PERFECT PRODUCT: BUILDING CONNECTED.
This week has been one of those really busy weeks. Like really busy. So busy that for a second we forgot that tomorrow, April 1 marks four years since Jesse and Dustin joined forces to really start BuildingConnected.
Lillian is napping right now so I thought I would take a few minutes to share my thoughts on what is has been like being the wife and partner to a co-founder in a San Francisco-based tech company, as well as share some highlights.
Jesse is the hardest working person I have ever met and this post isn't meant to brag about him but to share how proud I am of him. In addition to being so hard working he is also the most modest and down to earth person ever.
We always laugh about that one time I came home to our apartment in April of 2013 to see Jesse and Dustin sitting in our living room with a small whiteboard with just an outline of the United States. Impulsive is the one thing Jesse definitely is not but when I came home and saw these two guys in their mid-twenties and saw their plan of taking over the United States I thought for a second maybe Jesse shouldn't have left his full-time job quite yet. Ha! Just kidding, sort of.
In all seriousness, since April 1, 2013, Jesse and Dustin have worked so hard together to bring their vision to life. From their hilarious, I mean humble, beginning of just the two of them in our living room to two weeks later with initial investments of $250,000 to present day with a team just shy of 40 in three offices across the country in San Francisco, New York, and Cincinnati, it is incredible to see what these two have done!
A lot of people ask me if Jesse works a lot and if I am okay with that as his wife with a toddler. The answer is of course, yes. But what people might not know is a couple of things. Jesse is hard wired and actually his happiest (except for being in Sonoma with us girls) when he is working. When we were 23 and first dating he would work on the weekends. It actually really surprised me and was something I always respected. I grew up with my dad in real estate working weekends, especially Sundays so I guess I was unconsciously accustomed to it.
I'll never forget the time I told him I wanted to start a company and he said, "wonderful, now let's sit down and write the mission statement" and we pulled out a FiveStar notebook and started writing down our ideas. Pretty sure we both knew we were going to be partners for life after that moment.
While most couples in their early twenties spend time day drinking and playing frisbee, the two of us bonded over playing sports and talking about work. We often missed out on activities with friends because Jesse had a deadline for a side project he was working on or I had a class to attend. So while Jesse does work a lot it wasn't like he started BuildingConnected and then doubled his working time. Instead, he stopped taking on side projects and focused 100% with Dustin on building their company and product.
I don't really remember the conversation when Jesse told me he was going to leave his full time job to join Dustin but I always knew there was going to be a day when he would start his own thing. It was just a matter of time and I am so happy for him and for Dustin that the two of them got together (thanks to their time at Davis and their friend Chris who rekindled their connection).
As you can imagine in the beginning no one really knew what Jesse was working on and it has been incredible and extremely rewarding to see their users grow and to speak with people in the commercial construction industry who use and love their product.
A lot of people ask me, so what is BuildingConnected? What do they do? To put it simply, BuildingConnected is software for the commercial construction industry. They facilitate the processes involved with pre-construction. So when you're driving around and you see large commercial construction projects being built, most of the bidding and communication has been done through BuildingConnected's platform. They have a lot more great features rolling out soon and it's really going to help the entire commercial construction industry.
It's hard to say what I am most proud of Jesse for during these past four years. He has worked tirelessly with Dustin through stressful rounds of fundraising, built an incredible team of the most hardworking engineers, designers, and product managers (who are also really awesome people), and one of the best looking and working products in software across any industry. He's also been the most incredible father to Lillian and seeing their bond grow has been so special.
Actually, what I am most proud of Jesse is the fact he gets up every single morning when it's still dark out. Even if he is absolutely exhausted he gets up. I can't get over his discipline sometimes!!!
Some of my most favorite time spent with Jesse is the time we spend talking about his company during our walks with Lillian or long car rides to Sonoma. I never get tired of what chatting with him and I love learning from him about their technology stack, their goals, upcoming features, big accounts their sales reps landed, and their plans.
It is with a genuine heart that I can say BuildingConnected has enriched Jesse's life and mine and Lillian's. The things we have learned, opportunities we have had, people we have met, and bond the two of us have formed in being each other's support has made life better. We have been able to have heartfelt, serious and deep conversations about success and more and I am so grateful.
More notably it's made our everyday life better. I always tell people the key to a happy life is to love your everyday life. It's not about the stuff, or the travels, or the Instagramable stuff-- it's about loving your day in and day out with your work and people in your life. I've learned this first-hand from my parents who showed us the joy in being a family, building a community, and celebrating the everyday moments.
I never wish Jesse worked less because he is so happy and fulfilled. He has the lucky circumstance to build something that can really make a difference. Every night when Jesse comes home I can't wait to hear about his day and talk through everything. I cannot express my gratitude to Dustin for choosing Jesse to walk down this path together. Life has become better since BuildingConnected and I cannot wait to see what the next year brings for the BuildingConnected family!
Lillian just woke up from her really late nap but I hope she looks at these posts one day and reads how much fun these early days have been!!!