5 Things You Might Not Know About Startup Mixology Author Frank Gruber

October 18, 2014

8:30 am

At our Boulder Sessions event last night, we turned the tables a little bit. Instead of having our CEO Frank Gruber interview someone, he got interviewed by Foundry Group cofounder Jason Mendelson.

On the agenda was Frank’s book Startup Mixology, a step-by-step guide to starting up that explains how to survive the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial rollercoaster and stay sane and positive. (If you haven’t gotten your copy already, grab it here!) At the end of the session, Mendelson asked some rapid-fire questions and we got a peek behind the scenes at Gruber’s everyday life.

Here are five things you might not know about Frank Gruber:

1. He’s an amateur ukelele player

Frank loves to visit Hawaii and got the chance to see ukelele players up close and personal there. What the heck! he figured. It’s easier than guitar and a bit more portable. “Pretty much anything you strum sounds good,” Frank told the audience.

2. He’s obsessed with llamas

It all started about 10 years ago when Frank visited a llama farm outside Milwaukee. “It was really peaceful,” he recalled. “Who doesn’t want to hug a llama? It brings joy.”

That led to a bit of an obsession, starting with a blog post about how – if his tech career didn’t work out – he could always become a llama farmer. Fast forward to last year, where there were llamas at Tech Cocktail Celebrate and even two llamas at Frank’s beach wedding. And rumor has it that he’s on downtown Las Vegas’s llama committee. 

Startup Mixology book launch wedding

3. His beards have secret meanings

Frank is in the habit of growing a dashing but prickly beard to serve the same purpose as a rally beard in baseball: symbolizing a certain goal, whether that’s making sales, raising funding, or finishing Startup Mixology

“Every single day I have to look at this and remind myself, ‘This is what we’re trying to do,’” said Frank.

Check out the #startupbeard hashtag on Twitter if you really, truly want to see pictures of male entrepreneurs sporting hipster facial hair.

Startup Mixology book launch beard

4. Startup Mixology quotes Napoleon Dynamite

How could you write a book and not quote Napoleon Dynamite? The quote “Girls only want boyfriends who have great skills” appears in the chapter on Team.

5. Frank spent part of his honeymoon working

Because #startuplife. “Thankfully it rained on my honeymoon so that I could finish a couple different parts of the book,” said Frank.

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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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