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How John S. Kim Built SendBird from a near Death Company to More Than $120 Million in Funding

How John S. Kim Built SendBird from a near Death Company to More Than $120 Million in Funding

On today’s episode of Gritty Founder, Kreig Kent talks with John S. Kim about how he built and grew SendBird. John shares terrific advice on staying positively tenacious and building a strong relationship with cofounders.

John sold his previous startup and was Korea’s number one player in Unreal Tournament. He is now the CEO of SendBird, the number one chat API, and they’ve raised more than 120 million dollars. Their customers include companies and organizations like Reddit, Yahoo!, GO-JEK, Delivery Hero and the NBA.

Some Questions Kreig asks John:

– What was the biggest lesson that you learned from your social gaming company that you took with you to SendBird? (12:47)
– What kept you going when you felt like the product was not working? (19:08)
– If you were starting a new company and had to recruit cofounders, what is the most important ingredient you would look for in your cofounders? (24:37)
– What is one thing you believe that most people would disagree with? (41:06)

In This Episode, You Will Learn:

– How John started SendBird (4:30)
– About John’s background and how he became an entrepreneur (5:34)
– Be resourceful, open-minded, and relentless (13:27)
– The importance of expectation management (14:00)
– John’s journey as the founder of SendBird and a few key takeaways (16:04)
– Stay frugal and capital efficient (17:52)
– As a founder you need to have positive tenacity (19:22)
– The value of peer pressure and having an accountability group (21:30)
– Advice for finding and working with cofounders (24:37)
– John’s thoughts on diversity (46:42)

Connect with John S. Kim:


See Also

Also Mentioned on This Show…

John’s favorite quotes:
“Positive tenacity.”
“Be better than the best.”
“The future is here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet.”
“Life is in the details.”
“Become what you believe.”
“This too shall pass.”
“People love a guy who rises from the ashes.”

John’s book recommendation:
Leadership and Self-Deception by The Arbinger Institute

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