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11 Quotes for Startups and Small Business from Eventbrite Founder, Julia Hartz

Julia Hartz Startup QuotesJulia Hartz is the cofounder and President of Eventbrite, the online ticketing company that helps anyone (not just big musical acts) open their own box office for events. Before starting Eventbrite, Julia worked in the television industry working at MTV and FX Network on shows like JackAss, The Shield, and Nip/Tuck.

Julia left her television career shortly after she met her future husband, Kevin Hartz, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur (he founded Zoom and had worked with PayPal). When he asked Julia if she wanted to start a business together, she said yes and hasn’t looked back. In the eight years since, Eventbrite has grown into an amazing company—with more than 500 employees, offices around the world, and $1 billion in ticket sales in 2014.

Along the way Julia has had a lot to say about the challenges of building a new business and building a great culture. Here are a few of the things she has said that we think will inspire other startup founders:

“I had to learn how to ask for help. Everyone always thinks it’s brave to go out alone, but I think it’s even braver to put yourself out there in front of others, and to figure out how to work together.”

“The culture in your company will carry some of your DNA as founders. For example, I can’t keep a secret to save my life. We have an open-source culture.”

“[One] of the obstacles we faced in the beginning [was]—and still remain our same obstacles—is focus. There are so many different ways you can take this, and yet through the tenure of Eventbrite we committed to being focused on the ticketing… I think it’s been a real challenger; an obstacle in itself to not get too distracted by all the possibilities.”

“Walk the walk: model to your team what you find most important in the way you think, behave, and make decisions.”

“First and foremost it’s important to choose the right partner. I feel like Kevin is a natural-born entrepreneur and I’m a natural-born operator, and we just so happen to get together. I think it was sort of fortuitous that we were able to start Eventbrite together, but looking back in hindsight I think it’s so incredibly important to choose the right partner. That can make all the difference in the world, honestly.”

“Time and again, we learn that it’s foolish to take culture for granted or merely trust your good intentions to win the day. As with any other crucial aspect of a growing business, you need the right technology and tools.”

“I didn’t want to dictate the culture. I didn’t want to get in the way of brilliance happening. If you want to build a sustainable culture, you have to have a strong philosophy and then let people do with it what they will and be okay with that.”

“It’s important to ask for a lot of advice, seek a lot of mentorship, and actually listen to all the data inputs that you’re getting. It can be overwhelming… often times entrepreneurs will be siloed and be heads-down and will not want to seek outside advice. That can really hinder the outcome of their product.”

“People aren’t expendable and I didn’t want to have to correct any hiring. I wanted to get it right from the beginning.”

“Culture is absolutely so key to keeping you centered in those moments of disaster. When you create a great culture you are creating a family, you are creating something that ultimately keeps you centered… so it’s really important to think about how you are building your team.”

“Creating a strong company culture isn’t just good business. It’s the right thing to do, and it makes your company better for all stakeholders—employees, management, and customers.”

—Julia Hartz, Co-founder and President of Eventbrite

Amber Ooley
Amber Ooley
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