Ep. 19 - Amanda Greenberg & Noah Bornstein - Waking Up the World

Amanda and Noah are the founders of Balloon. They built their SaaS platform to solve a problem they both experienced in past roles (and we’re pretty sure you’ve experienced it, too). It’s called group dynamics: It undermines the collective brainpower of teams, limits companies’ potentials, and results in horrible decision-making with false starts and wasted cycles. These two dynamic tech founders started their company in 2015, while also starting their family, moving across country and meeting with potential investors while Amanda was pregnant with their son first son, Wake. Listen to get the full episode, it's a good one!
Today’s amazing guests, Amanda Greenberg & Noah Bornstein were childhood friends turned married entrepreneurs and now, parents to two little ones—an almost 6-year old and a 7-month old. Together, they run their co-founded business, Balloon—a company dedicated to transforming how teams interact. Their company has worked with leaders from places ranging all the way from Google to Amazon to the Los Angeles Angels. 

This pair ran into each other’s lives at a very young age. Amanda & Noah were actually on the same t-ball team when they were 5 and 6 years old. They feel in love in high school and the rest is history. They’ve now been married 11 years and have a beautiful family of two boys—one of whom they welcomed to the world this year during a global pandemic.

Before founding their company, Balloon, Amanda was a public health researcher in Washington, D.C. In that role, she discovered the way many of us collaborate at work is fundamentally broken. Business tools and processes such as meetings, email threads and group chats don't address the way our brains really work in a group-setting. They also don’t address how we share information or how we make decisions. 

As a response to this, Balloon was founded to bring behavioral science and technology expertise together to unlock the true value of collaboration by removing cognitive bias, group dynamics and fears.

This couple didn't initially anticipate working together, but looking back, it’s obvious they made an incredible founding team and are excellent compliments to each other.

Noah has a background as an engineer and designer. He brings his technical expertise to the table while Amanda leads on the business side in sales, marketing, fundraising and team growth. 

And while they are total opposites in many ways, these two are completely aligned in work ethic, ambition and drive. They’re continually motivated to find new ways to lead and to help others do the same. Here are some of the wonderful takeaways and highlights of our conversation:

  • In many ways, your spouse is the perfect person to be your co-founder. It can be an ideal compliment in terms of trust, alignment, worth ethic and all these other things that really have to come together.
  • Do your research and find out where needs are in the market. What isn’t accounted for and or being solved? Dig in to that.
  • Technology is not only an innovative tool for the types of tasks we can do at work and where we can do work, but also in how employees can communicate, contribute and have their voice heard. It has the ability to create a more inclusive, better workplace.
  • There will never be a perfect time to start your company. Whether money is tight or your family is growing or whatever...there will always be a reason to wait, but if you feel pulled by the problem you’re solving or need you’re meeting, you’ll find a way to make it happen.
  • Be brave. Make the hard, fear-filled decisions early on. Just keep going and know there will be ups & downs, but you can push through.
  • You can’t skip steps—especially when it’s your first company. Each of those different pieces or decisions makes you a better leader & founder.
  • Define who you want to be in the marketplace, what you want to stand for and what your internal values are that drive the business decisions.
  • Don’t let anyone’s preconceived notions of you derail you from your goal.
  • Hire a phenomenal team. This includes amazing, reliable childcare.
  • Collaborate & leave space for each other. You’ll reach the best outcome with both of you engaged and involved.

We know you’ll adore this bright, hard-working couple as much as we do. Their story and company are truly inspiring. Tune in to hear more now!

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