Kreg Peeler (Founder & CEO of SpinGo) is a visionary. I have heard Kreg speak publicly twice in addition to my interview with him. Every time I hear him speak or visit with him I am utterly amazed how intelligent he is. His insights are unique and brilliant. It is difficult for me to put into words how much I admire his abilities. I cannot thank Kreg enough for spending time with me and I hope that this article will do our conversation justice.
“Kreg builds stuff. Most recently he built SpinGo, a robust local event platform powering 5,500 entertainment apps nationwide via the Event Engine and API, delivering event content to 195 million monthly. SpinGo is the event platform that major media, travel, financial, and technology companies trust. SpinGo was named Internet Company of the Year, Tech Startup of the Year, and Fastest Growing Tech Company of the Year in 2014.
Kreg began his production reputation with Academy Award-winning sound design for the BYU Animation Department. While in college he ran an indie station, KRAP Radio, from his dorm room. His first entrepreneurial venture was in California at age 12 – avocados, a cardboard sign, and a busy intersection. He’s been gathering fresh content and making guacamole ever since.”
Why I Wanted To Interview Kreg Peeler
The first time I heard Kreg speak was in a class at Brigham Young University. Throughout the semester we had the opportunity and pleasure to hear many successful and interesting entrepreneurs speak. However, there was something different about Kreg. It became clear to me that Kreg is well beyond his time; there is no other way to explain his success. Kreg has a gift for understanding technology, potential applications for the technology, and then making things happen.
Definition of Success
How does Kreg define business (or professional) success? “Seeing something that you are passionate about being adopted by other people.” There are two parts to this definition. First, seeing something (your idea, creation, business, etc.) being adopted. For the entrepreneurs out there, if you honestly answer the questions, “Are people adopting my ideas? If so, how many?” you will be able to effectively assess the health and probable success of your startup. Second, you must be passionate about that “something.” You must love what you do and have passion for it.
During high school, college, and now during my career I have noticed an interesting pattern. The majority of high school aged teenagers have a very limited perspective of adult reality. A certain high school teacher explained the high school years perfectly, “This is the time of life when you have the most freedom and the least amount of responsibility.” As a result, many high schoolers dream of being collegiate and professional athletes, doctors, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, etc. They allow their passions and interests to significantly influence their future plans. Often, it is easy to do that because they have few, if any, outside pressures demanding certain things from them (like full-time jobs, rent or mortgage payments, bills, taxes, children, spouse, etc.) This mindset, more often than not, continues into college; but then a variety of things begin to happen. Competition increases, demands multiply and intensify, failure happens, and dreams fade. It is at this moment that everyone is faced with a decision. Are you going to give in, forget about your dreams, forget about your vision, and be average? Or are you going to stay strong, stand by your passions and interests, and move forward. I am not suggesting that every high school dream is what you need to do with your life. I am suggesting that resorting to just getting a job to pay the bills is not a good idea to hang your hat on. Be creative, tenacious, and believe in yourself and others.
Secure In Convictions, Yet Open To Criticism
When asked, “What are some of the main habits that have played into your success?” Kreg quickly answered, “I believe I am very stubborn about my convictions. When I know something, I know it and nothing is going to change my mind, but I am still very open to feedback.” Here is an example. Let’s say that we know for a fact that it is going to rain tomorrow. You know it for sure and no one is going to convince you otherwise. However, there are many different methods you can use to prepare for it. You may use a poncho or umbrella. You may travel to a different city or stay inside all day. As you prepare you want to be open to feedback and different people’s experiences. Kreg’s mindset is very similar for SpinGo. Kreg knows where the event space (SpinGo’s industry) is going. He has certain convictions and no one can convince him other wise. However, he is always researching, learning, listening, and gathering data to best understand how to accomplish his goals.
Again, there are two important parts to this idea. First, you must be strong in your convictions. One major difference between ultra successful people and everyone else is successful people stay strong in the face of peer pressure and ridicule. Many people thought that human flight was impossible and foolish to pursue, they were wrong. Many people thought the iPad concept was not going to work, they were wrong. Summiting Mt. Everest was once thought to be absolutely impossible, that was incorrect. The world around us was basically created by people who refused to give in when faced with peer pressure, ridicule, and doubt.
Second, actively gather information and listen to other people. Kreg wisely noted, “Even though someone may not have the same knowledge base that I have doesn’t mean that their input is not valid. I still need to listen to them.” Balancing the first part with the second part is challenging but necessary. In order to be successful you must believe in your convictions, but you must also take appropriate feedback.
When Times Are Tough, Keep On Working
“As an entrepreneur, life is a roller coaster. You have higher highs and lower lows than the average working professional. It is a choice you have to make. You need to realize that your lows are just going to be gut-wrenchingly low at times.” So what is the key to endure those lows? Kreg’s solution is to, “work solid for a week and [you] will have enough good news to get back to the highs.” He has never seen the lows extend longer than a week. The key is to never give up during the low points. There will be good news in the future, but you must work for it. In fact, Kreg believes a law of the natural world is that the sorrow and trial will come before the success.
Kreg talked about a common mistake and time waster many entrepreneurs fall into; spending too much time writing a business model. While this principle focuses on entrepreneurs it applies to everyone. In creating a business or creating a personal goal “if you try to write the end from the beginning you will fail. You don’t know what you don’t know until you uncover it.” Create a vision clear enough to know what direction to go, jump in, and move forward. “Keep inventing and reinventing everyday.”
Play To Your Strengths
Kreg grew up the youngest of five children. He soon realized that he was the least talented of all his siblings. He had a brother in a rock band and his sister was a track star. All of his siblings were musical. Kreg had no patience to learn music, but had a love for music. It would have been easy for Kreg to label himself as a misfit. It would have been easy for Kreg to sit back and relax, with the excuse that he had no gifts or talents. However, Kreg did the opposite. Through this experience Kreg realized that while he wasn’t particularly talented at performing the arts, he was great at supporting the arts. He learned how to record on a camcorder and then create and edit videos. As new technology came out he would figure out how to use it and found out that he could pick up on technology faster than most people.
These expertise allowed him to receive a scholarship to a performing arts academy (in Southern California) for high school. He was probably the one person in the school who didn’t know how to act or play music. However, the academy needed his expertise in support and production. Later, Kreg attended Brigham Young University and worked on the sound design and DVD authoring for an Academy Award-winning animated video. By understanding his strengths and refusing to believe that he was a misfit, Kreg found his place in life. The cumulation of all these talents and gifts are what has created SpinGo.
For those of you who feel out of place or different from the people around you, don’t be dismayed. You have a role to play. Play to your strengths and don’t worry about being different. If you don’t know what your strengths are, then experiment with new things or ask friends and family members. Think back to what you enjoy doing and what you have gravitated to. You can find them and when you find them, use them. You were born to be yourself, so be yourself. Be your BEST self.
I want to thank Kreg again for the opportunity to sit down with him. I learned so much and I hope you learned as well. Please share this article. Sharing on social media is SO simple and it can have a positive effect on many, many people. Feel free to comment as well. To connect with Kreg or to view my past article click on the LINKS below.