Jason Kunesh: Empowering People, Doing Good

Jason Kunesh is a people person. Seriously. He’s so nice he can make a handlebar mustache look friendlier than a flight attendant in a Southwest Airlines commercial. While his penchant for people is obvious to anyone who’s so much as shaken his hand, even to the most casual of LinkedIn skimmers “people” emerges as the one constant thread woven through Jason’s expansive and varied career.

Jason co-founded ThePoint, a website dedicated to connecting people working to accomplish the same goal (which later gave birth to another little website called Groupon). As the first ever Director of User Experience for a presidential campaign, Jason helped build the tools that enabled the largest volunteer mobilization in American political history during President Obama’s bid for reelection. He’s even worked as a bouncer at Chicago’s Green Mill (we independently verified this because we had a hard time picturing Jason throwing anyone out of anywhere).

Currently, Jason is CEO of Public Good Software, a startup revolutionizing fundraising by connecting donors with causes while facilitating and tracking the impact of donations. Jason loves people and people love Jason, so you should consider listening to whatever he has to say.

Jason shares 5 things he wish he knew as a first-time CEO:

1. Communicate communicate communicate. Convey your mission to your team, your value to your investors, and what makes you unique to your customers.

2. Make it work before you make it rain. Identify the unique value you have to offer, then figure out how to make it happen, then figure out how to monetize it.

3. Ride the sine wave. Some days you’ll be on top of the world. Others you’ll be wondering why you quit your day job. Keep on keeping on.

4. One is the loneliest number. You may have the best job, but at the end of the day you and you alone have to make and be accountable for your decisions.

5. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Moving calmly and deliberately is the fastest way to move without being reckless.

FIVEinSIXTY is our interview series with leading CEOs, founders, and other executives about building amazing company culture, designing creative offices, and creating compelling employer brands.

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