Revolutionazing the self-storage industry – Interview with Sam Rosen of MakeSpace

This interview is part of a new series called Startup Stories where Miguel Hernandez uncovers remarkable entrepreneurial stories behind some of Grumo’s past clients.

In this interview you’ll learn why Sam became an entrepreneur, why he created MakeSpace, how he was able to get a cheque to fund MakeSpace from the first investor he pitched, the importance of doing things that don’t scale, how he saves valuable time by saying no more often, and much more.

But what is MakeSpace? Click [video_lightbox_youtube video_id=IYukX8AAOLg&rel=0 width=640 height=480 anchor=HERE] to watch the demo video Grumo produced for Sam to find out.

Watch the Full Interview

About Sam Rosen

Sam-rosen Sam Rosen is the Founder and CEO of MakeSpace where they are creating the best way to store your physical stuff in the cloud.
Before founding MakeSpace, Sam founded SpeakerGram, worked at Citi as a corporate banking analyst and received a B.S. in Commerce from the University of Virginia.
Sam also has the coolest Twitter username @sir.

Interview Highlights

0:56 – Sam explains why he became an entrepreneur.
4:10 – How not being afraid of rejection has helped Sam succeed as an entrepreneur.
4:50 – If you work on an idea you truly believe in dealing with rejection is a lot easier.
5:11 – Sam tells a compelling story of how he saw the need for a service like MakeSpace while helping a former girlfriend move her stuff into a traditional storage facility after she was affected by hurricane Sandy.
7:05 – There is no need to validate an idea for a service people are already using. You just need to figure out how to improve the service like Uber is doing for car rides or Seamless for food ordering. MakeSpace is providing a better alternative to traditional self-storage solutions.
7:34 – Sam explains how he built MakeSpace while working as the first entrepreneur in residence for Upfront Ventures.
7:59 – The best ideas are the ones that re-make an existing industry.
8:42 – How building a strong relationship with an investor over 3 years helped Sam raised money to fund his startup.
9:18 – Sam recommends to join one of the many startup accelerators to get funding for your idea. That’s how he funded his first startup called SpeakerGram.
11:09 – How they went the extra mile to help a customer to get her stuff in time for Xmas.
12:19 – The importance of doing things that don’t scale in order to be a successful business.
13:15 – You are not going be able to compete in a well established industry unless you are willing to win one customer at a time in the early stages.
14:34 – One the the biggest moments for Sam was being able to attract two great co-founders that believed in his vision.
17:06 – Sam talks about the 6 hour plane ride rule for choosing people to work with.
If you can sit next to that person the whole way and have a good interaction then they are not they right fit for your team.
17:55 – Once piece of advice for up-coming entrepreneurs: Before you earn you must learn.
Get a job, get experience, build your network first.
18:54 – People with an entrepreneurial spirit make great candidates to work on a startup even if they plan to move on and build their own company in the future.
20:18 – Start gaining experience as early as you can.
21:19 – The person that gets the most “yes”es also gets the most “no”s.
22:14 – Sam alludes to a scene in the movie “7 Pounds” (or “The Pursuit of Happiness”?) where Will Smith keeps dialing to get what he wants. The point is if you stop trying you’ll give up before getting a yes.
Miguel agrees: “Everything in life is a numbers game”. Miguel learned that doing door to door sales back in 1998.
23:55 – Sam explains why Mark Zuckerberg has been a great role model but not for the reasons most people think of. Sam speaks of Mark’s generosity and commitment to build a great organization with great people working on a great mission.
26:34 – Sam shares why his best productivity hack is “To Say No”.
29:22 – Sam tells how he found about Grumo Media a few years back from a tweet from Alexis Ohanian.
30:30 – Miguel wraps up the interview saying good things about MakeSpace.

Related links:
What is MakeSpace Grumo demo video
MakeSpace on ABC News [Video]
MakeSpace raises $8 Million to become the Dropbox for physical storage [TechCrunch]
Watch more interviews from the Startup Series

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