How Former Jazz Musician Turned Entrepreneur Gary Levitt Built His First Startup

Gary Levitt was writing music for Oprah Winfrey but wasn’t feeling it, therefore he pivoted into tech with almost no experience, and managed to build an email marketing app called Mad Mimi (with no VC investing) that did so well it was bought by GoDaddy in 2014 for integration into their platform. This interview takes you into Gary’s story, how he got to where he is today, the lessons he learned on the way, and all kinds of other gems for the aspiring entrepreneur.


00:45 – Why Gary is not your typical entrepreneur.

1:41 – What were MadMimi’s KPI’s when it was acquired by GoDaddy?

2:55 – As a successful entrepreneur how do you define money?

4:07 – How would you define an entrepreneur? (He gives a great first answer to this question.)

6:50 – What Gary asks himself in order to achieve his goals.

9:24 – How Gary’s ‘heroes’ in music, design and other realms help him raise his standards.

11:00 – How Gary used email marketing and ‘starting at the top’ to get his Oprah Winfrey gig.

13:41 – How Gary pivoted from the music business into tech.

14:07- How his first version of MadMimi totally failed.

15:30 – What  Gary changed to get him on the right track

16:30 – Moving from observation to imitation to innovation – or – why you can’t learn web design from books.

17:24 – Why being in the ‘scene’ of tech world isn’t always helpful.

18:11 – Gary’s anti-launch of Mad Mimi

20:45 – How do you hold on to your resolve in the ups and downs of launching a startup?

22:14 – What is the relationship between creativity and entrepreneurship?

24:22 – How does religion/spirituality fit into entrepreneurship?

27:05 – What is the real source of success and failure?

28:20 – One piece of advice to people who want t get involved with startup

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