Lance Gleason knows what it’s like to work in both Corporate America (like Atlanta’s CNN & Turner) and for his own tech business. This Southern Polytechnic State University grad seems to have done it all, and his only regret is not launching his own business sooner. Check out more on him below.
What’s your current role?
What startup/tech projects have you worked on?
- Cofounder/CTO of Nexpense (acquired in 2011)
- Consultant for startups like Springbot and PlayOn! Sports.
- Mentor at multiple startup weekends in the US and South Africa.
- Core team member on open source projects including Adhearsion, Asari, and the Apple Passbook gem for Ruby.
What tech/tools are essential to you?
My Macbook Pro, Nexus phone, international SIM cards, and a reliable Internet connection.
How do you stay informed and on top of emerging trends?
Hacker News, the latest technical books, conference talks, and hallway conversations at events.
Why are you interested in startups?
Because I can’t see myself doing anything else!
You have a long history in corporate America having worked for companies like CNN, GE, and McKesson. What prompted you to leave and start your own business?
When I was growing up, my dad founded and built a highly successful company that provided EAP (employee assistance programs) to large organizations. I learned a lot from him and have always had a desire to expand my knowledge and deepen my involvement in a company beyond the narrow scope of being an employee.
As a full-time on-site developer, I found it difficult to do things like going to conferences. During my entire tenure in corporate America I attended a grand total of four conferences — and I had to beg to get funding for them! It also limited my ability to experiment with emerging technologies on live projects.
Since launching my own consultancy, I’ve been able to attend more than 20 conferences around the world and spend time with thought leaders. Many of these conversations have led to other opportunities and projects and continue to provide me with new perspectives on emerging technologies.
While owning a business requires a lot of discipline and drive and often involves trading a 40-hour-week for an 80+-hour-schedule, it has given me an enormous amount of flexibility. It’s not for everyone, but my only regret is not having done it sooner.