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Selina Tobaccowala

Selina Tobaccowala is a serial entrepreneur who started coding in her Stanford dorm room in the late 1990s. Selina and her college friend Al Leib co-founded Evite, which was the dominant platform for online invitations. After Ticketmaster acquired Evite, she served as Senior Vice President of Product and Technology at Ticketmaster. She left Ticketmaster to become the President and CTO of SurveyMonkey.

Selina is now back to being a founder. She started Gixo, a live fitness app that aims to improve global health. Gixo offers professional coaches teaching live classes to people of all fitness levels in all locations, making exercise more accessible in people’s busy lives.

If you sign up for Gixo and input the promo code OZAN, you’ll get a free trial and a discount on the membership. [Note: This is not an affiliate deal. I don’t make a dime from any sign-ups. It’s simply Selina’s generous offer to the audience].

In the interview, Selina and I discuss:

  • How Selina literally stumbled upon the idea for Evite when she was in college.
  • The three questions her father asked Selina to help her decide whether she should go with the uncertainty of a start-up as opposed to the certainty of salaried job.
  • The most valuable failures she experienced in growing Evite
  • How Selina and the SurveyMonkey were able to scale the company rapidly
  • How businesses can go beyond paying lip service to failure and actually create a company culture where people are willing to fail and share those failures
  • Why she decided to go back to being a founder again.

Resources mentioned:

Annie Duke, Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts
The Contrarian Handbook
The Status Quo.

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