[quote style=”boxed”]Plain and simple: execute, execute, execute. And work my ass off doing whatever it takes to get the job done.[/quote]
Since establishing his first business at age 16, Matt’s journey as an entrepreneur has led to a variety of successful business endeavors in an assortment of industries. In 2011, he founded AHHHA, an online platform that facilitates collaboration between innovators and trendsetters. AHHHA allows people with creative ideas to share their thoughts and receive insight from other collaborators on the web in order to turn the a concept into an executable product, business, or social movement. Visitors can stake their claim to in a new idea or provide other users with feedback and comments to improve their innovation, with the overarching goal being to produce tangible products and services. He calls it “social ideation,” as opposed to social media or networking.
As the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of AHHHA, Matt Crowe has maintained intimate involvement through all stages of the business’ development, from writing the algorithms and developing the technology for the platform, to recruiting advisors, investors, developers, and other talented partners. Matt has been featured on CNN, Forbes, The New York Times, BBC, and Entrepreneur Magazine and he tries to keep an active voice in the entrepreneurial and personal development scene nationally and continue to write, speak, and motivate others from my his philosophical approach to business and life.
What are you working on right now?
Building AHHHA:, the product, team building, fundraising, coordinating university research studies, traveling to meet with partners, speaking events, hustling, innovating, creating, working closely with my team and ultimately trying to change the world with our Social Ideation platform…one idea at a time. It’s more than a full time job – I live and breathe the brand as the Founder and CEO.
Where did the idea for AHHHA come from?
After years of struggling being an innovator and person having ideas all the time, and not being part of the “lucky sperm club” – I realized that for myself and others, the reality of successfully turning an idea successfully into a product, company, or service is nearly impossible without the right resources, tools, connections and money. I simply wanted to make it easier for the average everyday person to bring their ideas to life. I saw truly great ideas not getting off the ground because they lacked those resources and didn’t think that was right or fair. Ultimately I’m working to democratize the process.
What does your typical day look like?
I get up in the morning without an alarm clock, check emails, Facebook, news, meditate, exercise, shower, get into office (which is no joke a real Silicon Valley startup garage). I have between 300-400 emails per day and, a distributed team of people all over the world working all over the world on AHHHA. I check in with my team, go to meetings, eat lunch, spend the afternoon responding to emails and working on random crap -sometimes an afternoon siesta, then back to work for a few more hours, eat some dinner, and then back to work again until I can’t keep my eyelids open anymore….and do it all over again the next day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
Plain and simple: execute, execute, execute. And work my ass off doing whatever it takes to get the job done.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Online collaboration tools and the ability to connect with literally anyone /anywhere in the world. This will break open the floodgates of innovation.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
To be honest I haven’t really had any jobs that I’d consider my “worst job” – and have done a lot of nasty jobs when I was younger – from construction to interior demolition to working in a restaurant as a bus boy. All of them were dirty and nasty, but at the end of the day, someone had to do them and I made me money. I quickly learned that is was much better be the boss.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
I would go to Yale Undergrad and Harvard Business School.
Either that or I’d be a chef.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Don’t ever quit. Ever. Not matter what people say, or how hard it is or how tired and, worn out you are – never ever ever ever give up. People will always try to bring you down to their level and will tell you all the reasons why you can’t or shouldn’t simply because that’s what “they” would do. There is no greater glory in the world that proving people wrong when all the odds were are against you.
What is one problem you encountered as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Investors are like lemmings, and most of them aren’t nearly as smart as they try to shout the world pretend they ar- especially VCs. Weeding out the jerks with egoss the size of Oklahoma and finding the right financial partners for long term success takes a lot of time, and trial, and and error. It’s and very similar to dating, since ultimately you’re going to be married to these guys for many, many years. I think it’s really important to trust your own intuition in these scenarios, since generally speaking your gut feeling is almost always right.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
“Ideas are cheap, execution is rare.”
Business ideas are easy to come by and simply solutions to problems.any idea is simply a solution to a problem. One example is I’ve been thinking about starting a super hip wicked new restaurant chain selling only real Chicago Style Hot Dogs and Italian Beef in California – since there is no good food in Northern California and everyone else I know in the my area I live are also screaming for something truly great delicious as well.
If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?
I’d get rid of all the douchebags – I mean like just completely wipe them out and ship them off to Mars to fend for themselves – like when Great Britain sent prisoners to Australia. The problem with people is they let their own ego get the best of them and can end up being assholes.
I also think there is far too much loneliness, sadness and depression in the world because of technology and the “false” sense of connection. That said, people forget that what brings us together as humans is our vulnerabilities, and genuine relationships are more important than any other thing in the world – they give life meaning, provide us with joy and love, and unforgettable experiences.
Tell us a secret.
You don’t even have to speak a single word and I can already sense everything about you. I and have an incredibly strong intuition and discernment.
What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?
Yammer: Lets me run my company and communicate with my team from anywhere in the world.
Google: Seriously everything – docs, phone, emails, etc – makes life easier.
Craigslist: I mean where else can you sell your random sh*t and have a search for missed connections all in the same place?
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Napoleon Hills’ Think and Grow Rich. Because everyone has the ability to achieve any and all of the goals in life they want, and the only thing that holds them back is themselves.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
@scottlazerson – a superconnector.
@mittromney it’s an election year, and this one will determine the fate of America and it’s time to get the US back on track with a real leader.
@tonyrobbins – he’s the very best peak performance coach and a true inspirational leader that everyone should know, follow and learn from.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Driving down the road and thinking how unreal my life really is. Having gone through all of the experiences, ups and down, pain, heartache, excitement joy and that I’m still going strong!! I never thought I’d be where I am right no living in California, being the Founder of a super cool Internet startup trying to change the world.
Who is your hero?
Richard Branson. I mean, he’s a branding genius!
Why did you choose something as hard as AHHHA to tackle??
I never wanted to do the easy things in life, and have always been driven by challenges. Ultimately true leaders and innovators can swim against the current if they truly believe in what they’re doing and use their own tenacity, passion, creativity, and perseverance to succeed.
What would you do if you no longer had to work and there were no physical or financial constraints?
I would be a motivational speaker.
AHHHA’s Website: ahhha.com
Matt Crowe’s Website: mattcrowe.com
Matt Crowe on Twitter: twitter.com/matthewcrowe
Matt Crowe on Facebook: facebook.com/matthew.crowe1
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.