Why I Started My Company In Provo Utah

Not so long ago, if you were serious about starting a tech company you would do so in Silicon Valley, not Provo, Utah. After all, it’s where all the major players are when it comes to venture capital backed technology startups.

And if you were serious about getting a job in the tech field, your path would inevitably lead to Silicon Valley as well.

However, things are rapidly changing. Silicon Valley is still in the lead, but a new force is emerging.

According to some interesting stats provided by Associated Press, San Francisco and San Jose (Silicon Valley) are the top two cities with tech startups backed by venture capital funds. But, that same chart shows another interesting fact: when comparing dollar-per-deal averages, the Provo-Orem region comes out on top.

It might come out as a complete surprise to some, but Utah has always had a vibrant tech scene. Utah was, in fact, the birthplace of WordPerfect and Landesk. Nolan Bushnell, the co-founder of Atari, graduated from the engineering department at the University of Utah, as well as Pixar co-founder Ed Catmull, who graduated from the school’s department of computer science.

With huge tech names like Adobe, Oracle and Microsoft expanding into Utah in the recent years, it’s no wonder Utah is quickly getting recognized as a booming tech hub. Companies like PluralSight, Qualtrics, Vivint and a handful of other tech companies, which are now valued at over a billion dollars, certainly contributed to the growth of Utah’s tech scene.

Another interesting fact is that the Wasatch Front region of Utah—the small section that contains Provo, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, is very similar to Silicon Valley. Much like Intel and other semiconductor manufacturers helped create Silicon Valley, the software company Novell which was founded in Provo helped attract and spawn other local tech businesses. Also, the Wasatch Front, much like Silicon Valley, is densely populated and connected by a freeway and a mass-transit system.

But even with a lively tech scene like that, until recently Utah was desperate for capable developers who could provide a reliable workforce for all those tech startups and companies expanding to Utah.

That lack of developers, combined with people interested in getting an education in web development and the rapid rise of Utah’s tech scene, were the main reasons why my team and I founded DevMountain in Utah as opposed to a more metropolitan area.

The Startup Building In Provo

The Startup Building In Provo, home of DevMountain

DevMountain is a code bootcamp nestled right here in the heart of the Wasatch Mountains that addresses the lack of capable developers. We are training the new wave of developers and entrepreneurs, and we’ve made incredible progress in contributing to the Utah tech scene.

With that rapidly developing tech scene and the fact that Provo is the third city in the United States where Google introduced Google Fiber in 2013, the future of Utah looks bright indeed.  All that, however, is not the only reason why we deemed Provo as the place to be.

Provo ranks #1 for business and careers according to Forbes magazine, thanks to its low tax rates, and an extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit and business-friendly environment. Provo’s quality of life, volunteering, and optimism also take the first place. When it comes to raising a family, Provo ranks #3. Not to mention, the low crime rates and excellent educational opportunities.

It was that environment that convinced Theo Zourzouvillys, the CEO of Jive Communications to move to Utah. Originally a native of England, and a former Skype employee, he admits to not knowing a lot about Utah, but when Jive offered to fly him and his girlfriend for an initial meeting, he immediately warmed up. In Utah he found “the most awesome people I’ve ever met in my life.”

And if that isn’t enough to convince you, Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort is 20 minutes from downtown Provo, while the mountains offer backpacking, snowshoeing, hiking and mountain climbing.  Just like our students, the majority of Utah visitors love the easy access to the outdoors.

Everything I mentioned so far, are just some of the reasons why Provo is such an attractive place to live, an attractive place to learn to code and more importantly, an attractive place to start a business. It is no wonder why DevMountain, our baby and Utah’s very own 5-star code school, has exploded into the scene.

Provo's DevMountain code school

Provo’s highly review code school, DevMountain.

Our Provo headquartered bootcamp offers a Full Time Immersive Web Development course which lasts for 13 weeks. The course features 8 hour of instruction per day, 1:1 mentoring, and is geared towards people who are serious about learning to code.

As of recently, more than 65% of our student body are from out of state, and even out of country.

We also offer an After Hours Web Dev course which is a great way for locals to dive into code without having to quit a job or other schooling. The After Hours course is still extremely intense, but allows for more flexibility and is a great option for those who are interested in coding, need some skills to better their employment options, or simply learn a new skillset.

Come join the Utah, and more specifically, Provo movement. Discover everything the city has to offer, and become a part of an awesome community with a bright future ahead.

Visit https://devmounta.in to learn more about our courses.

I Quit My Job to Work on My Own Startup

Quit my job to work on my own business

I am definitely not a business consultant because a typical business consultant would call me crazy, so take my entrepreneurial advice as you wish. Business consultants always coach clients to never leave one job or business before the new venture is successful and lucrative. They say it leads to a roller-coaster ride. Believe me it does. But hey, the majority of people like roller coasters. Right?

When you hate your job the idea of jumping ship seems like a no-brainer. But if you have a well-paying job you actually like the question becomes a little more tricky. Obviously situations will vary depending on the type of corporate job you have and what kind of venture you want to start, but in general, for a person who is trying to start a new venture and wondering if they should quit a current lucrative position, my short answer is, “I would.”

Why I quit my job.

But first let me explain my situation. It was the summer of 2013. I was working around-the-clock for a Utah tech accelerator called BoomStartup after graduating from Brigham Young University. The accelerator was housed in a co-working space in downtown Provo. This co-working space expressed an interest in bringing in a coding bootcamp that at the time were only found in larger metropolitan areas like New York or San Francisco. Instead of bringing one in I, a front-end designer, teamed up with an amazing developer and a operations guru and we started our own coding bootcamp. We named it DevMountain and to this day it is housed in that same co-working space but now we have grown so much that we have taken over the whole building instead of just one room.

Back in August of 2013 DevMountain started out as side project. Our whole co-founding team treated it that way. As a result of it being a side project when my summer BoomStartup job ended I accepted a job as the Director of Business Development at a healthcare and genetics company called Tute Genomics. It was a great salary and opportunity but it was working for someone else, not myself. I was not a founder, owner, or anything close to it. I was paid, did my work, and that was it.

You cannot be two people at once.

After a few months of working at Tute Genomics I found myself caught between the two jobs. Working as an owner at DevMountain in my free-time and working as an employee at Tute Genomics as my day job was not ideal. It was horrible because I wanted to succeed so badly in both situations but time just didn’t allow it. Trying to please Tute Genomics investors and management while also pleasing my DevMountain co-founders proved difficult. In both situations I was accused of not giving my full 100% which was an accurate accusation.

I quickly came to find out that one simply cannot stay working for the man (someone else) while also truly pursuing your own business. Giving 100% of your dedication and effort to really grow your startup takes just that…100%. Since no one can clone themselves and become two people then a side has to be chosen. Otherwise half effort is given at both companies and as a result half of the job is left unfinished and all parties involved are upset and disappointed.

Go where the most value is.

After some sleepless nights I ultimately decided to quit and pursue my new business venture. The ultimate decision maker was considering the differences between being a business owner and being an employee.

I broke down what would happen scenarios if I were to stay at Tute Genomics or quit to work on my own business. At Tute I would have been earning a nice yearly salary. But it is just that, a yearly salary. No more no less. At DevMountain I would be earning less in salary, but the equity I had in the company of being an owner and co-founder was worth more than that yearly salary. Especially if my co-founders and I were to focus 100% on DevMountain and grow it into an even more successful business than it already was. The choice to me was clear, quit Tute Genomics.

Quit my job - quit your day job

Some people crave security and would never be happy in the variable world of the entrepreneur, but that is not me. I enjoy the risk (and reward) of building my own company. A day job requires no risk but grants little reward. In my situation I had to go where my focused effort, time, and skills would give me the biggest return. I literally wrote down both choices on a piece of paper and found that the situation with the most value for my family and I was/is my own company, DevMountain.

Be patient.

That is exactly what I did, in August of 2014, I quit my day job to work full time on my startup.

Everything worth having takes time, and patience, passion, and perseverance. All of which are important foundational elements for an entrepreneur. When I quit my job to work at DevMountain I most certainly took a pay cut. I no longer have the nice cushion of a padded pay check every month. But as I said before, in the long run, after everything is said an done, DevMountain will be the better choice. As an entrepreneur you deal in patience, you can take steps every day to work on doing something to improve, build, and construct your new venture.

Get your personal life in order before making the switch.

It has only been a couple of months since quitting my job and joining DevMountain, the company I co-founded full-time, but I can say my stress levels have decreased and my quality of life has improved. I love having the ability to create, build, and grow my own venture, rather than doing it for someone else’s.

Being an entrepreneur takes a lot of grit. It is critical to ensure that your personality has the drive to forge your own agendas. Make sure your personal life can uphold what you are about to take on. If your loved one doesn’t approve of you quitting your current job, it is going to be really hard to be successful building your own company. Make sure you are in a state of life/mind where eating ramen for a couple months or more isn’t that big of deal.

Success starts with you as a leader. But you can only lead if you have followers. Make sure your family is on board, or you will never hear the end of it. Balance the opinion ultimately with what your own mind is telling you. It is a tricky task.

The question of quitting your job to work on your own business is probably one of the hardest one to go about finding a suitable answer to that doesn’t sound outright crazy. It’s in fact such a hard one, that I often see people avoid the question, forever. I say, you will never know what could have been with your own venture if you laser focus on it, but you will always know what will come year in and year out at your current job working for someone else. That’s why I quit my job.

Baby Richards is on the way!

Baby Richards

I am so excited to announce that Nicole is pregnant with our first baby! She is 13 weeks along and I couldn’t be more excited. We have had a few check ups and are just patiently waiting for the lil Richards to join us. I want a boy of course, and Nicole wants a girl. We will just have to wait and see. Go to www.trich.me/baby/ to check out the site dedicated to our baby’s updates. Or if you want your updates just naturally in your feed, follow Baby Richards on Instagram @babyrichards.

Things in life I may never understand.

There are some things in life you will never understand no matter how hard you try, and its better just to leave them as they are. If you do not you are going to spend your whole life over thinking every little thing that happens, and be left with no time to figure yourself out. When this happens you are going to be like a confused Justin Bieber.

I don’t understand people who enjoy running a marathon. Honestly, you pay money to run. Sure maybe you get a medal but so does everyone else who runs the thing. I can see running marathons if you are honestly one of the best in you area or state. But if you are a Joe Schmoe, I just don’t understand.

I don’t understand cricket. But I respect it.

I don’t understand when people name their children generic names. In elementary school I remember thinking to myself “If I have to be referred to as Tyler R. one more time…”

I don’t understand whitey tighties. The male underwear that are like women underwear. I don’t know why they were ever invented.

I don’t understand the incredible popularity of Twilight amongst even adults. I have not read the books and I’ve watched a few of the movies and yeah they were way over my head. I reckon I would have absolutely loved them if I was a 12 year old school girl.

I don’t understand this Korean dating site. Not seriously, I don’t understand it, if you speak korean leave me a comment.

The point of this post is to shed some light on the fact that there are things in life that we will not understand. I try to respect that people have desires, goals, and interests that are totally in conflict with mine. Including people who believe in doing things completely different than me like watching Gossip Girl. I know that there is a path that led us all to the choices that we make. But, I am not you, and you are not me. Everyone has their opinion and way in life.

My election day birthdays are below par. But it’s cool.

Hi. This is me on no sleep. Well, there was some sleep I guess. Just only between the hours of 3am-4am and 4:05am – 7:45am.

Here are the disclaimers: (1) I went to bed at 3 because I was doing some above average design work and I was just feeling the moment and if I stopped I would have gone back to the average design me. (2) There is a 5-minute window when I woke up from a dream involving a cow slaughterhouse and an island murder. (3) I was woken up at 7:45 from my wife who was frantically calling me about voting for today’s election day. She said she was rejected at our assigned polling place, so she made me ruffle through the garbage for a piece of paper that was taped to our door a week ago that had our designated polling place written on it. Amazingly, because of my history of rummaging through garbage, I found the paper. I told her to threaten to hack the polls if they didn’t let her in, but she wouldn’t do it.

The morning was a whole lot to do off no sleep and I’m ovah it. So I am cranky. Ugh, but no sleep t.rich is clearly rude. So I am sorry. I should have started by thanking you for coming and suffering through this boring blog, or even better, thank those who have voted today. Because that ish is important, but that’s not even what this post is about. However it seems like it is going to take over the topic of today’s post.

Originally I was going to post about my birthday tomorrow (I know, I’m vain). But while writing this I have found that there is a better topic afoot.

Every 4 years my birthday is overshadowed by our country’s presidential election. Even right now, as we speak, this blog post is suffering from the same disease…election-over-shadowing-itis. There is no cure for it. We just have to let it take it’s course.

I am not blaming anyone because I actually ignore my birthday on those days too. And if it was someone else’s birthday on election day, I would ignore the crap out of it. I’m not saying we should forget about voting, election day, and our country because I’m all about it. But it would be majestic if I at least got a shout out from a candidate or something. “I promise to bring down taxes. Oh, and t.rich, happy birthday”. My klout rating would sky rocket!

Honestly my birthdays are pure awesome. Just the ones on or the day after president election days drift a bit. I just want the election day birthdays to be up to par, for their sake, because I could care less. I have this weird thing where I feel like my birthdays are living things and have feelings and prepare their whole miserable birthday life for their one day to shine. That being said, my election day birthdays are going through some deep depressions. I’m sorry little guys.

I guess I just need to put my life on hold for a year, because my most important birthdays have fallen on election years. This year is my 25th birthday, it’s tomorrow, and that’s a quarter of a century. I am now older than half the world (don’t believe me? Look). Then the last election date, 4 years ago, was on my 21st birthday! Then 8 years ago on Election Day, I was 17. Then before that my 13th. I was going through some serious puberty issues at the time and no one cared! Seventeen isn’t that important, but you catch my drift.

What my typical election birthday conversation looks like:

Someone:             Tyler, did you vote?
Me:                       Yea, I voted …oh… and today is my birthday
Someone:             Ok, who did you vote for?
Me:                       No. I said today is my birthday.                                                    Someone:             Turn the channel to fox news please.

What my dream election birthday conversation looks like:

Someone:             Tyler, did you vote?
Me:                       Please address me appropriately.
Someone:             Award winning birthday homie, t.rich, did you vote?
Me:                       Yes, I did.                                                                                     Someone:             Awesome. Happy birthday. Here is $100.

For those coming to this post thinking this had something to do with politics, I am very sorry. My titles can be sometimes very misleading. But to let you know I am thinking about you, here is a picture for your enjoyment:

I bet one of these guys will win.


“Allow me to re-introduce myself” – Jay-Z

My last blog post was boring, and I forgot to establish who I am or what I am going to do on this thing. This will most likely turn into a blog about page. So, here it goes.

Hello, I’m trich. But you can call me t-rich. You say it like “tee-riCH”. It’s like a rapper’s nickname he got from his home boys. Not like trich, or T.R.I.C.H. There is just a lot of confusion and I thought I would set things straight, because I just don’t want any guesses.

Hopefully it will be a honor to meet you. Welcome to my sweet world of awesome. I’m just a regular strength man, and actually probably less than average, with extra strength capabilities. Once upon a time I was a nobody, but then I found the internet, and the lush power it holds. Follow me through my journey of barking orders to my computer so it will spit out awesomeness in the form of blog entries.

Around my house I am the king of my mac book and the random insects that decide to stroll in. Other than that, I am ruled, by the one I love. Some would say I chose “death by marriage” but I say “it’s the best choice I ever made”. I live in the Provo suburbs. Yes that’s possible, it’s called Orem. I live with my wife. Sometimes she wishes that I didn’t, purely because sometimes I yell out loud words like “poop” and “WHHHAAAA?”.

This blog’s goal is to help everyone to find a way to have both your cake and eat it to. Except not at the same time, because that is just impossible. Because first you have it, then you eat it. You have my permission to take these blog entries and turn it into a book, and make millions. I get 89.3% of all profits though.

Have a good time here. Cheers. If you are looking for the other trich, look here.

Keeping It Simple

I have finally updated my website! Hence this new blog feature that you are currently reading on. I’ve been wanting to do some tweaks here and there for at least the last 6 months, but I just hadn’t found the time. Between BYU and MatchMate, sometimes I just want to shove spiders down my throat due to the lack of time. But finally, at the cost of my wife’s boredom, this last friday and saturday I sat down and cranked it out.

While throwing down the lines of code and pixel making in illustrator, I found a theme I really wanted to stick with…keeping it simple. I really didn’t want much of anything happening. I just wanted it so dumb that I could even get what was going on. And I wanted it so cool that I wanted my friends to say “woah, that’s cool”. Not just internet friends, but my real friends, like people i’ve actually seen and touched (not like really touched, you know what i mean).

I feel like alot of sites on the web are doing the same thing. This site is awesome, and this one too. That’s the kind of design i’m talking about. I’ve always dreamed of creating a site that gets some attention and traffic. Trust me, from someone who thrives on internet attention, it hasn’t happened yet.

Cross my fingers.