Micah Baldwin on Being a Founder, Mental Health, and the Value of Diversity
The Art of VC
Micah and I chat about his experiences as they apply to leveraging your skill set, being aware of mental health, and being conscious of diversity. Micah was the CEO of Graphicly in addition to being a part of many other startups. He also went on to play a role as an investor and is currently helping build Grasshopper Bank. Micah can be found on Twitter @Micah--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conor-robbins/message
Create Seattle - A Startup Podcast about Company Culture
Multiple-founder Micah Baldwin reveals his personal journey growing up in the Bay Area and discovering and managing his mental health condition. He shares ways to be compassionate to yourself and others.
#5 - 'Asking For Help' Is Not Weakness. It Is Actually Strength - Micah Baldwin
Stigma Podcast - Mental Health
Micah Baldwin is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Graphicly which was acquired by Blurb in 2014. We are very fortunate to have him share his experience recovering from addiction and battling mental illness as a child and throughout his adult life. He has a lot of wisdom and experience living in the recovery community and helping others do the same. Micah grew up in Silicon Valley and started his first company at the age of 9. After selling Graphicly, he spent time at Amazon where he led a team dedicated to helping startups grow their businesses by connecting with large enterprises and business units. Currently, Micah is the founder and Executive Director of Create33 in Seattle which he describes as a labor of love, providing resources to founders such as advice, fundraising access and other resources he would have loved to have when he was starting out as a founder. He is also an experienced startup investor, and a trusted advisor to many startups as well. He’s a mentor and advisor at 500 Startups, Techstars, CrunchFund and others where he helps early-stage companies with fundraising, business development, product development, marketing and growth You can connect with Micah on twitter @micah. You can read more about his background and find a link to all of his socials on his profile at about.me/micahb. 2:15 – Micah tells me about his entrepreneurial journey. He talks about growing up in the heart of Silicon Valley and how his father worked at Stanford and was asked to be the 4th employee at Cisco. Micah grew up around entrepreneurship. 4:45 – What comes to mind when you think of mental health? Micah talks about how stability comes to mind first and goes on to explain his lifelong struggle battling mental health issues. He discusses his mental health diagnoses which include bipolar 2, anxiety and bipolar depression, all of which are medicated, and he is currently in a stable state. He talks about how when he was growing up, nobody really knew what mental health was and that people just viewed him as “the crazy kid” who was sad all the time, or the little “genius kid” that was like a little energizer bunny all the time. 9:20 – Micah discusses talking with his mom about his mental health as an adult. Often her response is that she says she wished she knew this was going on. Which is a very valid point. Mental health was not talked about when we were kids. It was something you kept quiet. He gives an example about how if he had gotten in a car wreck and become a paraplegic there would have been a conversation about how to deal with it, but mental health just wasn’t talked about. 10:48 – Micha talks about how hope and fear are paired together as opposites. He lived much of his life in fear until he became stable, and now his life is full of hope. 11:38 – We talked about how addiction interacted with his mental illnesses throughout his life. Micah talks about having an addictive personality, and how moderation has been something he struggled with. His very first drug was food. He became a big kid and he talks about how he used his role as the “funny fat kid” as a defense mechanism. Later in life that translated into drug and alcohol addiction. He talks a lot about how he bottomed out and when he decided to get sober, as well as his process to gain sobriety and maintain sobriety. 14:10 – I asked him to talk about the difference between “white-knuckling” it with regards to addiction versus going through a program like AA. He talks about how he first attended AA after being court mandated after a DUI in the early 2000s. When he went he expected it to be full of fake people pretending to work a program but, he realized how nice everyone was, how different everyone was, and how every single one of these very different people were full of pure love for one another. The sense of belonging was the biggest wake-up call for him. 17:55 – We talk in-depth about the spiritual component of AA (or 12-step programs). He talks about how at one point he was turned off by the mentions of “higher power” in AA. He talks about how he would listen to all these people turning their lives over to a higher power and that it didn’t’ make any sense to him. He talks about how for him higher power has evolved into the broader AA group and how each friend he has made in the program represents a piece of this higher power. 20:50 – I asked how stigma has impacted his journey with his mental health and addiction. He talks about how there is always this image of “perfect” in certain fields, like venture, or startups with respect to how you look, or who you are. He doesn’t fit the mold in many ways, and his fear of adding his mental health issues to his reasons why he doesn’t’ fit the mold kept him from wanting to get help or talk about it. Eventually, he made the shift from worrying what other people think to not caring if someone judges him because he’s not like everyone else or because of what he’s done in his past. 24:40 – We talk about how we can address the problem of stigma. Micah outlines three things that need to happen: Each of us needs to be open to admit that we all have biases and we have to work to be compassionate, accepting, and willing to listen to a person’s whole story instead of judging them based on part of the story. We need to talk about mental health as a medical condition because it is one. My brain works differently than other peoples’ brains. That’s ok just as it’s ok for someone’s legs to work different than other peoples’ legs. Furthermore, education is key. There needs to be more opportunity to learn what it means to live in unstable versus stable mental states. We need to educate people on how they can be helpful to us when we are struggling whether it be in a crisis or in a depressed state or whatever it may be. We need more people who have succeeded in spite of mental illness and addiction, to come forward and share their stories. We need to make it well known that many people achieve a great deal of success while struggling with instability or addiction. Connect with the Stigma Podcast in the following ways: Website: https://stigmapodcast.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/StigmaCast Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Stigma-Podcast-105616270782583/ LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/stigma-podcast/
Micah Baldwin: overcoming death traps at Current Wisdom, and more
Antifragile by Esteban Reyes
Welcome to another episode of Antifragile. Today, we have Micah Baldwin as our guest. Micah has 20+ years of experience as a founder and investor. Currently he is the Executive Director of Create33 which we will be talking about in this episode. Moreover, we will have valuable discussions about founders, CEOs and investors. Most founders, especially young founders, are afraid to ask questions Micah shares that the common problem of young founders is the fear of asking questions. Most founders of startups are figuring out the business on their own. Another challenge is raising the money through venture capital. Founders must find the investor that could help them grow their business. Different strategies are given by Micah and some fundamentals on how to choose an investor for the business. He points out that it’s much less about the character but more about their experience and success stories as an investor. Also, there is an awesome discussion about the challenge for founders about stress and mental health. Micah shares the idea of having a culture that drives conversation and openness. It’s important to have someone to lean on like having a coach. A time for yourself like a day off is not bad all. It’s simply taking a break just to recalibrate, recharge and be back on track. A good CEO is curious, confident and is able to look at people holistically One common assumption for investors is that the founders must be the CEO of the business. Micah clarifies that this is not the case for everybody since being a CEO is a skill set. The chosen CEO must possess the specified skill set for the business. He explains that a good CEO is curious; somebody who is curious not just about what they are doing but how it fits to the greater scheme of the world. Also a CEO is confident but not arrogant. They must have that self awareness knowing what they don’t know and delegating it to the right people. Episode Quotes "Many founders are afraid to ask question" "As an investor... I need to understand that my contribution to the community is more than just money" "Just let the process work itself out" "You have to create a culture that drives conversation and openness" "Good CEO's know what they are not good at" "They tend to think of every relationship as to what can I have versus what I can give" "Everybody has something to admire. The key is being able to see it" Listen to Learn 00:39 Getting to know Micah Baldwin 03:25 Best way to learn about "Create33" 03:42 Challenges that founders face in building startups 09:19 How investors contribute in solving these challenges? 14:09 Strategies for founders in picking/partnering investors 17:47 Founders, stress management and mental health 22:53 Creating a culture that drives conversation and openness 26:23 Underrated things that CEOs should do but don't do enough 28:51 What makes a great CEO? 31:21 Knowing how somebody is good at at something that you're not good at? 33:50 Rapid Fire Questions 38:07 Links and Announcements
Episode 26 - Micah Baldwin - Light Your Money On Fire!
Appitalize On Your Idea: The Podcast
Light Your Money on Fire! I'm so excited to bring on my mentor, Micah Baldwin on today's episode of Appitalize On Your Idea podcast. I wanted to bring Micah on to discuss something I have been asked a lot about. "How do I raise money for my company?" As someone who has only bootstrapped my ideas, I have never been able to give the right advice about it. Micah, who is a multi-successful entrepreneur who has raised money on many occasions.Micah talks about the things investors look for. This includes understanding the market, making sure the team is smart and operate inside the market. The last item is the product. Note how the product is the last thing an investor looks at. Knowing and understanding the market and the team are more important for investors.My thanks to Micah for taking the time to talk about this topic. Links Mentioned During the Show: Micah's About Me page Hackers and Hustlers - Micah's blog post about building a team Happiness is Not a 9 Letter Word - Micah's SXSW V2V presentation from 2013 Learn to Duck - Micah's BlogFor more information check out Appitalize On Your Idea.
Micah Baldwin, CEO and Chief Community Caretaker, explains what Graphica.ly brings to the world of comic books, how he got involved with the startup and the overall landscape of online comic book communities. He also discusses the recent acquisition of iFanboy and what it means for Graphic.ly. Micah talks about their new hire, Charley Hine, and how Graphic.ly plans to apply location data to the experience of reading digital comic books. Micah's shares his view that the iPad and other digital devices are just form factors for viewing content.