Stop what you are doing and say thanks

A startup is a lot of work. Sometimes I get so bogged down in what we are doing that I don’t stop and take the time to say thanks. In fact, I just read this article about Shervin Pishevar and one of his secrets to success is that he frequently thanks people publicly.


So, in the spirit of Thanksgiving week, I want to say thanks to: 

My friends – for NOT being startup people and keeping me relatively sane

My parents – for supporting my decision to not work in finance and take a job that paid nothing

Cee-Lo Green – for inspiring our infamous “forget-you” list

Jim Harbaugh / Andrew Luck – for making Stanford football relevant

My sister – for being my #1 editor / copy writer / promoter

Y-Combinator (and my batchmates)– for challenging me to make something people want

My girlfriend – for being a sounding board for crazy ideas and late night brainstorming

The AMC network – for allowing me to try new lines of work as an advertising executive, meth dealer, and zombie

Our advisors – for supporting our growth not just as a company but also as individuals

Our investors – for fueling our dreams and supporting our long-term vision

ReelSurfer team – for making every day exciting, inspiring and fun

But, the thing that I am most thankful for is that our journey is just beginning.


Who do you need to thank? Stop what you are doing right now and tell them.


I finally started a blog

Who knew the hardest part about starting a blog was picking a theme? I probably looked through hundreds before deciding that the simplest one (and one of the first 5 I looked at) was the best. And no, I never considered paying for one. 

To quickly introduce myself, my name is Neil (you could probably guess from the URL) and I am the co-founder of ReelSurfer. I graduated from Stanford in 2008 and started ReelSurfer during my senior year with my good friend Christian Yang. While bootstrapping ReelSurfer, I ran a (non-technical) tutoring business, Cardinal Tutors, to help pay rent.

Since then, Christian and I have been lucky enough to find paying customers, participate inY-Combinator, become Global Shapers of the World Economic Forum, and build an amazing team of dreamers, executers, advisors and investors.

My goal for this blog is pretty simple. I want this to be a place where I can describe challenges we face and chronicle our attempts to overcome them. I hope these lessons will be valuable to those that are working on their first startup or hoping to take the plunge themselves.

Thank you for indulging me. To help me “build something people want,” please say hello in the comments and let me know what topics are the most interesting to you.

And please, follow me on twitter.