EP. 12: How Eddie Geller, CEO of Tinybeans, is Managing Happiness

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I’m very happy to welcome Eddie Geller on the show! He has been an investor and entrepreneur in the online world since 1994. He made a $15M exit in 2011 and now is the CEO of Tinybeans. Eddie follows his passion for helping parents raise their children for a living. He is happily married and has 4 boys. In this episode, he will share how to make every moment with your children count.

About Eddie Geller

Eddie Geller has been an entrepreneur and investor in the online world since 1994. Eddie was the founder and CEO of Unique World. A successful management consulting business that grew to a 100 person, $15m business before successfully exiting to a large US company in 2011.

Since then, Eddie has been actively involved within the startup community and was the founding investor/director of LayPay.

Over 2012, Eddie mentored the Tinybeans team and fell in love with the opportunity and decided to invest and become active. Through 2013, Eddie drove the commercial aspects of the business which enabled him to take on the CEO role in early 2014. Now he drives the organizational strategy, partnerships and growth prospects and has aspirations to create the largest nurture network in the world reaching 100M users by 2020.

Vision and mission

Tinybeans is an app and web platform that enables families to share safely the joy of their children’s moments and help their little ones grow. The mission of the company is to support families throughout the journey of parenting. As Eddie says:

Our vision is to build a very significant, large, trusted space for parents and families to access content, services, resources, personalized to the age of the child.

Eddie believes in the importance of practicing what you preach. The Tinybeans company values are inspired by the common family values and everyone in the team lives up to them:

  1. We are down-to-earth and understanding.
  2. We are about the small things. The small details of the big moments.
  3. We are family people.
  4. We are credible.
  5. We are playful.
  6. We are wondrous.

In his personal life, Eddie follows 3 core principles. He strongly believes in transparency as the best possible approach to business and family. The more information people have, the better decisions they make. He recommends the book The Great Game of Business by Jack Stack to all entrepreneurs interested in open-book management.

The other leadership approach he supports is servant management. Eddie is a humble person whose goal is to create an environment where everyone succeeds. He admits that he takes the failures of his employees as personal failures and puts a lot of energy into helping them grow and being approachable.

Last but not least, Eddie is a very adaptable person thriving in change. Another book he recommends is called Who Moved My Cheese by Ken Blanchard and it explains very well what are the advantages of embracing change rather than avoiding it.

Applying business principles to parenting

Eddie is a big believer that family should be more fluid than business because we put more emotion there.

However, there are a few business principles that he applies in parenting. He teaches his children the importance of goal-setting, respect, and transparency. Eddie realizes that it takes time for his children to mature for these concepts and he uses a rather informal approach.

Same as every parent, he wants to know what his children are up to. Instead of boring them with the same question every day “How was your day?”, he tries out different ways to learn about their struggles and concerns. For example, he would ask them “Imagine a UFO coming to school. Which kid is it going to pick?”. That way kids give information without feeling obliged to.

Want to know more about Eddie Geller’s business and parenting approach? Listen to the podcast and tell me what you think about it in the comments section.

Time Stamped Show Notes

[00:11] – About Eddie Geller and Tinybeans.

[01:25] – Eddie joined Tinybeans because he also felt the need to share the life of his children with his family in an easy and selective way.

[03:00] – Tinybeans is a combination of a sharing tool and great content on child development tailored to the children’s age.

[05:13] – The power of “firsts” in children’s lives – first steps, first tooth, etc.

[06:45] – “I’d be surprised if Emma even uses Gmail, my children are older and they don’t even touch email.”

[07:04] – “Email is like the fax of the past.”

[07:43] – Parents can make their lives a lot easier if they define their roles and share their responsibilities.

[09:36] – Tinybeans’ values – being humble, authentic, supportive and more.

[11:50] – “We are all about the special moments. Every day is a special moment.”

[12:26] – “If you are not stable, or comfortable, or confident, personally or in your family, you have no chance of being successful in business.”

[15:06] – Eddie encourages his team to start every meeting with good news.

[16:27] – Tibybeans’ mission is to help families through the journey of parenting.

[16:59] – “Our vision is to build a very significant, large, trusted space for parents and families to access content, services, resources, personalized to the age of the child.”

[18:15] – Do you make decisions based on your values? Do you say No to potential partners who don’t share your values?

[21:30] – Eddie’s core principles – transparency, servant leadership, being adaptable.

[24:20] – “Who Moved My Cheese”, one of Eddie’s favorite books on embracing change.

[24:55] – The 3 types of people in business – gorillas, military people, police officers.

[27:07] – Eddie telling the story of his consulting business Unique World.

[31:25] – How do you manage to go through tough times?

[32:53] – “You need to have a very strong relationship with your partner to really succeed as an entrepreneur.”

[35:09] – Eddie is a proud dad of 4 boys.

[36:14] – Bringing a dog to the office has a positive impact on the company culture.

[37:13] – Eddie applies some business principles to his relationship with his kids.

[44:53] – Eddie uses NPS in his business and is very transparent about the results.

[46:20] – Which are the 3 books that influenced you most in your life and what was the last book that you read?

[49:29] – Tinybeans has just opened an office in NY and is hiring!

3 Key Points

  1. Birthdays and “firsts” are big events in life but we should learn to appreciate every moment because life itself is special.
  2. In order to succeed in business, you need to have a very strong relationship with your life partner. There are too many ups and downs and without someone to rely on it is extremely hard to make it work.
  3. Think about different and creative ways to communicate with your children. Don’t just ask them “How was your day?”. Try something specific like “How was your day from 1-10?”, “What did you learn at school?”, etc. This way they will be more willing to share.

Resources Mentioned

Tinybeans – an online baby journal that grows with your family

Unique World – a consultancy firm founded by Eddie which he sold in 2011 for $15M

Who Moved My Cheese – a book by Ken Blanchard

Good to Great – a book by James C. Collins

The Great Game of Business – a book about open-book management by Jack Stack

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team – a book by Patrick Lencioni

Growth Hacking – a book by Sean Ellis and Morgan Brown

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I’m a serial entrepreneur and I write about things I have learned along the way. I’m passionate about helping entrepreneurs and executives to find success and harmony in business and in life.

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