Joe Stump on How SimpleGeo Co-Founder Grows Into Leadership Role

In Chapter 1 of 17 in his 2011 Capture Your Flag interview, Internet entrepreneur and SimpleGeo CTO Joe Stump shares what is getting easier and harder in his life. Personally, Stump finds his groove in his relationships and beliefs. Meeting many new people through work and travel, he adjusts to manage relationships better. Professionally, starting and managing a company gives him perspective on pressure previously unseen in his corporate roles. Stump transitions into a co-founder and board member role, contrasting it to being a normal employee or corporate executive. Stump is the co-founder and CTO at SimpleGeo (, a San Francisco-based mobile location infrastructure services company. Previously Stump was Lead Architect at Digg. He programs in PHP, Python, Django and enjoys scaling websites. He earned a BBA in Computer Information Systems from Eastern Michigan University.


Erik Michelsen:  What is getting easier and what’s getting harder in your life?

Joe Stump: I think the whole searching for yourself thing has gotten a lot easier as I’ve gotten older.  I’ve kind of got a lady that I don’t have to worry about. It’s like the first girl I’ve ever dated that it is what it is. It’s awesome and I don’t have that “grass is greener on the other side” feeling anymore.  That’s gotten a lot easier.  A lot of pressure gone on that.  As I kind of come into my own as a person, I don’t worry or care about what other people think, that’s elevated a lot of pressure. 

What’s gotten harder is I don’t have enough time to do everything that I want to do and I really wish I had more time to do more things with more people.  My social circle has expanded greatly over the last five years and I’m finding that I don’t have enough time to visit everybody that I’d like to visit.  And as I progress in my career, there are a lot more responsibilities that are work related that add a tremendous amount of pressure.  There is a world of difference between even being a VP at a company and being a co-founder and board member and somebody that – there is a lot of pressure that goes along with that that is much different than being a normal employee.  So, that is what has gotten harder, but at the same time a lot of the normal social stresses have almost completely gone away.