159: Leading a Startup | with Josh Kent, CEO of SunFrog Shirts



What does it take to lead a team that builds a startup into a nationally recognized company in less than three years, with an annual growth rate of more than 1,000%?

Josh Kent is the CEO and founder of over a dozen startups, including SunFrog Shirts, which launched in 2013 and is currently the largest T-shirt company in the United States. In this interview, Josh shares his personal story of failures, successes, and the lessons learned along the way. Josh will share how he built a winning team, how he uses a combination of high-touch and high-tech to cultivate the company’s culture despite its explosive growth, and how he leads a workforce of not only several hundred employees locally but also 80,000 affiliates globally.

In addition, Jesse and Josh discuss:

  • Holding intentional events to strengthen a fun, healthy culture;
  • How new employees are introduced to the culture;
  • Developing leadership skills of managers, including foundational training as well as an ongoing weekly “book club”;
  • How to conduct daily “huddles,” weekly “super huddles,” and monthly town halls;
  • How to take advantage of the affiliation business model; and
  • Managing task lists on a cascading basis, and inspecting what you expect.

Josh Kent is listed as one of Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs to Watch, and Inc.com recently featured him as an industry disrupter. According to Alexa, SunFrog.com is now one of the 500 most trafficked sites in the world, making it more popular than Mashable, Reuters, and Nordstrom.

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