About this episode

This week I’d like to introduce you to Chris Brownridge,, co-founder and CEO of GawkBox. GawkBox was a third party platform that allowed people to tip their favorite live streamers without having to pay anything. They did this through various incentivized actions like installing an app, for example. Unlike some of our past founders, Chris’s startup, GawkBox, is no longer around. He had to shutter his business in July 2019. Chris and his team raised $4.4 million during their three-year run and just could not solve some key challenges.

We're also fortunate enough to hear the lessons learned from someone who accomplished so much in such a short amount of time. In this episode, Chris gets very tactical, explaining what he would do differently in his next startup. Not all founder stories are the same, but there are many parallels that exist. As Chris shared his story, I was often reminded of my own experience with closing my startup.

This episode is a powerful one for each of us because we get to hear from a founder who is still processing the journey after having to close his startup only three months ago. Part of what makes Chris's journey so interesting is that the challenges of entrepreneurship are not foreign to him. He was surrounded by entrepreneurs from a very young age and got to witness the ups and downs that come with it and yet he still chose to make it his own journey. This is Chris Brownridge’s startup story.

In this episode, you’ll hear

  • His early childhood, entrepreneurship being “in his blood,” and what entrepreneurship was like as a child in the U.K.
  • Experiencing firsthand (through his family’s businesses) the highs and the lows of entrepreneurship as a child, teen, and young adult
  • Going to college without any real direction of what he wanted to do, experimenting with entrepreneurship using eBay, selling bread bins, and starting a subscription condom company
  • His first foray into the startup world, moving to Paris after university, working for an AI startup which was later bought by a U.S. company
  • How his job at the AI startup was a really good springboard for moving forward
  • His experience of working at Google for four years prior to moving to the USA to work for a startup called Vungle and how he came to work with them
  • Leaving San Francisco, relocated to Seattle, and laying the foundation for what would become GawkBox
  • About testing GawkBox with various streamers on sites like YouTube and Twitch for a year, learning the ecosystem of streaming and getting paid for streaming, identifying retention issues but not truly resolving them and launching the app in 2017
  • Going live with GawkBox, obtaining funding, lessons learned in hindsight of what Chris and his team did right and wrong
  • Back to the drawing board with the startup, launching tournaments, and other experiments to keep the startup alive; the ultimate decision to close the startup in July 2019

Resources from this episode:

Chris Brownridge on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisbrownridge/
Pastel Frog: https://pastelfrog.com/
Entrepreneur’s Handbook Article: https://entrepreneurshandbook.co/after-more-than-3-years-we-just-shut-our-company-down-what-did-i-learn-71938679df7d
Brian Burke on The Startup Story:
The Startup Story on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thestartupstory/

$50 discount from Article: https://www.article.com/startupstory

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EPISODE CREDITS

If you like this podcast and are thinking of creating your own, consider talking to my producer, Danny Ozment.

He helps thought leaders, influencers, executives, HR professionals, recruiters, lawyers, realtors, bloggers, and authors create, launch, and produce podcasts that grow their business and impact the world.

Contact him today at https://emeraldcitypro.com/startupstory

Special Guest: Chris Brownridge.

Listen Now

October 22 2019
Chris Brownridge, founder of GawkBox
Sponsored by: Your Logo Here

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