Startups: Are You Working on Memorial Day?

May 27, 2013

10:50 am

As barbecues light up across the country for Memorial Day, we wondered if startups would be spending the day nose-deep in ribs and pickles or Ruby and Python.

Most entrepreneurs said the latter – and, in fact, they have some clever ways of making the most of a day when the rest of the world isn’t emailing. But a few said no, and they were adamant about it. Read their thoughts below.

Yes

“We will be ‘sort of working.’ Our team rented a house in Shelter Island (about three hours from Manhattan) with our significant others.

We feel it will be a great way to bond as a team and promote our  culture. I have no doubt that some good ideas and long-time dividends will come of all of us spending the time together and combining our ‘families’ (personal and professional). Most of the time will be spent having fun, but we will also have some brainstorming sessions.”

– Aron Susman, cofounder, TheSquareFoot

“This Memorial Day I’ll be working and having fun at the same time. Since I’m based in Las Vegas, I’ll be at the Palms’s pool promoting the launch of my app and also enjoying some cocktails and the 90-degree sunshine. Work and play often mix in Las Vegas, which is why I love it.”

– Mickey Hernandez, founder and CEO, imagoo

“As a startup, we are always working on something. It didn’t even dawn on us that there was a holiday coming up until someone noticed it on their calendar. Our policy for these types of national holidays is: ‘By all means do something if you have plans, but if you don’t, you know where to find us, and there’s always work to be done!’”

– Tammy Kahn Fennell, CEO, MarketMeSuite

“Since most businesses won’t be available that we work with, we’ll be focusing on an internal ‘cleanse’ to make our company run more efficiently, and also work on bug fixes for the site.”

– Mike Bailey, director of marketing, AutoRef.com

“My Mondays are usually consumed by the constant distraction of email. With most others taking the day off, I’m looking forward to more time to focus on actually get something of substance done. Apologies in advance for my vacation autoresponder.”

– Jon West, CEO, AddShoppers

No

“Our company believes this is one of those holidays that should be celebrated nationwide. . . . One of the things I’ll be doing is spending the day with friends that have served in the armed forces. I have quite a few so that’s always a fun day for me.”

– Kevin Raposo, blogger, SimpliSafe

“Catching up on emails and other tasks would be all I do. It’s a day to rest and spend time with friends and family.”

– Kevin Chau, growth, Stride

“I’m a firm believer that brains need downtime. It’s a hard thing to remember when building a company from nothing. You get in the mindset that you need to work all the time, every day. Truth is, if you do that, you start to go through the same exact ideas again and again – you destroy your creativity.

Breaks like Memorial Day are perfect to set aside some time just to think. I’ll probably be grilling and sitting on the beach for a good portion of the weekend, but thinking critically about our business and what we can do better, especially over the summer.”

– Aaron K. Harris, cofounder and CEO, Tutorspree

“The truth is, entrepreneurship can be a very lonely place. Most young cofounders are workaholics, putting in long hours and running their small operations like an investment bank. Both creatives and developers are notorious for working late into the night, who often produce their best work during these hours. The downside, of course, is all of the social events we forgo throughout the year for the sake of more hustle. This Memorial Day, let’s all take some time to slow down and spend time with friends and family – I guarantee you won’t look back and regret it.”

– Richard Belton, founder, Knoshbox

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact kira@tech.co.

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