GoWild Co-Founder, Brad Luttrell, with his 2017 Kentucky Buck.
AUTHOR: BRAD LUTTRELL | CO-FOUNDER
The "I'm thankful" posts flood the news feeds this time of year, but I truly feel grateful for a few things this Thanksgiving, and I wanted to share that with y'all. I hope you have a great holiday and weekend with your family.
Below is my list, and you'll want to read to the bottom. We're doing a giveaway as a thanks to you, our users!
No. 1: Family and friends, new and old
This past year has been challenging. I'll talk about the workflow and process in a minute, but all of the time we've put into building GoWild has taken time away from other things. You don't get more time for new projects, you have to adjust the time you have. Many times that's been sacrificed evenings with friends and weekends with the family. It was conference calls on vacations. And it's a lot of early mornings at the computer while the rest of the house slept.
I'm first so grateful to my wife, Mary Margaret, who has certainly had frustrations (as anyone would when you're leaving the beach to take a business call), but she has been very supportive through it all. I've slowly found the balance between family and GoWild, and she's kept me in check when I've let that balance slip. I need that. I'm obsessive and push myself too hard sometimes. I'm grateful to have her by my side to reel me back when I get too deep into the GoWild zone. Family should always come first.
My dad has supported this idea from the first time I told him about it while driving a country road to our deer hunting spot. My sister was the third person I told about "this app I'm thinking of building." She encouraged me to do it as I told her while we hiked over boulders during our traditional Thanksgiving squirrel hunt (she's even texting me right now with suggestions). And my best friend Blake Carpenter has promoted the heck out of this thing and asked for nothing in return. There are so many more stories, but I love and appreciate all of you.
No. 2: Our users
That's right—you're No. 2 on my list! Look, all of the time we've put into this doesn't mean a thing if you aren't using and enjoying the app. If we don't provide something of value, I realize you won't stick with us. But you have so far. We're adding hundreds of users per day, and it's because you all are spending your valuable time engaging with each other and telling your friends.
This has been my biggest fear—if we build it, will they come? The answer has been yes. And I have loved getting to know each and every one of you in the app. I've made new friends, like Collin Derrenberger, Dane Myers and Daniel Shouse, who have supported us from the get-go. There are literally dozens more folks like these guys, and I could write an entire blog naming each of you, but just know I'm grateful for your personal time investment in me, and the GoWild team.
No. 3: Our brand partners
While I grew up in the woods, I had not built a career in the hunting industry. It's a different animal than just being a hunter. But over the last year, I have met so many great people who have helped me and our team along the way. People like Gabriella Hoffman, Kevin Orthman (POMA), Erin Crooks (Raise Em Outdoors), and Ken Calhoun (Vortex) have helped with introductions, swag for giveaways, and advice. This list goes on and on, as I've probably talked to 100 people/companies or more over the last year (seriously, the networking has been real). I am so grateful to these people's time investment in me, and for hearing about my plans for GoWild. I'm proud to now be a part of this industry, which is more like a family than anything I have ever seen.
Nov. 4: My co-founders and team
Many of you may not realize this, but our team conceptualized, designed, developed, tested, marketed and launched the GoWild app in less than nine months. That's insane. While I had the idea in September and started to get the team together, we didn't bring on Chris Gleim, our developer and final co-founder, until December. Our first team meeting was on Dec. 28, 2016, and at that point, we still didn't even know exactly what this thing would be. The focus on recipes, scoring system and trophy logs were all conceived on that day.
From there, it's been nonstop work. So I'm thankful to all three of my co-founders—Donovan Sears, Zack Grimes and Chris (duh). These guys have sacrificed just like me, and they've done it without any complaints. We've since added three more partners, Lauren Gleim, Amy Wiitala and John Hunter, and they have shown incredible dedication to GoWild. And to all of the part-time teammates who have helped along the way, well, you get it by now, right? Thanks!
In Closing, Let's Giveaway Some Swag!
It's hard to repay you all for your investment in us, but a free t-shirt might help! Go to your GoWild app, find the post about this blog, and comment and tell us who is on your gratitude list for a chance to win a GoWild Buck Wild shirt!
See more posts by and about Brad Luttrell.