Tom McLeod

Creator of Omni Storage Concierge

THIS CHAT HAPPENED ON December 23, 2015

Discussion

Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
Hi All, Tom McLeod here. I'm a serial entrepreneur and creator of Omni Storage Concierge. Prior to Omni, I crafted, launched and marketed 15+ iOS apps to more than 10 million users through my previous companies, Pagelime and Imaginary Feet. I have 10+ years of experience in overseeing and growing innovative establishments. I founded Omni in 2014, and hope to take the idea of on-demand storage to the next level by cataloging items with photos and descriptions that give users the ability to have their items picked up and delivered when they want, where they want, every time. In my spare time, my hobbies include traveling, finding the next best TV shows, playing basketball, and making mixtapes. That’s right, mixtapes. Ask away!
Erik Torenberg@eriktorenberg · Former Product Hunt
Drakes first tech investment! How did this go down? Tell us the WHOLE story
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@eriktorenberg Started from the bottom... then a term sheet. I kid. Raju Sajiraju and the folks from SOMA Capital have been great investors in Omni. Drake has been working closely with them, they we're discussing Omni as one of their favorite investments. Raju made that hotline bling, and we ended up being one of Drake's first technology investments.
Drew DePriest@drewdepriest · Smart Buildings | IoT | comfyapp.com
@tmcleod3 @eri He must tell everyone he's so, he's so, he's so proud of you.
Joshua Phelps@dc_phelps
When I describe Omni to people, they want to sign up immediately but don't live in SF. Where are you going next?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@dc_phelps We're going to expand throughout the Bay and really focus on understanding every single detail. We're a fairly complex business involving Distribution Logistics, Warehouse Inventory Management, Big Data, as well as a forward facing mobile product. It's important to me and the team at Omni that we 100% nail all these parts. Then we can apply scaling and process to any expansion or growth. Seasons are sexy to us though...
Sarah Lane@sarahlane · Video Pusher
Best rap album of 2015?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@sarahlane TOUGH. I'm going to split this in three. Best Rap Album (Actual): Kendrick. Best Rap Album (I play this the most): Drake x Future - What a time to be alive. Best Rap Album (I'm playing this right now): Ty Dolla Sign - Free TC
Sarah Lane@sarahlane · Video Pusher
@tmcleod3 @sarahlane Thanks Tom, appreciate it!
Morgan Beller@beller · Corporate Development, Facebook
What's the Omni take-over-the-world plan?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@beller Data + Logistics + Execution = The world chico and everything in it.
Kingsong Chen@kingsongchen · Founder at Scanate
Hi Tom, what are some interesting ways you grew Omni?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@kingsongchen early on we learned that the photos we take of your things in Omni, create this feeling of "My stuff looks cooler" and we watched as people started to share and show off their Omni accounts. One of the main factors for our growth has been doubling down on product and backend R&D to for create the best possible photography around every item that comes in. It both shows the care we take with your things, as well as creates a "magic moment" where people actually want to show off their valuables. Dinner conversations are our biggest growth drivers. Keeping that CAC lowwwwwww :)
Steve Place@steveplace · Vice President, GEER
@tmcleod3 Will Omni ever launch a food storage service? And will it be called Nomni?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@steveplace We probably won't get into food distribution and storage. Just too much liability. Good name though.
Emil Anticevic@eanticev · Counterplay Games
Do you have a timeline for when I'll be able to SHARE an item I own with another OMNI member and/or mark an item for TRASH / RECYCLING?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@eanticev Current Status: In progress! Hopefully will have these features out to beta users by late February!
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
@tmcleod3 Thanks for joining us today. During your career to date, what is the best piece of advice you've ever been given? Flip side - what's the worst?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@ems_hodge Best piece of advice: Entrepreneurship is a marathon, with tons of highs and lows... if you're doing it right you try to never have lows, lower than the last low. Learn from each one and seek new peaks. Worst piece of advice: Hang on to someone else's rocketship.
Yoshi@dnxx28 · Student
Hi Thomas! I'm Japanese Yoshi! 1 : I understand your product was invested from Opt Ventures. DId you try to meet them? 2: Don't you launch on the web?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@dnxx28 1. The team from OPT are amazing! The first investor in Omni was Daniel Darling from Darling Ventures. He told Atsushi Nouchi from OPT about us, we met at Samovar Tea in Yerba Buena (see: tech startup in SF) and they joined on as investors. Our offices are full of pocky! 2. We're working on a web version right now! It will be live in Q1 2016 going to be a really great experience.
Kofi Som-Pimpong@kofisompimpong · Student, Carnegie Mellon University
@tmcleod3 I really want to start a startup, but I'm having trouble coming up with ideas. In general, what helped you come up with those 15+ ideas for apps?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@kofisompimpong It wasn't just me, I think that helps. My co-founders and I put our heads together and looked at problems we were having. When looking to develop solutions, having more a diverse set of inbound problems is for sure helpful. I would start by looking outside your own direct purview and start talking to tons of people about what they're dealing with. It's a good exercise for creating apps, as well as a good exercise for connecting with future potential customers.
Josh Zipin@jzipdamonsta · Curious.com
@kofisompimpong Are you Kwame's younger brother??
Kofi Som-Pimpong@kofisompimpong · Student, Carnegie Mellon University
Sal@ovosal
Hey Tom, What do you foresee as the biggest challenge for Omni? Bonus Q: what do you look for in hiring?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@ovosal biggest challenge is scaling physical operations across multiple metropolitan markets, while trying to keep the accessibility windows for getting your things in and out as fast as possible. In a hire we're looking for T- shaped people who are deep in a specific area, but are also strong generalists. Everyone at Omni has done a pickup, has checked peoples items in, and has a deep appreciation of the end-to-end product regardless of what it says on their (rarely used) business cards.
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@tmcleod3 @ovosal also... kind of not surprisingly we have a lot of musical talent on the team.
Emily Hodgins@ems_hodge · Community and Marketing, Product Hunt
@tmcleod3 During your career to date, what has been your a) most challenging moment and how did you overcome it? b) proudest moment and why? c) most surprising moment?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@ems_hodge 1. Most challenging moment(s): Are any moments that involve the realization that you've created a company that has a massive effect on people's personal lives. That while you're running a business, you're also managing the dreams of everyone who hopped on the bus with you. When death, sickness, relationship issues happen, a lot of times the structure of the company is the thing that keeps people afloat. Keeping as many people afloat as possible and the stress that comes with that, is challenging. 2. Proudest moments actually play off #1 above. Having two people on the team in just this first year have children, take maternity/paternity leave, come back, and know that we've built something that has enough legs to support multiple pairs of baby legs feels awesome! 3. Surprised at how many people said no to investing, and also surprised at how many people said yes. There's something just strange about the fundraising process, where the outcome always feels somewhat surprising. Not negatively or positively, but just this strange feeling of not really ever knowing until you get an answer. I love trying to anticipate, predict, and influence the uncertainty.
wynter mitchell@wyntermitchell · Head of Talent Partnerships, Reddit
Who are you bringing on to your team that will help you define the future of the company? Are you focused on diversity - not just racially, but do you want women executives? Do you want those fresh out of college? Would you hire a veteran?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@wyntermitchell The long and short of it is I care a lot about diversity. I have a fundamental belief that as a company Omni will serve many different people and by proxy might be used differently by groups that I am not a part of. It's important for us to have diversity of culture reflected in our culture to make sure we're building a product that can be valuable to anyone. Women executives - For sure, and already in place. Fresh out of college - If you're down to work, I'm down to talk. Veterans - Currently looking at building out a veteran staffing program for Omni ops. I also don't forget how statistically small of a number I represent by being a funded Black tech founder, and I feel a larger responsibility to be somewhat public about that to create more optionality to those looking up and potentially seeing me.
Carol Kins@carol_kins
Most important question: what pair of sneakers goes best with your signature Yankee hat?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@carol_kins Jordan 1's all day.
Harry Stebbings@harrystebbings · Podcast Host @ The Twenty Minute VC
@tmcleod3 thanks so much for joining us. Awesome to have you hear, how do you plan to differentiate yourself in the VC fundraising market when going out to raise? Many are pitching as the Uber for X and this is quite often a challenging route to adopt. Would you describe OSC with an analogy (X for X). Would be awesome to have you on @twentyminutevc and hear more from you!
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@harrystebbings At this point we're pretty confident Omni is dramatically different in execution and vision from any other product out there. We no longer compare ourselves to (X for X). We talk about breaking new grounds, further execution of current vision, and how we're going to move the needle with the product market fit we've identified. Would love to do a @twenyminutevc with you. Thanks for reaching out!
Alix@alix1800 · Graphic Designer, iOS Dev & Student
Hi Tom! Given your experience in the App world/market, what are some of the best game-changing apps right now according to you? (aside from the Facebook, Google, ... apps)
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@alix1800 I've been playing with that "The List" app I think it seems simple, but from a sociological data perspective there is some really interesting data there if you want to dig deep. For instance this list about Uber Passenger Ratings: https://li.st/l/0lmeCbtzJhQgaGB9... I would love more data about passenger/driver ratings and how this scales out larger trends in gender, race, and blink perception of people.
Russ Frushtick@russfrushtick
What's the secret to the perfect mix tape?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@russfrushtick An audience that gives enough of a shit about it to listen to it order. A well crafted mixtape has a flow and a theme, and it's important to not just make some kind of random shuffle of like minded sounds. Take me on a journey!
Josh Zipin@jzipdamonsta · Curious.com
With so many options for taking over the world, what are the nearest term goals and priorities for Omni? Also, will the Yankees win the AL East this year?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@jzipdamonsta Consistent growth of the current market, doubling down on rapid in and outbounding access, as well as starting to reveal some of the secret sauce around Omni-as-a-Platform in the early parts of 2016.
Josh Zipin@jzipdamonsta · Curious.com
@tmcleod3 @jzipdamonsta Follow up. How often do you get a fresh Yankee fitted?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@jzipdamonsta I get a new freeeesssshhh Yankee every time I hit a new personal/professional inflection point. Sometimes that's months or years (very dirty hat) sometimes that's days or weeks (still so crispy). Either way... I save them all... and they end up living in my Omni account to eventually be removed and placed on shelves in the man-cave-of-my-future-to-come :)
Drew DePriest@drewdepriest · Smart Buildings | IoT | comfyapp.com
What's on your current "Top 3 TV Shows to Check Out" list?
Thomas McLeod@tmcleod3 · CEO - Omni
@drewdepriest 1. Survivor's Remorse is excellent and hilarious. Go watch that immediately. 2. Flesh and Bone - Was REALLY dark... but good... but so so dark. Wait till Spring comes back. 3. You're The Worst - Did some really daring stuff this season around mental health, and I very much appreciated that they went for it. Watch both seasons in a binge!