As part of our SendGrid Spotlight Series, we’re happy to hear from SendGrid’s co-founder and web architect, Jose Lopez.
It’s been an exciting past few months for the team here at SendGrid. We started off the year by setting big goals for 2013 at our annual kickoff in Mexico and followed that by sending our 100 billionth email. Isaac, Tim, and I are often asked about what it’s like to be a part of such a fast growing company and I think for me, it’s the people that make this company special. So I want to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my teammates here at SendGrid and to share some of the memories I’ve had with them over the years.
One of the best memories that I’ve shared with my co-workers at SendGrid was when we opened up our Anaheim office. It was the first time that I felt like we were more than just a startup; we were a legitimate growing company. We had the Riverside and Boulder offices before that, but we were more like tenants there, we didn’t have any ownership. When we opened up the Anaheim office where I work now, it was an awesome feeling. It felt like moving into a second home. I felt really appreciative of that experience, but I felt even more appreciative of the team members who helped turn it into a home.
I’ve enjoyed SendGrid more than any other startup I’ve been a part of. Not only have we built a strong team, but we’ve also built a strong community. I feel like the culture and the atmosphere here set us apart from other companies. I genuinely enjoy coming to work everyday because of the people. I consider my SendGrid teammates to be my friends, probably because we share a lot of activities together, both in and outside of the office. Every morning I start off the day going to CrossFit with different team members from the office. We go to CrossFit to push ourselves in a positive way and to relieve stress. Having the added incentive of having my teammates’ support is so important—I don’t think I’d go so consistently if it weren’t for them.
And their support is just as strong in the office. I remember in the early days when I was the only web-dedicated member of SendGrid—now we have a whole team supporting web development and developer tools. My teammates are all really smart people—I have complete trust and confidence in them. They challenge and support me and also give me the freedom to work on things that excite me. We work together every day to solve engineering challenges that will make developers’ lives easier, so no day is ever stale.
Moving forward, I really hope to maintain the culture that we have in place today. I’ve only worked at startups since college, no big companies, so the one thing that I’ll continue to strive for is strong culture. In fact, Isaac and Elmer were the first ones to hire me after college. So I owe a lot of what I do today to Isaac and Elmer. A big “thank you” to them for being great teammates and friends. It’s also been so helpful to have support from my family outside of SendGrid—especially my wife who met me before SendGrid.
To close, I’m often asked what advice I’d give to other entrepreneurs who are just starting out. Besides looking for strong team members and a good balance of personalities and strengths between your co-founders (like I think Isaac, Tim, and I have), I would say don’t be afraid of failure. I wasn’t afraid to fail before SendGrid. You see, if you give 100%, you’ll always learn something from a startup. If you do that, you will never fail because you’ll never repeat the same mistake. That’s how it’s worked for me at SendGrid and I’m so grateful that I can keep learning with my great team here.