INTERVIEW | Getting to Know Garrett Johnson
You’ve had a successful career in policy, what inspired you to pursue a career in tech?
I wanted to solve a discreet problem for my nephew’s school and that “side-project” has evolved into a venture-backed company. I never imagined moving out to Silicon Valley. I’ve always considered myself a problem solver, but never pursued traditional entrepreneurship, until this company. It’s among the most meaningful and exciting pursuits of my life, so far.
What is the key to balancing your professional, philanthropic and social commitments?
Learn to say no. It’s hard and an art form, but focus is incredibly important. I would rather do a few things incredibly well.
What is the biggest mistake young professionals make, especially when pursuing a new business venture?
Lack of focus. Read Peter Thiel’s new book, Zero to One, as it explains the vital importance of focus in a digestible way.
What advice would you give other young professionals who desire to excel in marrying tech and social responsibility, especially African American men?
Don’t be afraid to be the first person or only person like you in the room. After this psychological barrier, it all comes down to execution. Understand what problem you are solving and make sure the problems is causing real pain. Identify a small market that acutely feels this pain, which you are positioned to reach. Build an incredible solution for that problem – preferably 10x better or faster than anyone else can – and sell the shit out of it.
What’s been the best experience of your career thus far (or the most rewarding)?
I refuse to accept my nephew’s friend request on Facebook, but I can see his page and his listed occupation is Jr. CEO of SendHub.
What’s next for you in your career? What should we look out for?
I am 100% invested in SendHub and don’t plan to change this. In general – I always want to solve big problems.
Lastly, give me three words to sum up Garrett Johnson?
Husband, Uncle, Servant.
How can we get in touch with you?