Geoff Lewis is the Co-Founder & CEO of Topguest, an early-stage technology company that is redefining loyalty program engagement for a mobile, social world. Founded in June, 2010, Topguest has thus far been adopted by loyalty programs with a combined reach of +170 Million members.
Topguest powers social loyalty for many of the largest established programs in the world, such as Hilton HHonors, Priority Club, Caesars Total Rewards, Virgin America Elevate, and many more. The Company is backed by notable Silicon Valley venture capital firms, including the first investors in Facebook.
Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Lewis was the Vice President of a macro hedge fund, and began his career in Global Brand Management at Procter & Gamble. Lewis has appeared as an expert commentator on CNBC Power Lunch, MSNBC Your Money, TechCrunchTV, and on Canadian television. He’s been a keynote speaker at events such as The Web 2.0 Summit, Gamification Summit, TechCrunch 50, and EyeForTravel. Lewis mentors other young entrepreneurs for Founder Institute and The Brandery, and is a regular contributor to The Business Insider.
What are you working on right now?
Creating personalized social loyalty programs for people based on their favorite rewards currency and favorite merchants.
What does your typical day look like?
There’s no such thing! That’s one of the best parts of entrepreneurship – Each day brings the unexpected. That said, I’ve recently started following a rough daily framework that seems to really be improving my productivity. During the week, I try to get up at around 7:00am and head to the gym. Later in the morning, I have a quick daily coffee meeting with my 2 co-founders, Ash and Ozan. We use this time to discuss priorities, work through any problems, and make decisions. I then write down the 1-3 things that I *must* achieve on this specific day. I configure my day around these priorities to ensure I get them completed before leaving the office.
3 trends that excite you?
Disruptive health-sector startups: Health is a massively inefficient sector, and it’s encouraging to see startups tackling important health-related problems gaining traction. ZocDoc, PracticeFusion, and Lollihop are a few that I’m a fan of.
Crowdsourced funding. Kickstarter is now well-known, but I think we’ve only scratched the surface on applications for crowd-funding.
Using tech to dis-intermediate gatekeepers in staid industries. Startups innovating here include Art.sy and Airbnb.
How do you bring ideas to life?
It takes a village. The support of an exceptional and committed team is critical. It’s easy to come up with an interesting idea. It’s very hard to transform an idea into a viable product that resonates with customers. Topguest would not exist without our team.
What inspires you?
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
Hard to pick just one… Probably the biggest was spending a few years too long in corporate america before jumping into entrepreneurship. I’ve learned that if you’re afraid of failing at something, it’s a sign you should try it, right away.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A marketplace for short-term employee-swaps between non-competitive companies.
What do you read every day? Why?
Hacker News – It has the most insightful commentary on the most important news in tech.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand . Howard Roark is fiction’s ultimate entrepreneur.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Tim Westergren , Pandora.
What’s been the real secret to Topguest’s success?
My co-founders Ozan Onay and Ash Fontana.
What’s do you miss most about pre-startup life?
Travelling for pleasure to far off places. There just isn’t time for long trips when you’re leading a startup. 2-3 weeks away from the office isn’t a good idea.
Top guest consumer website:
Business Insider profile and pieces:
[box size=”small” border=”full”]This interview was brought to you by Rohit Jain who works in business development. You can follow Rohit via his blog and on Twitter. [/box]