Building & Investing In Calm Companies (Tyler Tringas)

Tyler Tringas decided to make the shift to starting his own company after a couple years working for a startup and Bloomberg. He initially set off looking for a technical co-founder and after failing to find that person, he slowly started teaching himself to code.

His first sompany, Solarlist, didn’t catch any traction, but during this time he kept freelancing and using it as a platform to get paid to learn by bidding for web and coding gigs.

One of his freelance gigs was to help a company build a store mapper of where to buy its products in retail locations. While building it, he realize it was not so striaghtforward a process and might be a good idea to turn into a business. On a flight to Buenos Aires he coded a minimum viable product, landed, went to sleep and the next day realized he had something that could work.

However, before he could sink his teeth into building it into a business, he wanted to get himself out of debt (from his first company) and lower his cost of living. He moved to Thailand and after setting himself up, he shifted his focus that year into building it into a sustainable business.

After optimizing for the health of the business, he started taking a page from four hour workweek and reclaim his time by automating processes and giving more responsibility to the team members he had hired. However, the process to figure that out was more “trial by fire” has he put it. Over the next 18 months, he slowly figured out how to run the business without much of his time committment.

He wasn’t set on selling his company, but ended up finding a buyer who met his terms. As he transitioned away from the company, he started reflecting on how he might have made his own journey easier and what kind of financing vehicles could make that possible – the start of the idea for Earnest Capital.

Building on his unique background in finance and startups, he was determined to create an investment structure which might enable solo founders or small companies build companies that don’t have the pressure to scale and can build “calm” companies (borrowing the lanugage from basecamp). He’s created a one-page term sheet that he crowdsourced feedback for and a simple model around supporting bootstrappers who want to build “profitable, growing, calm business with happy customers and healthy employees.”

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