They say that once you pop, you just can’t stop. Okay, maybe Pringles coined that saying, but its truth still stands. Patrick Murray is a perfect example of someone who opened the can of entrepreneurialism over ten years ago and never turned back. He’s founded several companies during his time — from Pilot Taxi and Shuttle, an easy and affordable transportation solution to students in Panama City, to LA Discount Tickets, the best way to find highly discounted theme park tickets.
Now he’s moved on to his latest and greatest idea: Noson. This venture takes an old-school industry of airport parking and simplifies it with technology. Finally! What we love most about Murray is that he is a sponge to learning about new industries and introducing simple, yet radical approaches. All of his companies have been profitable and he’s moved on purely to grow and learn more. Knowing this, we just had to dig deeper into this mastermind’s thought process.
You’ve been involved in many companies across different industries. What led you to each one and why were you inclined to diversify beyond just one type of company?
When I graduated college I had a boat load of student loans to pay off. The options that I weighed were: get a corporate job, do my own thing and bootstrap, or do my own thing and find investors. I interviewed for corporate jobs and felt a terrible feeling about the offers I got- like I was selling out on my dreams. So that was out (much to the dismay of my parents). Then when I decided to start my own thing, I didn’t really know any investors, so I left myself with the option to bootstrap. The goal of the first company was to fund my lifestyle and the student loan payments I needed make. I found a good selling product online after some research, talked my Dad into lending me $5,000, and went at it. As new opportunities presented themselves with higher payouts, I’d lie to myself and say I could do both, and end up working full time on the new project. All of this led up to me finally coming to the Bay Area to work on something bigger than just affording me a lifestyle and to pay off my student loans.
Although every company you’ve been part of is different, what is one striking similarity you discovered in management and culture?
Great question. I truly believe companies and teams succeed when there is a positive and encouraging atmosphere in the workplace for everyone to put in their full efforts towards the mission. If our company is good at nourishing this type of culture, we’ll succeed, bad at it, we’ll fall apart.
What excites you most about your current venture, Noson?
There are a lot of things that excite me with this new venture, including my world-class business partner, Brett Harwood, but one that sticks out is the business model. We have created a business model where we truly put each party’s best interest in mind. Like we take their shoes off of our travelers, put them on, and walk around in them a little. We do the same with investors, partners, employees. Really cater our business model to all of them. If we are able to prove this business model at scale, we can prove to other entrepreneurs that you don’t have to just make investors happy, or just your customer, or just employees. You can make everyone happy, and have a successful company too.
What drives you to wake up every morning and tackle your to do list?
Embarrassingly I think I’m just addicted to my business. There are so many things constantly changing in the business that it’s fun for me to make the new tweaks that need done and see how our travelers enjoy them. If that doesn’t work– a pot (or three) of Runa’s guayusa tea will get me where I need to be :).
As another new year rolls in, do you have a theme or resolution for the year?
Choose love, choose happiness. I’m that type of person that gets caught up in goals and resolutions and could write pages of goals for 2017. I find that I distract myself sometimes with all of those goals, and though I still have some – the biggest is to choose love and choose happiness. (cough* 30 markets by the end of the year too cough*)