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Month: July 2015 - The Bank Teller

Two Weeks Notice

Yesterday (Friday), I did something for the first time…. turned in a “two weeks notice” at work. I guess it’s not that big’a deal but-for what it means to me, my family, and the future of PoliticalBank.

Beginning Saturday, August 1, I’m a fulltime employee of PoliticalBank, LLC. A Saturday unlike any other, I imagine. I get asked all the time, “Are you nervous? Excited? [Other]?” Yes.

I love my job. For 2.5 years, I’ve gone to work every day knowing I could make a difference. I dedicated myself to not wasting a day and ensuring the Indiana taxpayers got their money’s worth from me. Admittedly, I’ve had a little senioritis the last few weeks, but here’s why: the passion, excitement and enthusiasm I had on January 14, 2013 – watching the Governor take his oath of office, then following him into his office and watching him sign the executive orders I helped finalize – are exactly the same feelings I have today… typing this blog, looking at the whiteboard in my office, and understanding what needs done tomorrow to move the ball.

I’m sad to leave my job in the Governor’s Office. I doubt I’ll ever have a similar experience or the same opportunities. I enjoy those with whom I work and have much respect for the Boss himself. That said, I can say with confidence, I’m ready for what’s next.




It’s all in a name

I forget the first website name I pitched to Theresa, but I’m pretty sure it was “IssuePAC.” I liked the name CrowdPAC and tried to play off it. But, I agree with Theresa… IssuePAC is terrible. At least for our vision of the company.

So what to name it… I played around on godaddy for at least two hours testing different domains. Ultimately, either nothing was available or nothing felt right. Then, one evening, Theresa was in the kitchen and I was watching TV with Louis (our 4 year-old miniture goldendoodle), and she hollers at me, “PoliticalBank!” I pop up and look at her… “That’s it!”

Interestingly, she was thinking “Bank” as in money. I thought “Bank” as in data bank. Either way it works, and here we are.




Batting 0.01

Theresa and I met on the first day of law school orientation and got married six years later. During the life of our relationship, I’ve pitched to her approximately 100 ideas. Her typical response is either, “That’s already been invented.” or “No, that’s a terrible idea.” She’s a much better litigator than I ever could be, so it’s tough to argue when I get her hard “No.”

I was sitting on PoliticalBank for a few days before sharing it with Theresa. I was convinced that I had a decent idea, and a few google and bing searches revealed nothing similar. But, if Theresa gave me pushback, I wanted to be ready.

I finished mowing one Saturday, walked inside and told Theresa, “I have an idea.” Skeptically, she said, “What is it?” I gave her the 30 second pitch. Her response…. “I like it! It’s kind of like facebook for politicians, right?” I said, “basically, but there’s a lot more we can do with it.” She agreed, then asked, “What are you going to call it?” After telling her my name for it, she said, “No. That’s a terrible idea.”

So, we got to work on a new name.




So it was told…

At the time, Blake and I didn’t know each other well. My knowledge of him was limited to being an ExactTarget alum. But because of this, I shared my idea with Blake while setting up for Penrod in September 2014.  He liked it, but suggested I reach out to Michael Cloran at DeveloperTown.

In mid October, Michael and I met… after poking a few holes in the concept, Michael gave me the best advice to date: share my idea with as many (trusted) people as possible across the political spectrum, e.g., candidates, fundraisers, operatives, lobbyists, media, etc. Michael said, “if, after you do this, you still feel like you have something, then come back and see me.”

After talking with more than 40 folks, Michael and I met again on January 7, 2015, I went a different direction for UX/UI/development, but Michael still deserves a lot of credit for getting PoliticalBank off to a promising start.

Oh, and Blake and I have grown closer too. He also deserves credit for getting the concept where it is today.




In the beginning…

As the 2014 midterms were heating up, all that we, the voters, heard were negative campaign ads. I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be nice if I could learn about candidates’ ideology in their own words?’ Then, lightning struck.

I shared my idea with a buddy who directed me to a fraternity brother who teaches at Stanford. “If your idea exists, he’ll know about it,” buddy said. So I called California, shared my idea, and I was told to look up “CrowdPAC.” At the time, CP was nothing like I had in mind. CP has undergone a few iterations since we spoke, and is much closer to the idea I shared with California. CP is a great site for politics… but it’s not a direct competitor. Maybe there’s room for collaboration in the future??

So, in August 2014, I lit the engine.




“Hello World.” – PoliticalBank.com

As young Eldrick Woods said in August 1996, ‘I guess, hello world, huh?’

PoliticalBank.com is less than sixty-days from launch. I just finalized this “landing page,” which will be replaced eventually with a site twelve months in the making. How do I feel? A little nervous… but very optimistic.

As a prelude to going live, I’ll use this forum to share PoliticalBank’s history and foreshadow its future. You’ll learn about its conception, its name, our team, our due dilligence process, as well as the ups, downs, and curveballs that have come our way.

For now, a little about me… Born and raised in Evansville, Indiana and currently live and work in Indianapolis. I’m a lawyer by trade, and for the next twenty-five days will be the Regulatory Policy Director & Special Counsel in the Office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence. I’m married and have a beautiful 15-month old daughter, Madeline.

So, you might ask, you have a great job and young family… why are you risking everything to start your own business?  The only answer I can give is that PoliticalBank must exist in this world… and I want to be the person who does it.

With that, on behalf of PoliticalBank I say, HELLO WORLD. This is going to be an exciting ride.