An Interview with Entrepreneur Tom Kieley

Introduction

As a veteran business owner, Tom knows how to recruit top talent and build a lean team to manage growth. He is also skilled at conveying company vision and goals to employees, partners and anyone else interested in PO management, but it’s the execution of that vision that makes him such an asset for SourceDay.

Tom wears many hats, but his priority is maintaining key relationships and providing oversight across SourceDay. His decade-plus of experience in product management and operations, hardware and software sales and supply chain management fosters his creative ideas around how best to achieve the goals that lead to company success.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.

In an exclusive interview with Devathon, SourceDay co-founder and CEO Tom kieley traces his journey so far and his plans for the years ahead.

When did you first discover your entrepreneurial spirit and How is your entrepreneurial career developing so far?

In my college days, I operated a small construction and furniture business and continued this into my professional career as a side business. I started my first software company, RightGift.com in 2008. The experience creating RightGift and getting the product to market is ultimately what led to starting SourceDay with Clint McRee when we met many years later. I'm still on the Board of Directors for RightGift which is now operating as an in-kind gift-giving platform for non-profits.

What has been the biggest success and biggest failure stories you went through?

RightGift was a great learning experience in over developing a platform to my overall vision rather than developing and launching a minimal viable product (MVP) and then listening to what the users wanted. I believe my failure in overbuilding RightGift too soon is ultimately what led to the more efficient development of SourceDay. While we did pivot SourceDay early on, it was our success of seeking out industry experts early on during development that led us to build a platform that was specific to pain points in the Supply Chain.

How did you come up with the idea for Sourceday and how did it all start?

My co-founder Clint McRee created the idea for what is now SourceDay during his years spent in the manufacturing industry. Clint and I met in 2013 working as enterprise software sales executives and realized we both had a passion to build something of our own.

Tell us something about SourceDay.

SourceDay is passionate about our people and our community. While we are a growing "startup," we have doubled our team each year over the last three years by continuing to hire A-players that are hungry to create and delight our customers.

What are your growth plans for the near future?

We plan to add 20 plus employees in 2019 and grow over 3x bookings.

Looking back, what did you learn and what would you have done differently?

With a background in channel sales, I would have worked earlier in our first year of selling the product to establish a partner channel that would have enabled us to get to market sooner. We have since established a successful channel but doing this much earlier on would have gotten us into bigger markets earlier in our history.

In your opinion, what are the hurdles that keep people away from starting an entrepreneurial career? What advice would you give to the new entrepreneurs?

Without sounding cliche, I believe the number one hurdle is "failure to launch." Having an idea is one thing but actually taking the time, risk and effort to plan and build your vision into a reality is incredibly challenging. My advice is to be absolutely certain that whatever you create, you are doing it because you're passionate about the problem or product. Wanting to be an entrepreneur and actually putting in the effort to build something successful is an incredible commitment, bigger than you could imagine. Lastly, I wouldn't ever focus on an exit. Having an exit strategy is important but don't make that your driver for building something.

Are you an entrepreneur looking for your MVP built? Get in touch with us at hello@devathon.com

Devathon has built software for companies backed by the world's leading investors like Betaworks, Greylock, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel, KPCB, Lightspeed and many more.