Growth Story: Will Barrett of Threshold 360
Welcome to our Growth Story series, where you’ll meet startup leaders from Tampa-St. Petersburg who are building and scaling their ventures to solve some of the world’s greatest challenges. We interviewed Will Barrett of Threshold 360, which is a virtual tour SaaS platform and provider serving the hospitality & tourism industries..
What were you doing previously and what inspired you to launch your company?
I was at the artist merchandising company, Merchline.com. I left to start a new venture and was in the research phase, connecting with investors, and fleshing out my concept when I met the Threshold team. At that time, the co-founders and the first few engineers were developing an MVP. One of the co-founders convinced me to join the team as they developed a go-to-market strategy and started to build an ops team. I was inspired by the vision to take this technology global and the mission of giving anyone, anywhere the ability to virtually step inside of any location on earth.
What pain point is your company solving? What gets you excited to go to work every day?
It’s still difficult for consumers to get a good sense of a place, or space, before visiting. We’re delivering them the next best alternative. At the same time, we're enabling location owners and managers to tell the story of their location. I’m excited and grateful for the opportunity to build a team and culture that works collaboratively, gives each other life, and supports each other beyond our work at Threshold.
Name the biggest challenge you faced in the process of launching the company. How did you overcome it?
I have two answers: first, finding product-market fit was not a simple straightforward process for us. It required a lot of testing and exploring various markets. We did not think that we would land in the destination tourism market, which is our beachhead. Two-fold, growing within this market while not straying from the vision is always a challenge. You’re continually presented with short-term opportunities that you have to weigh against the long-term impact you want to deliver. Secondly - People. Finding the right people and getting them in the right position with the right direction requires constant work.
Where do you see your company headed next?
Next, we’ll raise a Series A and move into a growth phase as we build new products for larger markets. I'm looking forward to sharing those developments with the Embarc community later this year!
Give us a tactical piece of advice that you'd share with another founder just starting out.
Tactical advice without context is tough, but for many founders, I’d encourage them to put blinders on - Figure out the right goal-setting structure for you and your small team. Figure out the right productivity methodology for you and encourage your team to each do the same. Create a structured personal schedule and stick to it. Be disciplined.
There are obvious benefits within the variety of resources and start-up communities out there, but there are also a lot of distractions. Threshold earned our first few million in ARR with almost no one knowing about it. No articles, little marketing, no PR push, no interviews, no pitch nights, nothing. This boils down to a basic decision-making filter we have; what’s an opportunity vs what’s a distraction? Without goals, a schedule, and discipline, making these decisions can be difficult.
Why Tampa Bay?
Because I grew up in the area, I love Tampa, and it’s home 🙂