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Season 01 / Episode 23

Learning From Your Mistakes with Rick Nucci

Rick Nucci founded Boomi when he was 24 years old. His hometown of Philadelphia may be the city of brotherly love, but in Silicon Valley, he was in for something completely different. By his own account, he didn’t know what he was doing. He faced infighting with co-founders, stiff competition, and loneliness. But Rick learned, regrouped, and rebuilt his company. Overcoming those challenges not only led to an acquisition, but it also laid the foundation for the follow-up venture he’s leading today.

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Rick Nucci (LinkedIn, Twitter) is the co-founder and CEO of Guru — an enterprise tool to unify knowledge across the teams in your company. But in the early 2000s, he was still working on his first business, Boomi, and he was having trouble getting along with his own team. He was just 24 years old. He loved living in Philadelphia, but he had no network of peers. He had to learn lessons on his own, the hard way.

When I started Boomi, I was 24 years old and I really didn’t know what I was doing at all, to be honest… There was no Lean Startup, there wasn’t any of that stuff. I think we hoped we’d build a cool big meaningful business… But a lot of naïvity, to be totally honest.

After parting ways with his co-founders, Rick rebuilt his company with a new team, a new sense of purpose, and a new trajectory. Boomi was reborn in 2005. They took a big bet on cloud integration — a technology that wasn’t yet proven — and it paid off. Boomi was acquired by Dell in 2010, 10 years after its founding. The acquisition provided Rick an opportunity that would soon be the focus of his next venture, Guru, which he is building today with all the lessons learned during the past decade.

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