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Startup co-founder and CEO: What I do and how much I make

What's it like to run a startup? Jon talks about his responsibilities and compensation as co-founder and CEO of Kodable, a Bay Area startup.

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Video transcript

My name's Jon Mattingly. I'm CEO and Co-Founder of Kodable. I am 26 years old and I make $75,000 a year. So Kodable is a startup. We're located in Sunnyvale, California in the middle of Silicon Valley. We have a programming curriculum for elementary schools. We start kids in kindergarten. We teach them basic programming logic and by the time they're done with fifth grade they can learn JavaScript. So our mission at Kodable is to teach every student in the world about computer science, not just in the United States but all over the world. We've been used by a little over half of the elementary schools in the US already. We're used in over 180 countries around the world. So I'm the CEO and Co-Founder. That means that one, I was crazy enough to start my own company, and two, I run the day-to-day aspects of the company as well. So I'm a Technical CEO, meaning that I can program as well as run the company. A lot of what I do is work on our product. I built the first version of everything that we have now. I don't work as much on it anymore but I work on our website, our backend servers, I might work on our game or our teacher dashboard programming-wise. I also run our HR, do some of our marketing, our support, I answer support questions from teachers daily, email, a lot of different things. The CEO's biggest job at any stage is to make sure the company is moving in the right direction. When you're a smaller company like we are you do a lot more of the grunt work, you do a little bit of everything, but as you get bigger it's your job to really understand the big picture, so understand where the company is moving and then you've got all of these different pieces that you need to make sure are all working in harmony to push in that direction. The time I actively spend focusing on my startup, probably about 12 hours a day. So right now I make $75,000 a year. For the first few years at Kodable I actually didn't take a salary. That's pretty common. The time length that it takes to not take a salary is different depending on the company, but I didn't take a salary for a while. When we were able to raise some money from investors I was able to take enough. I pretty much decide what my salary is, and my theory behind this is that I need to pay myself enough so that I can pay all my bills, pay my expenses, not worry about money, not be worrying about how I'm gonna make rent next month, but other than that anything over that needs to go back to the company.