Kreg Peeler – CEO of SpinGo


SpinGo’s goals are big, and we know we need the help of other specialists in the event arena to make them happen. Instead of looking out for our ‘turf’, we look out for our ultimate mission.

Kreg builds stuff. Most recently he built SpinGo, a robust local event platform powering 5,500 entertainment apps nationwide via the Event Engine and API, delivering event content to 195 million monthly. SpinGo is the event platform that major media, travel, financial, and technology companies trust.

SpinGo was named Internet Company of the Year, Tech Startup of the Year, and Fastest Growing Tech Company of the Year in 2014.

Prior to SpinGo, Kreg founded Spin Media Marketing, Inc. providing clients with strategy, product development, marketing, and technology solutions to drive growth and profitability. He has a proven record of success, developing and managing strategies and products for a variety of clients including Bonneville International, Media News Group, Broadweave Networks, FreeLinc, Navteq, and Experticity.

Kreg has taught and lectured at Brigham Young University and sat on panels for Invented in Utah and the Chinese Association for Science and Technology. He has participated in a variety of associations including the Utah Technology Council, Digital Cinema Initiatives, Audio Engineering Society, and Apple Developer Community. Kreg was a member of Governor Herbert’s China Trade Delegation and traveled with him to China to support various community, education, business, and technology initiatives.

Kreg began his production reputation with Academy Award-winning sound design for the BYU Animation Department. While in college, he ran an indie station, KRAP Radio, from his dorm room.

His first entrepreneurial venture was in California at age 12 – avocados, a cardboard sign, and a busy intersection.

He’s been gathering fresh content and making guacamole ever since.

Where did the idea for SpinGo come from?

The idea for SpinGo started when I was in college and working on sound and lighting for different events. I would often hear other college students complain that there was nothing to do in our college town, but since I worked on so many great events, I knew that simply wasn’t true. I decided I wanted to create a way for people to hear about those events so they wouldn’t have to complain anymore about it. The idea started there and has since transformed into what SpinGo is today: an event management and marketing platform that simplifies the lives of event makers so they can spend more time working on their event while we take care of the marketing for them.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

My typical day now looks much different than it did a few years ago. It has transformed from managing the office and doing everything myself to spending most of my time emailing, meeting, and working with investors and strategic partners. My goal as CEO of SpinGo is to make sure the company succeeds, and right now, partnerships help power a lot of what we do. To me, a productive day is when we make paper airplanes. : P

How do you bring ideas to life?

Now that SpinGo is set up and functioning, bringing ideas to life is different than when I started it. As an entrepreneur, a lot of decisions used to be made off of gut instinct and then brought to life through trial and error. As we have evolved, we now take much more care of the ideas we bring to life. We have to make calculated decisions based off of our own data that we have collected about our target audience and niche market. We understand that not every idea we come up with will be as big of a hit as we’d hope, but by listening, collecting data, and meeting with our executive team, we are able to discuss ideas and bounce them off of each other. We are data driven and because of that, our ideas have improved and so has the way we bring them to life.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I know the golden age of invention is ahead of us. The world is just getting connected (acquainted) for the first time.

Everything that has been done can be done better.

I love seeing simple, efficient solutions making their way to countries that have previously had limited resources. Example: BioLite Stove that produces heat and electricity from sticks, paper, and dried grass.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I’ve always known that I don’t have all the answers. I’ve focused on hiring those who are smarter and better than me, and empowering them to make decisions and handle the results.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

Working with or in an organization where policies, tenure, comfort, or fear of the unknown inhibit the organization from making changes or self-disrupting. It is nearly impossible to get anything meaningful done.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

We’ve made tons of mistakes, done plenty of things wrong, but if I remove those from the story, then SpinGo wouldn’t be what it is today.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Keep your emails short. Cutting a long, wordy email down to two sentences makes you think what you’re really trying to say, and makes the email many times more likely to get a useful response.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

I, and SpinGo, have always had an attitude of partnership. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone point to another company as SpinGo’s competition (ticketers, event discovery apps, event management tools, local entertainment outlets, event syndication platforms, you name it) only to be surprised when I tell them that that company is actually our partner.

SpinGo’s goals are big, and we know we need the help of other specialists in the event arena to make them happen. Instead of looking out for our ‘turf’, we look out for our ultimate mission. When looking at it like this, you can almost always find goal alignment and mutual benefit with other companies in your industry.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

One? Just one? I’ve come to accept that failure is a constant state of entrepreneurship. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t trying anything new.

One example- one of the first companies I launched was Spin Student Life. This was a directory of local events, entertainment, restaurants, date ideas, deals, etc targeted at college students. We decided to officially launch with a big bloc party, and thoughtfully pieced together the venue, entertainment, food, music, AV, etc. I had enlisted the help of a friend for marketing, which wound up to be ineffective. Day of, we had all the pieces in place for a 5,000-person event and saw maybe 10. Definite failure.
That feeling of your gut sinking, of embarrassment, of failure.. that feeling is awful, but can be resolved by trying again, trying differently, getting it right. If you quit at that feeling of failure, then that’s all you have. When I failed that day, I knew I could quit and simply stay a failure, or I could try again and maybe succeed.. likely succeed because of everything I learned the first time around.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

We are headed toward a digital dark age, most people don’t backup their photos, most digital mediums, and online services do not last a decade. Unless something changes there will be a day when our grandchildren wonder what happened in 2007 that eliminated everyone’s photos. (I own the domain) should be founded as an organization dedicated to the gathering and archiving of family photos and stories. It could easily be synced with Facebook/Instagram accounts and smartphones. Families could make small financial contributions collectively to preserve their families photo history for their progeny. Someone should start it, I’d love to support them.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

I recently paid $100 to check my oversize baggage to Costa Rica. I’m flying down there next month with my video projector, speakers, and inflatable screen to help my friend host a movie night on the beach for less fortunate children and their families.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

Of course Google – mail, calendar, drive, etc. Keynote for presentations. Linkedin. I can’t tell you how Amazon prime has changed how I buy what I need (and what I don’t). But then again, who doesn’t need more honey badger swag?

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Zero to One by Peter Thiel. It explains the difference between true innovation and capital regurgitation.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Ed Catmull and those few VCs that have given me actionable, candid advice.


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Twitter – @kregpeeler