Today, I’m thrilled to have Hectic Co-Founder and close friend Geoffrey Mina as my guest. When it comes to stories of entrepreneurship, his is one of the greats.
In his early twenties, Geoff was on the front lines of revolutionary technological trends and advancements. He started his first company, Connect First, in 2004. At the time, he was 24 years old.
While Geoff was ahead of his time in terms of accomplishments, the tech he was building was even more advanced. Though the internet was still in its early days, Connect First was offering Software as a Service (SaaS) and cloud computing — technology the internet wasn’t quite ready for. They were solving problems to work around deficiencies in an infrastructure that didn’t exist yet, he says. This complexity, plus the infinite problems created by starting a business, were difficult to overcome.
But Geoff was just the right person for the job. He’s always enjoyed organization, from keeping his childhood bedroom clean to writing code that clearly showed his intentions to anyone who read it. This desire to have everything organized and laid out has carried forward into his work and leadership.
“Organizing teams, making sure everyone understood exactly what their purpose was on the team, understanding where people’s skillsets lined up with the team’s goals,” he says. “Bringing that desire to organize and declutter into professional life has really been a driving force.”
As the CEO and chief architect, he created a culture built on high performance outputs, optimized strategies, and developed the simplest, most effective solutions for complex problems. This work paid off in a huge way just a few years ago when Connect First was acquired by one of the biggest global players in its field, RingCentral.
After 16 years of hard work, he could’ve taken it easy. Instead, he started investing, helping other companies get their start. He also served on the boards of a few companies. As happy as he was to get involved with these opportunities, however, this passive work wasn’t enough to meet his own passions.
“First, I love creating. If I’m not creating something, I don’t feel like I’m actually doing anything,” he says. “Building a company, building teams, building technology, I love the act of building, especially when it’s from nothing.”
Geoff also missed the challenge of solving problems, making sure everything fit and worked together perfectly.
“I also enjoy taking on seemingly insurmountable challenges. The harder it sounds like it’s going to be to do, the more I want to do it,” he says. “It’s kind of a circular feedback where as you get little wins doing insurmountable things, you keep pushing harder toward that challenge that at one point seemed like it was impossible to accomplish.”
Along with these personal passions, he was driven to create something that would give more young entrepreneurs the opportunity to build something for themselves, like he did.
“From a bigger standpoint, I want to be part of bringing this next generation of the workforce out of the requirement of having to work for somebody else and into the reality of being able to work for themselves, creating their own wealth and creating their own financial independence,” he says.
After seeing the problems around him, he decided to create a solution that would give the next generation the support they need to make it on their own. That solution is the platform we know and love — Hecticapp.com.
“Something needs to change. And young people, especially Gen Z, they’re already the most entrepreneurial generation we’ve ever seen,” he says. “Helping them and being supportive of them going out and paving their own path is something I really want to be a part of. And I think everybody on the Hectic team feels the same.”
For Geoff, this pursuit is deeply personal. He left high school in 10th grade and taught himself how to code. He used this skill to enter the software engineering workforce, but quickly realized it wasn’t the path he wanted to take.
“I was never interested in following the traditional path to making money. I worked for some people for a while and it didn’t really do anything for me. I realized the only way I was going to be fully satisfied was if I figured out how to build my own thing on my own terms and that’s what I did,” he said. “And I want to help as many people in the younger generation do that too if they want to.”
As Hectic prepares to launch in just days, he’s excited to see this dream become reality.
“I’m excited for Hectic podcast listeners to turn into Hectic platform users, “he said, “and I can’t wait to welcome you guys to the craziness that is Hectic.”
Hear the full conversation with Geoff here as we discuss good habits for successful freelancers, the power of ignorance for an entrepreneur, and the importance of always making your bed.