Stepping Down as CEO of Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth was my first company to make a significant impact in the world: used by 4,000 businesses across 15 different countries, rewarded millions of people, oversaw billions $$ in transactions, raised 2.3m in venture financing, built an all-star team and much more – all in less than 4 years. This made it an extremely difficult decision to step down as CEO of the company, but I believe it was the right one.

I will remain on the board of directors of the company and shareholder, and I will always be happy to connect to any merchants and partners any time to help. I will be spending my time in Toronto for the time being, but I’ll be in Waterloo every so often. None of my contact info has changed.

Sweet Tooth is Still Growing and Doing Well

The first thing you should know is that Sweet Tooth is still growing profitably. The #1 priority is still helping Sweet Tooth merchants succeed. Sweet Tooth will continue to grow and innovate, improve and adapt. Not much will change in the short term.

Sweet Tooth Logo

Why I Stepped Down

I love bringing in the energy, launching new products, helping people succeed and leading a team to the top. I’m a risk-taker, anyone who has worked with me will know that, but at this stage of growth Sweet Tooth needs someone who will carefully observe the fine details and build insightful conclusions out of the data over time. Mike is better suited to take over those responsibilities.

When I recruited Mike it was because I knew he was extremely intelligent, would/could learn any new skill in any field, he loved solving problems and was a fantastic leader. We were classmates and he was the first friend I made in the Engineering program I attended at UW. I’m glad I’ve been able to leave the company in the hands of someone so capable.

What’s Next for Me?

I’m still working with Sweet Tooth and I may continue doing so, but I recently launched websites for my two new projects: Coincart and Share To Give.

Coincart is an anonymous bitcoin eCommerce platform.

Coincart Logo

Share To Give is a social rewards app that helps merchants gain social referrals and sales by giving to charity. 

Share To Give logo

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or just want to chat! I can usually be found at the new Google office building at 111 Richmond St West in Toronto.

Taking it from good to great is what will make you a amazing leader.

Every growing company will have problems along the way. It’s a consequence of being distruptive to the market.

Do you think Apple was always so great? Microsoft did not veer from their constant upswing from time to time? Even Google and Facebook consistently receive a flood of love-hate.

Being part of a growing company can be a party one week and a death spiral the next week. 

Recognizing that every company in the world has its ups and downs is tough. 
Getting it back on track when it goes down is what will make you a great leader.

As a leader, you need to identify the problem, invent a solution, let go of your emotions, trust your team and move on – quickly. 

Kik is a great example. 2 years ago RIM hit them with a patent lawsuite in the wake of their exploading success. What Ted Livingston, their CEO, and the Kik team did to revive the messenger’s success up to it’s now 19-million userbase is simply extraordinary. Kik even returned to Blackberry despite the harsh feelings.

Seems hard, right? IT IS HARD! That’s why when you hit the skids with your project and bring it back successfully you’ll be a far better leader than you have ever been.