[00:00] Podcast begins - The World Champion Generalist of Cart.com
[01:15] Every startup needs their Chief Generalist employee
[07:17] Building a strong Cart.com culture with hiring & acquisitions
[10:01] Navigating a $1.2 billion valuation in a tough startup economy
[15:49] Houston as the Cart.com headquarters over Austin
[26:59] There’s no “right way” to lead a high growth company
How deliberate were you at Cart.com about building a strong company culture?
Culture has been instrumental in Cart.com’s success, and Remington believes that it’s partly because of the companies they have acquired. Cart.com has acquired several companies over the years and works to keep those teams and their founders involved in the company and integrated into the culture alongside Cart’s hired employees. The diversity and breadth of the services Cart offers mirrors the diversity within their company culture.
“The Cart.com culture today is really an emergent phenomenon that has arisen from the combination of not only the folks we've hired, but also the companies we have acquired and their teams and founders. I think it does create some cultural diversity that I think is valuable.”
Cart.com is only 3 years old. How did you manage this success in such a short time?
Remington says that speed is Cart.com’s superpower, and with this much accomplished in only 3 years, it’s hard to argue with that. Taking inspiration from Mark Zuckerberg’s “move fast and break things” philosophy, Cart.com isn’t afraid to take risks and pay the cost for speed. Remington believes that Cart is a product of the high-speed environment they started in during the pandemic, and this drive to do things quickly means they aren’t afraid to go out on a limb in order to grow.
“We've always tried to move very quickly. One of our goals is to help our customers also move very quickly, but we have made some decisions and taken some risks on decisions that I think other people wouldn't have made because they were afraid of the cost of that speed.”
How did you make the decision to headquarter Cart.com in Houston?
Cart.com initially started in Houston before moving their headquarters to Austin. Now, in 2023, Cart has come back to Houston to set up headquarters here. Remington explains that Houston has always been Cart’s home, with their initial staff and investors making connections in the city at locations like Cannon and the Ion. As Cart.com continues to grow, they need a city that’s striving to support startups of their size. Remington says that Houston is the global location they need to succeed and grow.
“Other cities have, I think, what most people would consider to be ‘cooler’ industries, but the industries that dominate Houston are important. They're fundamental. You cannot live without them and I think that's something Houston should be proud of.”
What advice do you have for leaders of high growth startups?
Although Cart.com has grown fast and achieved incredible financial success, Remington is transparent about the fact that his team has hardly cracked the code for startup success. Entrepreneurship is different for everyone, and Remington encourages entrepreneurs to understand that there’s not only one way to succeed. The risks of today’s economic and political climate scare many entrepreneurs away from taking chances, but Cart.com is a testament to the fact that opportunities still exist if you’re willing to learn fast and stay courageous.
“I think recognizing that this is an interesting time in history and there's always a lot of risk in entrepreneurship, but in some ways, it's heightened today. I think entrepreneurs have to remember that when there is fog of war, yes, you cannot see, but nobody else can either.”