) you know? I just forget, (Shane: Yeah.) you know, and I sometimes wonder, I’m like, what would it feel like if I didn’t feel this pull like, at the second I wake up, to check my email and (Shane: Yeah <laugh>.) like, right before I go to bed to check my email. You know, what would that universe feel like, you know <laugh>?

Shane (23:48):

Yeah. Dude, I can’t even imagine anymore <laugh>.

Teja (23:50):

Yeah <laugh>. (Shane: <Laugh>.) What are some rituals that like, you and your wife keep? ‘Cause you guys are both entrepreneurs, I imagine high stress, you guys like, come together as a team. What are some things that you guys do? Like, do you guys talk about work at dinner, or are you guys like, “Hey, after 7:00, like, no work, talk for like, two hours.” Like, what are some things that you guys do?

Shane (24:11):

It’s honestly “talk about it 24/7,” (Teja: <Inaudible> just because we’re in it. It is, and we’re talking like, you know, you’re waking up at 3:00 AM sometimes just being like, “Are you thinking about how long you have left?” and like, you know, runway, and like…(Teja: Yeah.) “I’m thinking about that, too.” It’s like, we gotta figure that out.

Teja (24:28):

That’s so cool, dude. That’s amazing, though. It’s like the house <inaudible> is in it. Yeah.

Shane (24:34):

Yeah, and I mentioned this the other day, it’s like, it’d be crazy if one of us wasn’t, because I feel like you’d almost look at it as like, “Why are you bringing me down with your negativity?” or whatever, but it’s like, when somebody does understand, like, you know, that’s those stressors on there, like, you’re just trying to help each other constantly. But I think, ritual wise, I mean, the two biggest things that we have is waking up earlier to what you mentioned, like, where you have like, an hour of, you know, we have coffee, quiet time type of thing, where it’s like, you’re not necessarily emailing people back, and you’re just taking that morning, and then we have a dog, which I will say like, it’s kind of crazy, but we got a dog [a] year and a half ago, and it’s like, it makes so much…he’s like, brought out so many good things during the day, because every day at like, 5:00, we’re like, “Let’s go walk, you know, [the] three mile loop,” like, in McCabe down here. 

Shane (25:41):

So we do that loop every single day, and that’s kind of our time. It’s like, he gets us out, because even on the days that you don’t wanna do it, and you’re tired, (Teja: Yes.) you’re like, you have that responsibility to like, take the dog, let him have fun, but then what that does, is allows us to like, we separate work for an hour, (Teja: Yeah.) you know, and it takes us about an hour to do that walk. So that’s always like, the two things. It’s like, we know that we’re gonna walk at that time roughly and take the mornings, man, and then the rest is just, I mean, it’s just always. It’s constant. You know how it is <laugh>.

Teja (26:17):

Yeah, dude. No, I mean, I’ve definitely like, been in relationships where like, I’m working a lot, and like, the conflicts are like, “Why aren’t we doing more shit on Saturday?” And I’m just like, “’Cause Saturday’s a workday. I don’t know <inaudible>.” (Shane: Yeah. I know.) Then you’re in a conflict that’s like, about work, and neither person feels good, ’cause one person is like…

Shane (26:41):

Man, it’s tough, dude.

Teja (26:42):

Yeah, yeah, yeah. (Shane: Yeah.) So it is cool that like, two people are like, “Hey, like, we’re gonna eat dinner standing up, like, out of a box, and I’m gonna get back to it.” Like, “Okay, let’s go.”

Shane (26:52):

No, that’s a hundred percent. Or man, like, you know, I don’t think people talk about this, and so it’s kind of interesting to talk about. Never really thought about it, but you like, what you said about eating? I mean, I just, my mind went to, for instance, last night, she had to work on a project that was later on, so it’s like, one of you has to step up at all times. It’s like, “I’m gonna cook, let you do your thing,” (Teja: Yeah.) right? And so I, literally last night, it’s like, “Go do your thing.” If I am taking a meeting, or I have to go to venues or a show at night, it’s like, “Hey, can you help in this area, or for dinner, or whatever, before that, so that I can leave?” Right? And you know, another thing we do on Saturdays is, we will still go work, but we’ll like, go to a coffee shop that we love. So it’s like, you’re still hanging out, but you’re working. So it kind of feels like you’re getting both done.

Teja (27:49):

That’s cool. That’s cool.

Shane (27:51):

Yeah, but I have, it’s funny too, it’s like, we have a couple friend, so one of our best friends, and he’s full startup mode right now. You know, got an investment, and he has a runway as well, (Teja: Yeah.) and she’s kind of holding it down with a full-time job, but she has a really good idea for a job, and we ask him all the time, it’s like, whenever he gets to a spot where maybe revenue is stable in his startup, then he can be the steady one, and then she goes out and does the startup, and then he has to take, you know, he has to get to a steady spot. So you just have to have those conversations, you know, with your…it just needs to be known of like, what the goal is, (Teja: Yeah, yeah.) you know?

Teja (28:37):

Totally. That’s inspiring, and it’s like, it’s so, because like, I think when you have a business, and you’re scaling it, it’s all-encompassing. (Shane: Yeah.) It’s like, all you think about, you know?

Shane (28:48):

It really is, man.

Teja (28:49):

Yeah, it’s like, so our investors remind me, ‘cause I’m always like, “I wanna do this with the company. I wanna do this.” They’re like, “Dude, like, nobody in the company is as fucking crazy as you.” (Shane: Yeah <laugh>.) “Like, you can’t <inaudible> this out of people.” I’m like, “Okay.” (Shane: Yeah <laugh>.) <Laugh>. (Shane: Yeah, yeah.) Especially, like, if you’re friends with entrepreneurs, and like, you’re talking to them, you’re like, I just think like, this is how everybody thinks. So like, why would you not want to work 80 hours? Like, (Shane: Right.) it’s your mission, like, you should do it, (Shane: Yeah.) but most people are like, “Hey, I wanna show up, fucking leave it at work, and then chill,” you know?

Shane (29:26):

Yeah, yeah. I’m have mentor that says like, “There are a lot of people that are okay with that and are happy with that.” It’s like, I respect that. You know, it’s like, at the end of the day, like, if that makes you happy, and stable for your family, and things like that, like, that’s great. It’s just, it wasn’t in my…I met up with my old boss at Bridgestone three days ago for lunch and haven’t seen him three years, ’cause that’s when I left, probably two and a half, three years ago. (Teja: Yep.) We were catching up, and he was just like, we would always talk, you know, other directors at his level in Bridgestone, he would always say, “Man,” we’d always talk like, “Why are you just still here working behind the desk like, developing? Like, it was in your DNA to go like, make something, go create something, go build something.” (Teja: Yeah.)

Shane (30:19):

And I thought that was really cool to hear, ’cause it’s like, some people are okay with that, because they want that stability, right? People have different paths, right? They need to feel grounded; they need to feel stable. So by all means, if that steady salary, and knowing that you have a job, and knowing that you don’t have to have that stress is great for you and your family, do it. It’s just, it wasn’t…sitting behind that desk was just making me, just eating at me, you know?

Teja (30:49):

Totally. No, man. So were your parents like, entrepreneurs, or like, how did you like, get interested in like…?

Shane (30:56):

I don’t know, man, I always go back to…my dad was a fighter pilot, and he was a colonel, and everything was pretty regimented. My mom grew up in Italy. My mom was Italian, and she was more like, kind of free spirited, I guess, and so I kind of had both worlds, and my dad always taught me like, hard work, and times, and things like that, but he always had this mentality that, when you’re a kid, anything that they want to try or do, just give them the opportunity to do that. (Teja: Sick.) So if I said, “I wanna learn how to play drums,” right, he would, “All right, I’ll buy you like, a super cheap drum set and see if you like it, and if you stick with it, like, you run with that.” “Oh, I wanna play guitar now.” “Okay, I’ll get you a cheap guitar, like, see if you wanna do that.” Just, he gave me all that, you know, those things like, “I wanna play golf. I wanna play this. I wanna do this,” and so I was just constantly learning new things, and I felt like it was always in my DNA to be like, “I wanna go out and like, try a new thing and like, conquer it, maybe. (Teja: Yeah.) So that’s kinda where I think that mindset came from is, you know, being allowed to not have like, a specific path but like, try a bunch of different things until you find it.

Teja (32:20):

Yeah. I always love hearing how different people get to like, the point of like, wanting to do something hard, like start a business and scale it, you know? (Shane: Yeah, yeah.) Because it’s not typical, and school does not prepare you to do that shit. (THE FRONTIER THEME FADES IN)

Shane (32:36):

No, man. (Teja: <Laugh>.) No. I wish they would <laugh>.

Teja (32:39):

Yeah <laugh>. Totally. The world would be a better place, yeah. (Shane: Yeah.) All right, where can people find you and your company on the interwebs or wherever…social?

Shane (32:49):

Yeah, so It’s My Instagram is just Shane Sniteman. Our Instagram is @strumn. But yeah, so you can find me [at] either/or.

Teja (33:02):

Awesome, yeah. (Shane: Cool.) Thanks, Shane. Appreciate your time.

Shane (33:05):

Yeah, appreciate it. Thank you.

Abbey, via previous recording (33:07):

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