This week on The EnTRUEpreneurship Podcast, Wes sits down with Tim Hamilton — CEO and Founder of Praxent, a start-to-finish custom software firm based out of Austin, Texas. Praxent has been named one of the best places to work in Austin, has been featured on the Inc. 5000 list and works with both large and small businesses, including established companies such as Cisco and Keller Williams.
On the podcast, Tim lays out his company’s core philosophy — solving problems. From his first entrepreneurial venture in middle school, Tim has been building businesses by solving others’ issues with technology (and more). Since its inception, Praxent has evolved from a technology tutorial company to a website building company to a custom software business, and as you’ll hear in the podcast, this continued learning and growth is Hamilton’s motivation to wake up every single day.
The EnTRUEpreneurship Takeaway:
“The thing that has been most gratifying to me [about this business] even though I’ve been at this for 18 years is that I still confront challenges that stump me.”
“The process of going out and finding the right sources and trying to assimilate as much information as I possibly can so that I can learn about and overcome a challenge — that is the most exciting thing that I get to do.”
“You have to do customer development before you do product development.”
“Take a look at what you have in front of you and do absolutely everything you can to create as much value for the opportunities that you have in front of you.”
“I find that people give advice without thinking about contextualizing their advice for where the business is — where the entrepreneur is — in that moment.”
“The key to be successful at sales is helping a customer or a prospect to really uncover and provide language to articulate the feelings that are getting in the way of them making a decision.”
Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) – Highlighting key topics discussed:
2:14: Tim talks about his early life, including his first ever business that earned him a profit of $642 (in quarters).
4:11: Tim takes Wes back to 2000, when Praxent was first started as a door-to-door technology tutorials company and how it quickly turned into something much more.
7:28: Hamilton briefly touches on the types of issues his company was initially solving and discusses how the nature of this work is what brings him the most gratification in work and life.
10:20: Tim highlights why he decided to go to college, even while juggling a thriving tech business.
13:55: Hamilton explains how he found his first clients, laying the foundation for a later discussion on the importance of building loyalty and a reputation of excellence.
17:02: Tim talks what he perceives to be his company’s differentiator, which centers around client empathy and understanding the emotions around making a large business purchase.
19:28: Tim walks through the huge project that ended up moving his company away from website design and towards custom software development.
23:02: Hamilton discusses the current state of his company and reveals what matters more to him than the company’s solid financials.
24:56: Tim gives his secret to managing his company’s unique growth trajectory, which involves doing projects for both small companies and Fortune 500 companies.
25:10: Tim rounds out the discussion by giving some sage advice on what skills to look for in startup hiring decisions.
Bullet List of Resources –