CEO Bryan Clayton Thought Outsourcing Technology Development Would Be Better Than Building It

CEO Bryan Clayton Thought Outsourcing Technology Development Would Be Better Than Building It


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My guest for Episode #184 of the My Favorite Mistake podcast is Bryan Clayton. He is the Co-Founder and CEO of GreenPal, an online marketplace that connects homeowners with local lawn care professionals. GreenPal has been called the “Uber for lawn care” by Entrepreneur magazine and has over 300,000 active users completing thousands of transactions per day.

Before starting GreenPal, 10 years ago, Bryan Clayton founded Peachtree Inc., one of the largest landscaping companies in the state of Tennessee, growing it to over 150 people and $10 million a year in annual revenue before it was acquired in 2013. Bryan‘s interest and expertise are related to entrepreneurism, small business growth, marketing, and bootstrapping businesses from zero revenue to profitability and exit.

In this episode, Bryan tells his favorite mistake story about outsourcing the development of the GreenPal app, thinking all he had to do was the marketing. What went wrong and how did he discover the mistake? What did he learn and what did he learn about mistakes, leadership, and culture in an organization more broadly?

We also talk about questions and topics including:

  • Where did you get the idea to outsource?
  • When did you first start discovering that it was a mistake?
  • Using “Lean Startup” principles?
  • What was your Minimum Viable Product? 
  • What’s your mindset on mistakes that happen in the company now? 
  • From a culture standpoint, what did you learn from the first company that you applied to the second?
  • “You get the company culture that you deserve as a leader”
  • “I made every mistake you could make” – felt victimized
  • “Took me a long time to self reflect about the mistakes I made.”
  • Do you ask for feedback from employees about the culture?
  • Mistakes people make when hiring a lawn care company?

Scroll down to find:

  • Video of the episode
  • Quotes
  • How to subscribe
  • Full transcript

Find Bryan and GreenPal on social media:

Watch the Full Episode:


"You handle the business, we'll handle the tech. And so we were kind of seduced by that. It wasn't their fault. It was really kind of our fault. But, yeah, it was very much wishful thinking."  - Bryan Clayton
"Business is a series of going from one failure to the next without a loss of enthusiasm. And so you're gonna make mistakes. You're gonna screw up.Try to learn from 'em and keep going." Bryan Clayton
"As a founder of a business, you get exactly the company culture you deserve. And so you get exactly the vibe, the enthusiasm from your people, that you deserve. It's an extension of you." - Bryan Clayton

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Automated Transcript (Likely Contains Mistakes)

Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. His latest book is Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. He also published the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus. He is also a Senior Advisor and Director of Strategic Marketing with the healthcare advisory firm, Value Capture.