On the latest episode of Driven & Co., host Justin Gray chats with JT Marino, CEO of Tuft & Needle – a bootstrapped, Phoenix-based company that pioneered the disruption of the mattress industry. At T&N, JT leads the R&D, product development, architecture, design, and software development teams. He is a passionate storyteller, facilitator, and teacher, inspiring T&N’s most challenging and disruptive projects.
In this episode, JT fills Justin in on his background in software, the terrible mattress buying experience that led him to co-found Tuft & Needle and why Phoenix is an ideal place to build and grow a company.
“We started with a goal to disrupt the mattress industry in its entirety,” JT said. “To be perfectly honest, it’s really simple. We’re just doing the opposite of what all the other mattress companies are doing.”
Highlights from this podcast include:
- The pros and cons of the startup world in Silicon Valley.
- Why entrepreneurs need to spend more time identifying root problems that are truly worth solving.
- Why T&N chose to escape from Silicon Valley’s investor bubble in favor of bootstrapping more economically from Phoenix.
- How T&N has maintained its company culture while scaling.
- The importance of diversity and the qualities JT looks for in new hires.
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Meet Justin Gray
Justin is a serial entrepreneur and the CEO and founder of LeadMD, the world’s largest revenue operations agency having implemented over half of the Marketo user base. Justin has made a career of launching successful companies and scaling them, with successful exits of over 200MM+ in the last decade. Justin’s latest endeavor launched in 2016 when he co-founded Six Bricks an online learning startup designed to combat employee and customer churn through experience-based education. Over the past 10 years, Justin has emerged as a strong voice for entrepreneurship, marketing and culture. As a recognized speaker, Justin has been published over 350 times in industry publications and holds his own column, Tribal Knowledge in Inc., while writing for Entrepreneur, Tech Crunch and others. Justin and his wife Jennifer met over marketing and three years later welcomed their son, Grayson, into the world in April of 2017.