In this episode, I get to speak with my good friend, Carey Ransom. I got to work with Carey over 10 years ago at one of our favorite companies. WebVisible, and we all left and did great things. I’m happy to say that I’ve been in connection with a lot of the people that I worked with at WebVisible.
Carey had a really amazing role at WebVisible and since then he has done some really astonishing work in the local business arena for Orange County. He’s been creating long term value through his podcast. As marketers, companies, and, as human beings, we want instant gratification. We forget about what it takes for that overnight success.
Carey has, from my perspective established some of these remarkable companies.
Listen in as we learn Carey’s journey in business and building his community.
- LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/careyransom
- Website: OCTANeOC.org (Support Innovation & Startups in Orange County)
- Twitter: ransomthoughts
Hacks to take Away
- Creating some really long term value
- kind of doing everything from a really young age.
- Being face of the family and the face of the business.
- The initial experience in where leverage and negotiation and relationship building.
- The belief that technology was going to have an increasing impact and changing the world and how we did things.
- Look at another opportunity where you could do more, grow more,
- How he came into a place where he can be a really helpful advisor.
Junaid Ahmed 0:10
Thank you for tuning into hacks and hobbies with your host Janae. In Season Two of hacks and hobbies were visited by our amazing guests coming from all walks of life want to learn their story, their struggles and their journey on how they got to where they are today. So stick around
in this episode, I get to speak with a good friend, Carey Ransom. I got to work with Carrie over 10 years ago at a one of our favorite companies. visible, and we all left and did great things and, and I'm happy to say that I've been in connection with a lot of the people that I work with ADD web visible. And Carrie had a really amazing role ever visible and since then he has done some really amazing work in the local business and he's just creating some really long term value because we, as marketers, and as companies, we, as human beings, we want instant gratification, but then we forget about what it takes for that overnight success and carry has, you know, and from my perspective has done some some some of these amazing things. So I'm really happy to bring carry on to the podcast. Thank you so much for your time.
Carey Ransom 2:09
And having me today Great. So great to hear your voice and and reconnect. It's, it's been far too long.
Junaid Ahmed 2:16
Yes, absolutely. So I don't even know where to start mean, you started with your professional career as a I would I would like to say into sales or was it more into commerce? I mean, tell us a little bit about the beginnings and then the middle and then you know where we are today?
Carey Ransom 2:41
Sure. So I, I grew up in a family business, so I kind of got to do everything from a really young age. And, you know, I learned I learned everything I know about business from my father, my grandfather growing up, really alongside them in a multi generational business and we were in retail, so I had to figure out how to sell because people were coming in some cases making a decision on whether to buy or not or what to buy. So I also had to be good at problem solving. We were we had a hardware store and I had to quickly learn when somebody came in with the parts from underneath their kitchen sink in their hands, that I'd helped them try and figure out how to piece it back together or figure out what was broken. And so it just, it really taught me that I needed to help lead people help them solve problems and, and really be a face of the family and the face of the business. Because we were we were in a community and that community had been there for a long time. We've been in that community for a long time and how we made people feel how we treated them. If it was good, they were probably going to come back if it wasn't good. They were probably going to tell bunch of other people. And that was not going to be good for us over a long period. And so we were very involved in the community. And I just got that all embedded in me really, really early on. And that has stuck with me through a whole host of places and seasons of life that I've been through. And so I got into business and I decided to go work for a really large company right out of college. And I ended up deliberately taking a role in sales, although I wouldn't say it was specifically sales. It was really more customer relationship management because I was working with a company called Procter and Gamble, we had a whole bunch of really well known household brands. And the stores that we were working with, really didn't have a choice whether to carry those brands in their store, then, you know, they were in almost all cases. Spending far less on marketing. png was Yeah. And so if a consumer came into their retail store, and they didn't have tied or they didn't have bounty paper towels or crest toothpaste, they probably were leaving and going somewhere else. And so it was an interesting mix, the initial experience in where leverage and negotiation and relationship building can be because in some cases, they resented the fact that PNG was better known or the brands are better known than then their store. And so that was that was really fascinating. And I just didn't see a long term excitement in that business. And I was really lowered by technology. I'd played around with computers as a kid. I, you know, I felt like soap and paper and these kinds of categories were interesting from how brands were built. stories were told, but I just I was really, of the belief that technology was going to have an increasing impact and changing the world and how we did things. And so I wanted to be a part of that. And so I had to talk my way into a job in a software company. And so I decided to join a software company. And the logical role was to be in sales. Because I'd had a sales like role. So I tried to get into several software companies and finally talked one into hiring me and did that and really had fun with it. And I think, you know, what I really started to learn there is you kind of eat what you kill. And it was on me I, you know, as a pretty small company, I was on an island by myself companies based in Seattle. And they were launching a new product that was fairly unclear how they were going to go to market and there were a handful of us spread around the country and I had to really figure out how to do the Entire, what I'll call go to market. So I had to create the marketing strategy, how was I going to identify who my ideal contacts and prospects were? What was the value proposition of why they were going to be willing to meet with me to even consider doing this? And what was the the return on investment if I could actually successfully sell them and it took some experimentation. The first several months were pretty tough. And I, you know, I did things like my own, set up my own direct mail campaigns and did a lot of things to try to figure out how I can get some leverage how she how I can get efficiency and scale. And this is, you know, over 20 years ago, when a lot of these things just weren't systems and we didn't have a lot of the tools and the technology that we now have to even help people with that as a small business but I was almost a small business within a little bit bigger software company and started Have some success and started sharing some of these practices with some of my colleagues, other parts of the country and the company started to have some success. And that ended up leading to another job in another company. And you know, just as a, as I learned from the first one, I, you know, it got me excited about other things I might be able to do. And that's what you know, led me to pick my head up and look at another opportunity where I could do more, grow more, etc. And you know, did that and then all of a sudden, the.com crash hit in the early 2000s. And the company that I was in, I could tell was going to probably struggle for a while. So I decided to actually finally moved to California. I'd wanted to go to California for a long time, and I didn't really have the entry point and I used Business School, grad school as an excuse to move there and so I thought that the economy was probably going to struggle for a couple years after that.com crash, that would be a good time for me to kind of wait out the downturn and figure out what what did I want to do next. And so I moved to California, I joined UCLA as a grad student and got my masters. And during that time, I decided to, to actually stay in technology. A lot of my classmates were going into areas like real estate and consulting, banking. But I really had that bug for technology and, and wanted to be around that. And so I found a startup software company that ended up bringing me to Orange County, because it was based there and that was really the first of a whole series of technology companies that I've been involved with here in Orange County over the last 15 years. And you know what, what a lot of them have given me the opportunity to do is to come in really help in most cases, how The founder or founders really start to figure out the business and start to grow and scale that business. And I've been able to, in many cases, invest in those companies, as well as join them at a formative stage and be part of that growth team as a company goes through that.
early to mid stage growth and yeah, have even now been through some scenarios where we've exited companies and, and moved on and so sort of seen the entire cycle several times and I think that's now put me into a place where I can be a really helpful advisor. Yeah, an executive to founders because I've been through so many companies either hands on in the trenches as an advisor, as a board member as an investor, that I have a pattern recognition That's higher than most people probably get in their career. Because that just done it at such a high velocity Yeah, over the last 20 years and so I draw draw on those experiences daily, I tried to remain open minded and humble about all the experiences I had the benefit of having and now really starting to look at how do I provide the benefit of that experience to other entrepreneurs, who are starting their journey and how I can be as helpful and valuable to them along the way and so continue to really want to be part and still love the technology revolution, but we're doing it now in a variety of different ways.
Junaid Ahmed 11:46
That's really amazing. And, and the one thing that I that I, you know, notice the first thing that like off the bat was like, because I like it, you know, what does What have the people that I've talked to what have what? environment where they brought up in? Right? You growing up in an environment where you know, your parents, your grandparents running a business for over 100 years? Right? So you automatically have this education without even going to school on how I mean, that's, that's a whole nother level of leg up. Right. And that puts you ahead of a lot of people who are just starting, you know, just coming out of college and starting a business because for running companies starting up new because they, you know, going through the school system to do something that the school system doesn't teach you. Sure, you have to go to college to you know, they teach you but it's not a real world experience. Right, so you had that early 10 years before you even go to college before you even go to high school, all of the stuff that you're learning, it's, it's now ingrained into you and the way you look at things, right? Having that oversight, having that 10,000 foot view of how the world works or how systems work in place is is really an amazing advantage. It's, it's like they say, you know, like Bill Gates was in the right space, right place at the right time and having access to the right technology, which enabled him to build the software for IBM that IBM was looking for. Nobody in that time had access to a mainframe computer. Even engineers that were working there only had like four or five hours per day, where Bill Gates here he had 24 hours, access to This computer, that nobody else in the world, right? So that's right. So looking at that, and your journey, and you know how you were able to look at things and having that, you know, 20 years of experience is, is monumental. But even starting, like even before that you had, you know, 15 years of experience, you know, dealing with customers dealing with how to sell things, or you know how to solve people's problems. So that's, that's really amazing.
Carey Ransom 14:34
Yeah, I definitely have not spent enough time in and I've spent a lot thinking about what are those? What were those experiences? How do I mean I've three kids now. Yeah, and I've definitely contemplated how I can try to get them some of those early experiences because as much as there were times that I probably didn't want to go to work. I You know, I really value that. And you know, I learned things like not asking people to do jobs that you wouldn't do yourself. Right. My dad would do any job that was necessary. Yeah. Just the pride of ownership. I was part of the family. So I felt like an owner. But yeah, you know, the way that people were treated in the that work there, they were treated as part of the family. They were extended family. So it was definitely a familial environment. And I think that, you know, led to people staying there for long periods of time with people who had spent their entire career in the family business and then their kids spent their entire career. They were part of our family. And I think that as a as a psychological way to work with and lead and manage people is a really powerful one and not to be manipulated. But that it's like it's a it's a real, authentic part of who I am. And I've just tried to keep that out in front and, and be that and you know, at times that hasn't fit the environment that I've been in. And but I've been better over time in evaluating not can I make this company be like me, but
can I do Can I fit? Because fit is fit in the culture and creating the right kind of culture for the right company is so critical to success. And, you know, really nobody wants to be a part of something that's not successful. And so, you know, I think you always want to give people the benefit of the doubt that they're trying to be part of something that can be really successful, but we're just we all have a biases we all have our, our blind spots. And, you know, the more self aware we are about our capabilities and our natural preferences, yeah. Psychology behaviors, the better we can put ourselves into positions where we can really be our best self, and that's going to more likely be successful. And so I've gotten much better in over time in helping people with that, and even helping myself with that and holding myself responsible and saying, look, if I'm not in the right culture, if I'm not in the right role, I need to do something about Yeah, and as a leader, if other people are doing being their best selves aren't in the right company in the right role. Help them and not just push them out, but help them Either understand, do they need to make some changes? Or is there just a place that should be better for them? And all those are all right, but, you know, our human potential is maximized when we're really in a place where we can grow and flourish. And that doesn't mean always, you know, go pursue only your passion. Yeah, there's, there's, you know, I think I vacillate not all of our passions are meant to be our life's work, no. But, you know, finding those opportunities for people to, to really be their best is is where I find a tremendous amount of joy and satisfaction.
Junaid Ahmed 18:42
That's, that's really cool. And and having like having the authority or having that experience and being able to help because, like you mentioned earlier, you know, you've seen it from every single angle, every single step of the way. What it takes To establish a company what it takes to grow a company what it takes to create that culture. So, that really gives this really cool mean. Are you reading a book? Right. But
Carey Ransom 19:17
I, you know, I feel like all this has been written I don't have this true, unique perspective. Yeah. But I, you know, certainly will validate that there's a lot of really great human wisdom and thinking out there. And, you know, we I'm still on a very deep learning journey, about myself about the world about purpose. And you know, that that's what keeps me really excited and engaged and I have a strong desire to keep making the world better. I just think there's so much so many problems still, you know, each new idea each new person breakthrough is amazing, but also new problems arise every day that need to be solved. So it's just such a such a dynamic world that I want to continue to be deeply in the middle of. of that.
Junaid Ahmed 20:16
Yeah. And I see that you are doing some of that with your, with your podcast, accelerate OC, right.
Carey Ransom 20:25
That's true. I you know, I'm trying to give a platform for the the people that I admire or really I'm curious to understand more about them. Yeah. And the great work that they're doing in innovating or building the innovation community here in Orange County. And I think, as a community of 34 cities and three plus million people, we're not as well aware and connected as we could be and so it's you know, my small little endeavor to try to create more visibility to some of the great business leaders and innovators in our community and at us, you know, user stories to inspire others here to find their own passion, yeah pursue or contribution that they think they can make as we continue to evolve the community here which is is a very dynamic place, but also very many people very comfortable. Yes. And I think that you know, in one respect, we need to be a little bit more urgent and motivated to be uncomfortable and and keep
keep it as dynamic as it has historically been.
Junaid Ahmed 21:51
Yeah. Nice. Nice. So when when we talked about you know, having or giving opportunities or presenting opportunities to our children, like I have three kids too, right? And so I'm constantly you know, telling them you know, or telling them or teaching them or showing them you know, this is like, you've got to do the hard work, you've got to given the like, put in the time to be good at whatever it is that you embark on. You know, if you're, if you want to play sports, you got to spend the time you gotta, you know, you gotta go to the practices, you gotta do the work. And for example, you know, I'm into video, videography, and I've got my kids shooting video and our their little cameras are like when you're shooting video. You want to focus on what the story that you're trying to tell. You know, you don't don't be just rambling just, you know, tell a story that's going to invite Um, Inquisition or, you know, invite the what's that word? Basically invite people to be interested in you know, what, what are you trying to share as a story because as human beings when they were also storytellers, and we all want to tell a good story that will, you know, tell a moral, you know, learn what's, what's the lesson we're learning what's, you know, what's the story about and how can we be better humans and, and to our fellow man. And the one thing that resonated was how you had the access to you know, your grant, your grandfather and your father, were in running the business and that's something that Robert Kiyosaki actually talks about in Rich Dad Poor Dad. Right. He talks about you know, this is there's two different dad types. You know, they've they both worked hard or not but one, there's different mindset that you can find that's going to get take you to the next level or to the path that you know you're trying to think. Because school systems are great. And they are designed for a specific purpose and they, they need to be reinvented for this generation. And it was really interesting. What he mentioned Robert Kiyosaki is Nino, you need to give your kids a 10 years old this book so they learn the difference between what it is that they're going to be facing for the for the rest of their lives. So yeah,
Carey Ransom 24:51
it. Yeah. I haven't spent enough time talking with my father. About how prepared and structured and deliberate he was in his parenting. Yeah. And you know, it's a really significant job as a parent. And I think more and more than certainly I view it as my most important job. And something I don't know that we often are well prepared for. And I sort of look at it as every day. I feel like I'm figuring it out and each of my kids lives. Yeah, I'm just trying to stay a little bit ahead of them. But I'm grateful to have a really great partner. Yeah, he's been with me for a long time to do it. Do it with cheese. I always feel like she's at she's more natural at it than I am.
Junaid Ahmed 25:51
Absolutely. Yeah. It's it's important to have a good partner debt. Debt, you know, covers our our Things that we know we're missing, right? You know, the core our faults are they fill in the gaps that we're missing. And that's, that's pretty amazing. You know one thing the Will Smith was saying to Trevor Noah on that interview and he was like, you know, what are you teaching your children? Because you've gone through such an amazing life being so successful in so many different things. And I was like, well, I'll let them do what they want to do, because the things that I went through, happened to me because I was in certain place, but I want them to experience it on their own, their own, you know, so it's really like a very open mindset. Like, I don't tell them like it's not a blueprint that you can follow, and it's different for everybody. So as parents, it's really is important. Well, not guess, but it's definitely important to have those opportunities presented to our children so they can be better than what our opportunities or I guess. Yeah. So you can successful.
Carey Ransom 27:23
Yeah, the world's different, right. It's different will and will be different for them, then it's probably
I think far different in the next 20 years and
Junaid Ahmed 27:34
years have been. I cannot I cannot even imagine where secondly, but I'm pretty excited for them. Yes. Right. I mean, the technology that we have access to a lot of the things that we discover these days is you know, there's kids coming, coming out of high school or coming out of college that don't own a driver's license or don't own a car because both they don't need to right there's there's services like Uber and lift and you know, Postmates can bring you food and it's just it's just a totally different world and the where it's going next 1020 years it's just it's just amazing. On carry this was really exciting talking, talking to learning about your journey and how you, you were brought up and you know what you've gone through over the years and creating these opportunities for yourself and creating opportunities for others and, and now in there in a space where you can help other small companies grow and advise them and you know what they need to do next, it's really cool. I do have
Carey Ransom 28:54
Junaid Ahmed 28:55
Yeah, absolutely. I do have some questions that I asked towards the end of my podcasts. that towards the end with my guests. What is one hobby that you wish you got into?
surfing? Who? Nice.
You know, I lived over 13 years in California. And I wish I'd learned surfing. I didn't do snow I learned I learned to snowboard in California. That's good. And when I lived in Colorado, I didn't go on to snowboard, which was really interested like the best. Snow is in Colorado and I didn't go snowboarding which is really cool. Really interesting. Alright, next question. What is your favorite movie or TV show? I
Carey Ransom 29:53
think my favorite and partly because it sort of resurfaced again for me. It's probably Seinfeld Oh man,
Junaid Ahmed 30:02
I love Seinfeld.
Carey Ransom 30:03
I still watch it. Yeah. Oh wow. I I've seen every episode multiple times and it just hits my
Funny Bone the right way.
Junaid Ahmed 30:14
Yeah and every single time you watch it you like you've already seen the episode and you already know what's gonna happen but every time they do those lines or go through the motion, you have the same laugh as you did the first time. I really like that about the show. All right, what movie would you choose if you got to play a character in it?
Carey Ransom 30:42
I have to play character. Probably the movie Hoosiers. Okay Hoosiers, because it really speaks to where I came from how I grew up. I love basketball. All of my kids play basketball man. The Hoosier story is the quintessential David and Goliath story and I would love to be the player on the team who in the game winning shot in Hoosiers. Nice great character.
Junaid Ahmed 31:14
Yes. Nice. I like it. I'll have to go watch the movie because Gene Hackman is in it. And yeah. Barbara.
Carey Ransom 31:24
Barbara Hershey. JACK good cat really good.
Junaid Ahmed 31:28
Yeah. Awesome. Next question. Who's your favorite superhero?
Carey Ransom 31:38
probably would have to say Superman. Okay. Yeah, I don't have a really compelling reason. But yeah, that's probably my my favorite. Awesome.
Junaid Ahmed 31:53
Well, he does, he does bring that that family belonging and that moral compass, right? Yeah, he has that moral compass that you know that other superheroes might not have it. I mean day. It's really interesting because he got to grow up in, in a very normal world. So I don't know. I mean, there's, there's probably a lot been said about Superman already. Last question. If you were a board game, a board game, what would it be?
Carey Ransom 32:38
Just because I enjoy it so much probably too but I would say Scrabble, okay? Because it's a game where you're somewhat opportunistic. You're somewhat trying to live to play another day play another round. Yeah. Each game is a little bit different. There are some tried and true things that will help you. And there are some words that are really big and some places where you want to play something really small. Yeah. And all of that adds up to the sum total. So I think that that's a good one to sort of describe a little bit about who I am.
Junaid Ahmed 33:25
Nice. Love it. Well, Carrie, thank you so much for your time. I'll definitely be tuning into your show. And where can where can my audience find you are
Carey Ransom 33:38
so you can certainly find me on my weekly show, accelerate Lucy and accelerate OC calm and you can certainly track me down on LinkedIn very easily.
Junaid Ahmed 33:49
Perfect. Well, thank you. Again, I'll be including the links on the show notes so my audience can find you and learn more about The amazing things that you you're doing every day. Thank you so much again for your time.
Carey Ransom 34:07
Thanks for a great talk and hope we do it again soon. Absolutely. Sure.
Junaid Ahmed 34:16
Thank you so much for taking the time to listen to this episode on hacks and hobbies. We absolutely appreciate your contribution. You can find additional notes on hacks and hobbies. com. please share the podcast with your friends and tell them what you learned about our guests today.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai
Junaid Ahmed has been a user experience designer for over 15 years. As a UX professional, he uses the user-centered design philosophy to come up with solutions. Trust the system, it works!
“People say that we only live once, but I believe in living every day!”
Junaid has been interviewing people from all walks of life on his podcast Hacks and Hobbies.