Friday, September 13
4 PM: On this very auspicious day, we closed Revel’s seed financing, led by one of All Raise’s very own (yet to be publicly announced). My co-founder and I popped prosecco, cheers-ed each other, and then got back to work.
Saturday, September 14
8 AM: Founder life, especially in the very earliest stages of the company’s existence, is a 24/7/365 life. All the more so for me, because my living room is Revel HQ (we have no couch, but we do have two whiteboards) and my lovely husband’s car is our company shuttle. Today at this early hour, the company shuttle and I are en route to pick up my co-founder Alexa in San Francisco and drive to a Revel event in Marin.
9 AM: I pick up Alexa and her mother, Joyce, who was in town for the weekend – she wanted to see for herself what Revel is all about! The support of our parents means the world.
10:30 AM: We arrive at the Bootjack Trailhead parking lot and immediately see Heidi, a gregarious Revel member who lives in Marin and is the host of today’s hike. She’s befriended another woman in the bathroom line and gestures me over to hand out Revel flyers. Then Heidi directs our group of eight Revel members plus me and Alexa into a circle to introduce ourselves and go over the plan for today’s hike. The plan is to hike up the Bootjack Trail to the Mountain Theatre and then onwards to the West Point Inn, where we’ll have lunch before returning back.
Only a few members of the group already know each other – and one has driven up all the way from Redwood City! As we hike, there’s lots of chatter as we all get to know each other and share stories. By the time the hike ends, there are a few aching feet but mostly hugs and smiles and numbers exchanged. Joyce is eager for Revel to expand to where she lives in Minneapolis. Heidi promises to lead more hikes on Mt Tam, especially as the weather gets cooler.
The hiking crew, outside our lunch spot at the West Point Inn
4:30 PM: I make it home and curl up in bed for a nap before going out to a black and white classic film at the Stanford Theater with my husband.
Sunday, September 15
10 AM: Alexa and I touch base via text (as we do constantly) to debrief the prior day's event, share ideas for future improvements and confirm our host is covered for this afternoon’s gathering.
2 PM: We have another Revel event taking place today in Alameda—a small group “story sharing circle” led by one of our members, Mary Anne, at a cute local café. Neither Alexa nor I are attending this one in person (sometimes us being in our thirties really kills the vibe!) but we are on email just in case something comes up. We’re also busy sending out post-event surveys to our hikers from yesterday to learn what we can do better going forward.
Monday, September 16
9 AM: Today’s an SF day for us because we have a bunch of member coffees and meetings in the city. So, I drive up to Alexa’s Dogpatch apartment, which will serve as our home base for the day. We quickly chat through our respective goals for the day before she leaves for back-to-back coffee chats with our Inaugural Members. My priority for the day is recruiting for the four open positions we’ve recently posted.
1 PM: Alexa and I reconvene to meet our Head of Community in San Francisco, the wonderful Lauren Beller. We met Lauren when we launched Revel in late July; fellow founder Sara Mauskopf saw our launch post and told us Lauren would be “our dream Inaugural Member.” She was right, because Lauren is that and more! We always leave meetings with Lauren feeling energized.
2 PM: I join Alexa to meet two new members for coffee. They work together at a small financial planning firm and are so excited about Revel that they’ve brought a printout of our most recent email. One of them is excited to host a tour of the SF Botanical Gardens, where one of her friends is a docent.
Tuesday, September 17
8:33 AM: Every day that we work at Revel HQ (aka my Redwood City house) starts exactly the same: I pick Alexa up from the train station at 8:33 AM on the dot.
9 AM: We have a kickoff call with our team at Lambda Studios, a new initiative from Lambda School through which startups can hire a team of recent grads looking to gain experience. For us, it’s a great deal. One great thing about our members is that they aren’t shy about telling us all the features they want on our site—and so we have a backlog of product features that we’re excited to start building. (If you’re reading this and you’re a software engineer, we’re hiring!)
11 AM: I interview a very strong candidate for our Head of Marketing position. We decide to invite her down to Revel HQ for the second round of interviews next week.
1 PM: Another interview with another strong candidate—this one for our Content Marketing position.
2 PM: We drive to Menlo Park where Alexa is going to meet one of our most enthusiastic new Peninsula-based members, Gwen. Meanwhile, we’ve hit a snag on the engineering side of the house (our site is down due to infrastructure issues with AWS) and so I spend the hour on the phone with our engineering advisors trying to figure out what’s going on and how to resolve it.
3 PM: Since we’re right next to Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, we pop in to buy gifts for our three most recent hosts. We make a habit of mailing each host a handwritten note and a little gift to express our thanks for being enthusiastic Inaugural Members.
7 PM: It’s been a long and stressful day, and so when my husband gets home, we go for a long run up in the Emerald Hills before making dinner and decompressing a little bit.
Wednesday, September 18
8:33 AM: Same routine!
Noon to 2:30 PM: Another day, more interviews with candidates for our Head of Marketing and Content Marketing positions. We invite one more candidate down to Revel HQ for a second round of interviews next week.
2:30 PM: We have a second kickoff call with our engineering team at Lambda Studios, this one more tactical—we’re setting up our team Trello Board, setting our cadence of daily standup meetings, and discussing timelines for product development from here.
3:30 PM: With a rare block of uninterrupted time, Alexa and I tick through a bunch of emails that we need to send to upcoming Revel hosts. We love the opportunity to settle into focused work—and agree that going forward, we’re going to block mornings for focused work and afternoons for calls and meetings.
Thursday, September 19
6:30 AM: We’re at the airport bright and early to fly down to LA. I’ve been invited by Nicole Quinn at Lightspeed to a Consumer Roundtable she’s hosting alongside the Creative Artists Agency. We’ve decided to make a trip of it—while I’m at the Roundtable, Alexa will be meeting with prospective Revel members in Santa Monica, and we have a series of meetings together on Friday. It’s our first work trip and we’re both bleary-eyed but excited to hit the road!
1 PM: I arrive at the Roundtable and try very hard to keep my cool because Gwyneth Paltrow, CEO of Goop, is seated right across from me. Nicole Quinn and her colleagues at Lightspeed moderate a three-hour discussion amongst the invited group of founders, on topics ranging from user acquisition to LTV to culture and hiring. I take notes like a madwoman as I try to soak up wisdom from founders much further along in their businesses than we are.
5 PM: After the Roundtable concludes, we all walk to dinner at Hinoki and the Bird, a really hip and delicious restaurant nearby. I spend most of the dinner in furious conversation with Jane Fisher of Harper Wilde, trading all sorts of stories about the ins and outs of fundraising, hiring marketers, scaling culture, and finding time to prioritize and always be working on the co-founder relationship. I know I’ll be seeing her again!
8:30 PM: We’ve arranged free lodging with my husband’s uncle, Todd, who’s a film critic in LA. Nothing beats free!
Friday, September 20
7 AM: I wake up with energy and so do some push-ups and sit-ups and side planks to get a little sweat on this morning.
8 AM: Todd treats us to breakfast at Café 101, an old school Hollywood diner that seems straight out of Mad Men.
10 AM: We meet Kara Weber, who we’ve been introduced to by my friend Anna Barber, for coffee in Santa Monica. We immediately fall in love with Kara—almost as much as she falls in love with the idea for Revel. We chat about all the myriad exciting opportunities for Revel from a marketing perspective and leave knowing that we’ll be talking to her again very soon.
Noon: We drop in at Techstars LA to see my friend Anna Barber, one of Revel’s earliest fans. I haven’t seen her in person since February and so it’s great to reconnect and fill her in on all we’ve accomplished. She gives us a bunch of names that she thinks would make great marketing candidates for us.
1 PM: We grab lunch and are infuriated by this $17 mostly- iceberg lettuce-plus-half-an-onion salad. Time to get back home to our normal routines.
3:30 PM: Homeward bound! And feeling inspired by the magazine selection at LAX: