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April 13, 2023

E58: Overcoming Obstacles & Scaling Quickly with Lee Rubin, CEO of Confetti

E58: Overcoming Obstacles & Scaling Quickly with Lee Rubin, CEO of Confetti

In this episode, we sit down with Lee Rubin, the founder and CEO of Confetti, a company dedicated to helping businesses have fun and be happy. Join us as we dive into Lee's journey of overcoming obstacles and scaling quickly, and learn about the challenges that come with building a successful business... See show notes at: https://www.remotestartpodcast.com/overcoming-obstacles-scaling-quickly-with-lee-rubin-ceo-of-confetti/#show-notes

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In this episode, we sit down with Lee Rubin, the founder and CEO of Confetti, a company dedicated to helping businesses have fun and be happy. Join us as we dive into Lee's journey of overcoming obstacles and scaling quickly, and learn about the challenges that come with building a successful business.

Lee shares her experiences on how virtual events and experiences have become a key part of her business strategy, and she gives valuable insights into how you can make the most out of your own virtual events. From startup to raising capital, Lee discusses the challenges she faced along the way and how she overcame them.

If you're interested in learning about leadership in a remote team environment or you're an entrepreneur looking to scale your business, this episode is for you. Join us as we explore the exciting world of virtual events, entrepreneurship, and remote work with Lee Rubin on Remote Start Podcast.

Learn more about Lee Rubin at:

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rubinl/

Website: https://www.withconfetti.com/sign-up?from=%2F&utm_source=linkedin_page


Learn more about the Remote Start Podcast at:https://www.remotestartpodcast.com/


Jim: Remote Start Nation, on this episode, we are gonna be discussing one entrepreneur's journey of overcoming obstacles out of her control, scaling quickly, and the problems that came with getting bigger. She's built a business on helping companies to be happy and have fun, and she's using virtual events and experiences to do so. Today, Lee Rubin, founder and CEO of Confetti is going to be joining us to discuss how to make the most out of your virtual events, as well as discuss her entrepreneurial journey, from startup to raising capital to leaders managing remote teams across the globe, this episode is for you. Lee Welcomed Remote Start Nation.It's an honor to have.

Lee: Jim, thanks so much for having me, I'm excited to be here.

Jim: Absolutely, it's I've been wanting to interview you for a while. I've been following you on LinkedIn, looked at your journey, what you've been on, and I cannot wait to share it with Remote Start Nation. So to get things started, tell me something that we wouldn't know if we just met you.

Lee: Ooh. There's 30 almost two years of lots of stories that we won't be able to get into. But I think, one thing that I like to share is that I have a very deep passion for art. And I think that art follows so many elements of our life that kind of are unexpected. It's art is in it, it just falls into so many different buckets. You can put an art into the work that you're doing, you can put art in as a visual context, the ones that we're familiar with, like at a gallery. But I also think, fashion is art and it's another way of expressing yourself. So all different means of expressing yourself without just like your classic words or things that I'm obsessed with, and right now I'm a big fan of AI art. I don't know if you played around Nice with the mid journey or any of those it's super fun.

Jim: That's awesome, what, when you were younger, what was your favorite medium of art?

Lee: So I first started with pencil and actually. Cool, like a little childhood story if I may. But I didn't remember this until my mom reminded me, but I didn't do art my entire life until senior year of high school. And in senior year, my I wanted to go straight into AP art which, the highest level one was like credit art.And apparently this is, I don't know, guys, I didn't cry, I didn't double check my mom to make sure that she was telling the truth, but apparently the state wrote me a letter saying, Hey, you actually can't sign up for AP because you've never done art before in your life. So I had to sign a contract like with the state of Florida.To be like, no, I wanna do AP art, I don't wanna do like regular art classes, like I wanna go to the big leagues. And wow, I ended up passing, but I just find it funny, I was like, whoa, I went through all this hoops to go to the fancy art classes and yeah, I started off with pencil and charcoal work, my way to sculpture and on digital art.And now I'm even doing that AI art stuff, but I really like to play with all the. It's all.

Jim: That's super cool, have you seen, have you been able to influence your business and what you've done in the past with art and pull that into what you're doing?

Lee: Absolutely, I think that, the way that I like to put it together is that everything that we do is. In our lives as an art, this podcast is an art, and so art is a way of expressing yourself, It's a value that you wanna give. It's a feeling that you wanna give and you can have a feeling and give that with whatever it is that you do in your life. You probably have gone to a restaurant and then you have the waiters or the waitresses that are like super charismatic, they're having fun at the table with them. That's an art, and then you have the boring ones that you're like, you didn't help my dinner experience today. And so I think there's truly an art in absolutely everything, from cleaning to hospitality and customer service. There's an art to engineering and coding, it really partake in all of our lives in its own, in our own ways.

Jim: I agree with you so much, it's just that creative journey and whatever your escape is and however you want to get into that artistic mode it's different for everyone. And my business before I started our agency was tattoo lifestyle brand, and my favorite part about it was being surrounded by some of the most incredible artists you could even fathom. And being able to work with them on the daily and work with them on design, and it was so cool. All the different art mediums and for a lot of them, tattooing was their major art source and revenue income. But they were incredible in other mediums that they just weren't known for, and some of them actually came over from those other mediums and got into tattooing and did really well with it.But yeah, that was, I am with you. Art is present everywhere, and I think it's, I'm a huge fan of art, so I'm glad we share that.

Lee: Yeah, I wouldn't wanna be a tattoo artist only because I'm like, I don't wanna think that kind of responsibility, I like the back space. I like the white app. I don't wanna be like, Ooh, that wasn't what you or I was envisioning on your body forever.

Jim: It is so true. So tell me about, tell me a little bit about your entrepreneurial journey. What's your story?

Lee: Yeah, it's definitely a journey and for anyone who's partaken, whether you're on week one, month one year one year 10, whatever it is it's makes for a really special story and experience.I weirdly always wanted to be an entrepreneur from a very young age, like my first hustle, apparently I was like in six years old, it runs really deep. And I always had the itch like as soon as I graduated college, I was, what is it gonna be? When is it gonna be like, when is it like I was just like dying for it to happen?I worked for two different startups just to learn, but in between I was like, Lee, this isn't, we gotta go, we gotta make some of them happen, and Confetti really started when I was at a company called Doc, great marketplace allows you to help find your doctors online and I was tasked with putting together the team events pretty randomly.For my own sales team, and we always had to go through all the mishmash of finding ideas of what to do together, going online on Google, searching endlessly for what vendor could help make this experience happen, and I was like, this is such a pain in the butt. Negotiate with these vendors, deal with the proposal only to finish the experience, which hopefully, the quality is good because I found this random person online.And I was like, there has to be like a better way to do this, and when I looked to see that there, there really wasn't anything that was like my aha moment that maybe there's an opportunity here.

Jim: That's so awesome. So you saw a need, tell me how, what happened from there?

Lee: So I, I've been with Confetti, for what's soon going to be 10 years now, which is pretty wild, I didn't start it as Confetti. I started it as an event planning agency, okay. Always with the hopes of building it into tech, but back then I was like 22, 23, so quite young on my path in life in general, and I had no idea what I was doing.I think that's a very important thing to know because, I the first few years, you're really confused, you listen to all kinds of advice and you glorify all these people that you meet along the way that seem more successful and there's a lot of imposter syndrome and you get pointed in a lot of the bad direction. I have a lot of stories that I can share from that side, but I started off as an event planning agency. I was just like, are there other companies out there that are willing to pay me to help them plan their events? And specifically the HR team building stuff, and I very quickly started working with the biggest companies. My first few customers were like, Macy's and booking.com and Etsy, and I was like, holy crap, this pain runs deep, like people are, people don't even know me. People all haven't even, yeah, are just sending me money to help them plan these events. So I knew that the pain was, and after doing it for a while, I was like, okay, I need to help. I need help scaling this. Otherwise, I'm not interested in just being like an event planner. I need tech to, help take this vision and bring it to full life.

Jim: What age were you that you started, like that realization came I need to turn this into a tech play?

Lee: It came very early on to the journey. The thing is that my first few, the advice of the people that I took was not good. One thing that I can give advice straight off the bat was like, I wasn't a tech person. I didn't know product. I didn't know tech, I didn't know anything about how to build a tech company. And the advice that I was given was, Hey, hold on to your equity, like it's your most important asset. You don't wanna give anybody that, what percentage of like 50% of your company if you're bringing on a co-founder. So they were like, bring on an agency, bring on like an outsourced developer. So I found this one guy and I burned a year and of my time with him because I just he was like, yeah, I'm working. I'm coding, I'm deploying things, and, no idea how to direct him. I thought deploying was something that takes like weeks long, it takes minutes. And I just had no idea. I was like, okay, you're still, it's still deploying, okay. It's still deploying. And he was like, yeah, the deployment didn't go through. We're gonna have to wait another three weeks, I would be like, oh, whoa. So eventually I was about a year and a half in, I was like, okay, I need a partner, a technical partner in this journey and. That's when I moved to Israel, and it's a weird part of my story, but I was born in Israel. Israel is a very vibrant tech ecosystem. So I went there to find a technical co-founder. It's also more affordable to live in than a New York when you don't really have a salary. I went there and it took me a hundred interviews to find my technical co-founder. But about a year later, I found who to date is still my co-founder and CTO Yaki and yeah, we built confetti together.

Jim: That's incredible. I wanna go back for a second cause I think this is really important, you were at a young stage of your company. You talked to somebody you thought was a mentor, someone to give you advice. What was the background of that person? Had they done it to where they had a co-founder and maybe it wasn't a good experience or tell me a little bit more about that.

Lee: I think the issue was they were technical, so for them, and this is always what happens, like when you know something really well, you could just give someone the bad advice, expecting them to have the same like knowledge or like they're easy, like I can, I draw hyper-realism paintings, going back to art for a second, and sometimes I look at it, I'm like, no guys, this isn't a skillset. You could do this, anyone can do this is learned. And then other people are like, Lee, no, we can't do that, this is a skill, and I think that the reality is like tech and product and scaling, all of these are different skill sets. You have to tune into yourself to be like, does this advice resonate with me? Do I need, can I lead a team of engineers? Does that sound like something that I will be able to confidently know how to do or do I need to hire someone who can lead those engineers better than I ever could? And it, I got stuck on the equity piece because I don't know, money, everyone's everyone wants to keep their chips close to them, I think that's the right phrase. I'm always butchering.

Jim: That could work.

Lee: I'm like, why do you choose American Canadians when you don't know how to use them? So yeah, I wanted to money. We all care about money and the lesson was like, equity equals money, don't give away your equity. And I realized that was just, it was bad advice, but they just knew how to do what I didn't.

Jim: So right now if there's someone listening who's in a, they've got a business, it's going, they wanna scale it, they wanna start tech, they wanna bring in something else, they wanna hire, what advice would you give them?

Lee: Delegate, find great people and delegate.

Jim: I love that. All right, so you brought in a partner at this point, are you still doing the, are you still working in the business constantly or are you, you're in Israel, you can't be hands-on at events.

Lee: Full-time in Israel, working insanely weird hours. I didn't have a life when I was there. I was daytime, I was recruiting for ACTO nighttime, I was working on the events business, and I think what was always interesting is because I always wanted to build confetti with this vision of scale. I never met my customers, I never went to their events physically, even when I lived in New York. So that just continued. The only thing is that during an event where they would have my cell phone number, sometimes I would wake up at three in the morning dancer and they'd be like, leave what's going on here? And I'd be like, let me call the balloon guy, and I'd be like, oh my gosh, I'm so tired. But yeah, no I was, it was all running the business remotely.

Jim: So at what point, ‘cause now you're at what, over 60 employees? So at what point did you hit that kind of Hey, we're ready to scale, we're here.

Lee: So I think another big thing that helped the scale portion was that we got funded. And I think that's another kind of important piece to any of the entrepreneurs that are listening. Not every business needs to be a venture funded business, not every business needs to feel pressured to scale hundreds of percentages a year, in our case, and like I wanted to go big, like I wanna go big. So to me, if you really wanna go big, and I'm talking about, at least for venture, you have to get to that like a hundred million. So you have to get to that billion dollar valuation, you have to go be like a line that this is the journey that you're gonna go on. Venture is the route for you, if you're like, I'm cool with the $10 million business, I'm cool with a 500 business venture isn't for you, and I think that's a really important lesson because when I went to fundraise in the beginning stages, people would be like, Lee, you're a lifestyle business and you're not a venture backed business. And I didn't understand what they were talking about. But it was because we hadn't proven the tech and the ability for us to truly scale to the quantities that we have. I know I got a little bit of a tangent right there.

Jim: No, that's honestly, that's great advice, and I wanna stop and think about that for a second. Remote start nation, what least? It was so crucial It's not for everyone. It's what you want, right? Like it's what type of business to live your lifestyle, the way you wanna live it. Because you tell me, Lee, I haven't had a funded business, we've all boots, I've bootstrapped both my companies but is it harder? Is it more work? Is it the same or the same amount of work, like to have a five to 10 million company or try to strive for that a hundred million company.

Lee: They're both hard and so there's no easy path, but they're both hard in on its own ways, and I think that the hardness kind of looks different, I'm trying to think of a metaphor of what it could be, but I think first of all, heart is something that's very subjective. Almost going back to the same point of for me, building an engineering team was hard. For me, doing SEO is hard because I know nothing about it. For other people it might come naturally, and like for me, sales came easy. That was like where my strength was, I think the big thing is that any business is going to challenge you to new like heights. I think venture specifically that route is for the people that, borderline psycho, and they're like, I wanna sacrifice everything to make it big, and if you're not willing to sacrifice every piece of you, every moment of sanity to really build the biggest company you can possibly build, venture probably isn't the right path for you. The expectations of, and the demands that are necessary to just scale, such a significant amount in such a short amount of time, they're not interested in building a 10, 50 million business and they're not interested in doing it in 10, 20 years, which the average person would be thrilled to build a 20 million business over the span of 10 years, not venture capitalists. So it's pushes you to a height where you're like, I think I'm good, I gotta, I generate, 10 million, but nope, it's not good enough for this world. It's really just a personal choice, like bootstrapping is hard, I don't, are we on curse on this podcast? Oh yeah, okay, hard as shit, it's so hard, and I bootstrapped for a long time, but it's not the same as the venture route. And again, it really depends on each person's appetite and maybe it, by the way, maybe it's hard as shit for me, and maybe it's like easy peasy for some of the other, that are listening, that are like I'm good, I scaled to a hundred million and it was a walk in the park, but I haven't met a single founder that shared that story yet.

Jim: I was gonna say, when you find that person, let me know.

Lee: I'll let you that.

Jim: So what are some of the biggest challenges you've faced in let's just talk about the funding route, like to find those backers that believe in you, you went from, Hey I'm doing event coordinating and I'm working with these companies to, I'm gonna bring it into a tech play. I found my partner, here we go, here's my goal.

Lee: And reminds me also of your last question that I didn't finish, the main thing that gave us the opportunity to scale was the funding. Covid happened, which, inter reacts with your recent question, COVID had to change everything because Confetti was an in-person events company, that's what we raised our seed round on, we launched our beta for in-person events in January of 2020, and then a few months later, covid hit, which was really our biggest challenge at that time. And I got calls from people that were like, Lee, we're so sorry, you have been working on this company for, five, seven years now, whatever it was, and events are dead, like we're, you're not gonna be able to get people together in a long time. And I think, we were weirdly calm, me and my co-founder. I think a lot of it has to do that. At the time, the team was much smaller, so I'm very grateful for the fact that we hadn't really scaled yet. Like I can't imagine being in the same shoes without money or with a huge team that's like a completely different ball park of a challenge that isn't fun. But we didn't have that. We just were like all, is virtual events like a thing, are people interested in gathering together online? And I was really like, I don't know, I guess blessed to find out, like really grateful to see that the human spirit really likes. To constantly be together, to have a community to come together. And like it doesn't matter that a pandemic came and told all of us to physically separate apart, we still virtually wanted to come together. And that's really the essence of what confetti is bringing people together. Now, just our pivot was to virtual instead of in person.

Jim: I love that, and you've done such a good job and your branding's on point and it's, you talk about being fun and bring that pleasure back into a company and when we had remote staff all over the place, it's like, and everybody's scared. Here you are being that light in the dark of Hey yeah, we're remote, like we can't do the same cultural things as in a company that we used to do, so here's what we're gonna do instead. And you've done some really cool stuff. Will you tell the Remote Start Nation more about what confetti is, what you do and is it for every size company or is it for a certain size company?

Lee: Yeah, Confetti's a platform that's used by this point, just about 6,000 companies to help primarily distributed teams plan, really memorable virtual experiences. Our catalog is really rich. It has a, it's like a playground with different ideas and collections ranging from holiday parties, diversity, equity, and inclusion. February was Black History Month marches, women's history month different types of activities of that nature. All of our experiences are fully customizable. We have a happiness commitment making sure that really each booking that each person has with us is personalized, it's risk free, and we adore. We really pride ourselves on an endured customer support team, an intuitive booking system, really allowing for super easy planning, to answer your question, we specialize in teams right now that are a little bit on the larger side. They can range, but we have teams as small as five people that use our platform. So it really is good for all shapes and sizes, if y'all are curious, you can always visit us with confetti.com. But we'll wait don't pause the podcast, wait until after the podcast.

Jim: So let's talk about a bigger size company that would use confetti. Are we, is it anybody that's planning an event? Is it anybody with a team? And what do they do? What's, how do they get ahold of you? What do they, what's the process?

Lee: Great question, so really on the platform, you have this playground where you can find the experience fully customize. Find the date and time that you want and literally pay online, something that I think is really interesting to talk about is that culture has so many different dimensions to it. So you have like team cultures, like those are the people that you usually spend your most intimate amount of time with, they're usually anywhere from, five to 10, 12 people. Then you have your department your sales department, your marketing department and that usually has, depends on the company size, most of the time you're like under a hundred people. Again, it really depends, if you're talking about like a Google, a department can be much larger than that, and then you have your company-wide culture. You also have cross-departmental cultures, you have affinity groups, you have Projects that you work on with certain teams or certain departments that are short term for agile workforces, each one of those has its own culture. So what we see is that if it's a small company, they end up most of the time doing experiences still all together, right? All 10, 20, 50, a hundred employees, once you get beyond that a hundred employees, those teams and departments start breaking off being a little bit more Independent and they start formulating a little bit more of their own culture and it's harder than at that point, especially when you're a 1000 or 10,000 person company to get everyone together at the same time. So it's really important to invest in those smaller cultures where you're spending the most intimate amount of time with those people because we spend so much of our waking hours working, like our life. Monday through Friday working, and we spend that time with our colleagues instead of our friends, instead of our family, instead of our significant others. And it's meaningful time that needs to get that also needs to have meaningful relationships and companies, that's really the journey that we're on. But it's also the journey that I see companies are on, is really caring about that human connection that people are making in the workforce and making work a bit more fun for people to.


Jim: That's awesome. So a company like mine that has under 10 employees around the country, what are some things that I can do, whether it's on your platform or just even in my, like our weekly meetings or whatever it is to bring in more fun to help build that company culture?

Lee: Yeah first of all, we have a collection on confetti, it's fun and affordable. We literally have experiences as starting at $7 per person. So we really do try to be, Good for any team size and as for like free things that you can do, I think that the first big important part is just caring about culture, that's like step number one, looking at your employees as human beings and realizing like these are people with their traumas, their complexities, they're just like us. Like we've got, we've all got our problems, our goods, our bads, our uglies, and once we see each other for that, we can start to approach our relationships in that way, and I think every, company can be a little bit different. So for example, with you, it could be like a once a week or once a month, you guys listen to a podcast together that you think is really cool. Each person can say this podcast this month was amazing, we should just spend dedicated time listening to it, we have really amazing Slack channels and with all different types of interest groups. One particularly that wouldn’t, necessarily work in maybe other companies, but one that works really well for us, that our team really appreciates is our Hot Takes channel. So we know that we're creating a very inclusive, silly environment at Confetti. So we're open to putting ourselves out there and like we can be silly what's your non-original, like Oreo flavor that you like the most, and people will be like, oh, the Mint one. And then other people will mint, that's disgusting.

Jim: That's awesome.

Lee: So yeah, I think you know each their own but Slack, the slack channels are free, you can do it and spending time with one another, just hanging out with a drink, without a drink, with food, without a food, and then building a culture that's surrounded around your values, around your mission.

Jim: And that's, I was gonna ask that with the Slack channel, is that something that came from you and your co-founder or was that something that the team said, Hey, we should do this?

Lee: Yeah, our, each one of our team members specifically, have created their own group. So like we have a very big Harry Styles, group and like fan group and confetti. So one of our employees started that one, I specifically did start hot cakes because I love the game waffles versus pancakes and like I've always found myself to find these like stupid little things that I find hilariously, hilarious to like debate over. And like we are really heated debates in like the best ways about. Stupid things like whether peppermint should go in dessert or not, whether it tastes like toothpaste and chocolate, and people get very opinionated very quickly, and it brings a little sass to the workplace in the best way.

Jim: I swear both of those topics have been arguments between my two boys, my two youngest. At six and eight, like they both have talked about Mint and whether like my youngest, like he hates Mint, even on toothpaste, he won't do it. But my eight year old's Mint should be in everything. There you go.

Lee: You got, it's little moons. I think what it fosters, and this is something that we talk a lot about from like our value perspective, is that we're all entitled to have different opinions and talk them through and giving ourselves a safe space to talk through any kinds of misunderstandings or any types of things that we don't agree on, because we wanna create a culture of speaking up, we wanna say, I don't agree with you, taste that toothpaste, mint in chocolate, taste bad, and again the list, I could open it up. We have, maybe if we have time in the end I can share with you some of the hilarious hot takes that we've debated about.

Jim: So I wanna go back to, let's go back to scaling and you had this huge pivot where you were, you had to get in the text because you had to go online and you were able to take something that was outta your control with the pandemic and you turned it into a great opportunity for you. And you said you, you worked really fast and it, it helped, you wouldn't wanna be there if you had a team. You are now, what were some of the challenges or even the way you approached it to make that pivot.

Lee: Honestly, I'm like, what wasn't a challenge because everything in the moment felt really tough. So I'll give you like an example. Covid started we looked for virtual experiences online to sell, because at the time we were like a classic marketplace where we would find third party vendors and we would take the best ones, and then we would sell their offerings on our platform. And go back to my love for art. I was looking, I was super uninspired about what I was finding online, I was like, I wanna create something, I wanna create a game, and I remember bringing it up to my co-founder and he was like, Lee, you're crazy, like we, you don't have any, background in game design, what are you gonna do? And I was like, just gimme the weekend, I'm gonna have fun. There's nothing else to do anyways, so what the hell? And I thought to myself like the virtual, like our escape room, escape rooms were very popular before the pandemic, and so I was like, what happens if I can create a virtual escape room? And the challenge of not having any virtual experiences to sell transformed to, we built our own virtual experiences and that now is one of the fundamental like foundations of confetti that has made us successful because it allows us to take a higher take rate on our experiences because we own the content and it's just like Netflix originals where Netflix, had third party content that it was licensing and to increase its margins to really create what people wanted to see because it had great data off of what people really liked to see. They started creating their own shows and movies. And so we wanna create our own games, we wanna create our own experiences, we want control over the quality of the experience from end to end in order to make sure that it's really good. So that's definitely one, I think the, I don’t know if we wanna pause there for a second and before I go on the million other challenges.

Jim: No, I want to hear more. The one thing I wanna point out though is like as soon as you said you sat down and challenged herself, I'm like, oh, that goes back to her art background, that goes back to her, in high school when she wanted to get that top AP, that art, like you went and did it, you went and figured it out and you solved it, and same with the escape rooms. So go ahead, that's the only thing I wanted to point out.

Lee: Thanks, Jim. I appreciate that. So the other thing, and it's still to me, one of the hardest challenges that exists to date. And it's such a, like a weird broken system that I don't know what the solution is, maybe that's another startup idea that someone else who's listening can take on. Hiring people and hiring good people is the hardest thing that any business will have to do, it's so hard to work with people, first of all, everyone won't be like so easy to work with myself, but no, we all know we're all yes. But it's really hard to work with people, it's really hard to figure out who's actually good, who's not, I've had employees that I thought that they were gonna be rock stars from the interview ended up being duds, I've had certain employees that I put on a pip performance improvement plan, and they ended up being rockstar employees. Zooming for, yeah, three, six months later, I've had other peoples that I kept on putting on pips and I'm like, damn, why didn't you fire them six months ago? So that I think is like the hard, one of the hardest parts about building a business is that you have to trust your team members to take your vision and bring it to life, and you don't have control over. Everything that they do, how they do it, and you want every person to treat their work and profession as an art with this responsibility that they took to give value, to whoever they're interacting with. But the world isn't always working that way.

Jim: That's so true. It reminds me, it goes back to, finding that right person and you went through a hundred interviews before you found your co-founder and that's a lot, that's a lot to go through to, to find the right person but you did it and you're at where you are today because you two are obviously an incredible team.

Lee: Yeah, I think what's, I allowed myself to interview as many people as I did for that role because I'm like, this is my co-founder, you know what I mean, I'm getting basically married with this guy, like for, at the time I didn't know if it was gonna be a guy or gal, but I'm gonna get married to this person on an undefined amount of time, it's, now we've been together for five years, when I say together, we're not romantically together.

Jim: I'm a business partner and I tease each other business partner. We're like, oh, we're business couples, we're a married couple in business.

Lee: He really is my work husband. And yeah, it's a deep relationship. I'm sure that him and I and many times have spent more time together working on confetti than, he got certain hours with his significant other. Those days, those weeks, those months, and that just shows like what, how important it's to choose the people that are around you. But I think it also comes back into why we built confetti, because it's really hard to build on those relationships. And it's so easy sometimes to give up on people really quickly, and when people take a job, I wanna believe that they come with the hope that their life is also gonna be better, and it's also going to be ch like change for the best, like that the thing that they had in their last job, that toxic boss, that bad pay, whatever it is that they left, is in the spirit of doing something better, in something new. And we forget that when we're in those difficult moments with an employee and we're like, rah and they, try like they're trying, everyone is putting themselves in a vulnerable situation.

Jim: For sure, what are some of the things just with scaling in general, like we talked about people a little bit, I know that's such a hard thing with whether you have just a couple employees or like in your case now 60, and over, but what are some of the other things, the challenges that you saw with scaling and getting to your size?

Lee: So I'll say that in many ways I think that we were very lucky. But I don't know if Lucky's actually the right word because confetti has a, until to date had a 100% inbound approach, that means all 6,000 customers came to us. We didn't, we don't have a sales team, we don't have an outbound motion, which is like a whole different weird conversation of itself.

Jim: It's incredible.

Lee: And I think when you do something like that, you really need to get essentially product market fit aligned. We ha we had a pain point, I've been in the industry for, as I said, about 10 years, I know my customer's pain points, I know them inside and out more than a regular, I think competitor that became like a covid company over the past two years because they didn't get to know our customers and all the logistics and intricacies of this business as deeply as we got to know it over just the quantity of time that we got. I don’t if that answers your question, but for sure auto market fit helps with scale because once you figure that out, the rest, often come easier, you still gotta work, and 2023 and 2022 is a sign that not that our luck has run out, but in 2021, a hundred percent of all companies were virtual companies. 2022, that number dropped to 20% because 20% of companies are now virtual companies and about 50% are hybrid. So you really have to, work for your customers now, but events are very viral by nature, if you think about it, you're one person that is exposing confetti to a group of people that you're inviting. And from those group of people, they're experiencing confetti in a very intimate way, during that one hour, they have a core memory that's gonna be, which is what we work to building, like helping, like literally building people's positive core memories at work. And all of a sudden they have this memory and they're like, that was fun. We haven't taken a break like that or I never got to meet my boss like that or I thought my boss was a jerk. And then I played coworker feud with him and now I'm like, oh, he's not that's funny, whatever else.

Jim: To bring that into an environment, a workplace environment like you said, is of something that we're at more than we're at home with or spending the time with our families. That's gotta be so rewarding for you.

Lee: Absolutely, I feel like, in a world where you could be selling guns and oil or whatever else is available.

Jim: T-shirts.

Lee: A lot of anyways you there. It's important I think to not just, it's so easy. I think there's so many in Instagram and social media has put this reality in front of people where it's like easy to get rich and all these get rich quick schemes that are total bogus and success is hard, that's just the reality, and I think that you will find more fulfill, when you find a pain point that you and you wanna solve that pain point and the value that you wanna create, and it's a positive value, you are a contributor to society as opposed to a detractors to society. And I think if all of us can be a bit more of a contributor, we'll leave the world a better place than when we.

Jim: I love that, that's huge. Remote Start Nation, if you didn't hear that, rewind it and listen to that. Lee, our time is coming to an end, unfortunately, I've got one more question for you, but first, I know you already said it once, but if anybody listening wants to reach out and be a part of your platform or even reach out to you where can they find you?

Lee: So if you want a book, an experience on confetti, you can visit us@withconfetti.com. I really love connecting with the entrepreneurial community. I know I'm very busy lately, but I still welcome anyone and everyone to reach out to me. My LinkedIn, I believe is Ruben Llike that's the kind of username that you can find me on. And I don't know, Jim, can we send you a link? Is there gonna be like.

Jim:  Absolutely. There'll be a link in, there'll be a link in the show notes.

Lee: Perfect. So link in the show notes, but follow me on LinkedIn and or if you reach out to confetti and ask my employees for what you're looking for. I would be hap, I know that they're re required to send all those emails over to me and I will get through them, but I would love to help any of you all through your journey, answer any questions, be a mentor or supporter or cheerleader in any which way possible.

Jim: You're incredible. Thank you so much for hanging out with us.

Lee: Like wise. Thanks Jim for having me.

Jim: Absolutely. All right, last question. For the remote Star Nation, what is the one thing you wanna leave with them that is super important, that's either helped you out or something you wanna make sure they don't forget in their business journey?

Lee: I think that the number one trick to pretty much anything that you're gonna do with business, whether it's sales or recruiting or fundraising, is you need to build on confidence. So whatever it is that you need to do to help make yourself feel good do that and you'll be on your way to something.

Jim: That's incredible. Remote Start Nation, I hope you learned as much as I did from Lee today and can put some of the value you learned and to work for you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for joining us on this journey as we help you to start a business, grow your brand, and create your desired lifestyle.

Remember, leave a comment, subscribe, and share this episode with your community who you think could learn from what you heard today. Till next time, go start something, start it today and go build the lifestyle you desire by taking action.

Lee RubinProfile Photo

Lee Rubin

CEO / Founder

Confetti is an online platform that helps companies plan amazing social gatherings using multiple vendors, in just a few clicks. We've taken the long process of planning an event and made it as simple as booking anything else online. Our platform instantly generates multi-vendor proposals and handles the complex logistics using automated workflows.

Jim DoyonProfile Photo

Jim Doyon


My name is Jim Doyon. I'm a father to three awesome kids, husband to an incredible wife and the oldest sibling to a large split family.I'm currently on a mission and I can't wait to share with you. We sold our house back in 2020, and we've been traveling this beautiful country in a 42-foot Travel trailer ever since. We visited 34 states, and are about to embark on our second loop around the country, stopping at some of our favorite spots again, but also getting to see new areas that the US has to offer.We are trying to experience this life to its fullest spending quality time together. I'm running a business and building brands along the road. We've been fortunate enough on this journey to meet new friends, catch up with old friends and family on many of our stops. We love exploring each City from downtown's to the natural resources it has to offer. I'm passionate about mountain biking and it's not only in my way to get out and explore but to exercise, clear my head, think, and strategize.