We’re thrilled to introduce the founders joining the thoughtbot Incubator for our third session. Yes, that’s multiple founders! This session has been expanded to have 2 sets of founders with unique vision and backgrounds to run their business idea through the Incubator programming. Let’s meet the new faces that will be going through our incubator program.
Josh Herzig-Marx is on a mission to tackle a challenge many of us can relate to – staying connected. He’s working on a solution (Knect) to address the difficulties we encounter in maintaining connections with people, especially the weak social ties that can slip through the cracks.
Josh’s current focus is on helping individuals, like himself, who struggle to remember to keep in touch with others. The problem areas he is honing in on include the inability to easily track professional interactions across various digital channels, like Linkedin, WhatsApp, Slack, Discord, and even good old-fashioned email. His vision involves creating a solution that passively keeps an eye on all your communications, helps identify the most important relationships, and supports users stay in touch with them.
With over 20 years in product management and tech, including prior endeavors as founder and a successful acquisition to Google, Josh found a passion in being the first product leader at very early stage organizations. For the past year he has been primary parent to his two kids, while still finding time as an active member of the tech startup community, coaching and mentoring other founders and product leaders.
Long-time collaborators Mike Rosenthal and Chris Cerrito, our other dynamic founders, are passionate about bridging the gap between the digital and physical worlds. They’ve noticed a significant shift towards digital media, but they yearn for the days when music collections, for example, were physical and tangible. Remember flipping through CD cases or thumbing through vinyl records? Their mission is to bring back that physical connection to digital media, starting with music.
Their startup (Goodz) is on a quest to create a new form of collectible that seamlessly combines digital and physical experiences. In the age of music streaming and vast digital collections, Mike and Chris aim to provide a way for people to rediscover a tangible connection with something that’s increasingly digital, like music.
Mike’s career is marked by his innovative approach to digital strategy. In the midst of an impressive resume of leading marketing for major label bands, you may be delighted to learn (as this blog writer was) he was responsible for Ok Go’s string of viral music videos in the early aughts. Prior to the incubator he was the founder of a company focused on NFTs for the music, sports and entertainment industries..
Chris Cerrito’s journey as a founder is deeply rooted in his background in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) and physical computing. He honed his skills at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, where he developed interactive exhibits that engaged visitors in various scientific concepts. His proficiency in creating hands-on, thought-provoking experiences has provided him with a unique perspective on merging the digital and physical worlds.
The incubator founders shared that they chose to partner with thoughtbot because of our reputation for fostering innovation, thoughtfulness, and rigorous product development processes. They recognize that taking their ideas from vision to reality requires a structured approach to validation and diverse perspectives.
“No one does 0 to 1 like thoughtbot,” noted Josh, “I’ve hired thoughtbot twice at previous companies and recommended you a ton of times.”
Mike, Chris, and Josh share an enthusiasm to refine their ideas and build products that truly resonate with their target audiences.
“We have a thesis of what we think people want, but we’d like to work with experienced leaders in this field who have gone through the process before and can be a bit more objective to help us really kick the tires on what we’re building.” shared Mike to which Chris added:
“Being forced to defend this idea and to question it can only help the product evolve into something that users will love.”
Join us in welcoming Josh, Mike, and Chris to the thoughtbot Incubator family. We look forward to supporting them on their journey to transform their visions into successful products.
Be on the lookout for updated here on the blog, as well as our livestreams with the founders on LinkedIn and YouTube. To stay updated on all things incubator, including when applications open again, subscribe at incubator.thoughtbot.com.