Executive Post: A Relative Newcomer’s Take on Goal Zero

This blog post was written by Trent Read, chief financial officer of Goal Zero.

Hello to all who take the time to read what I have to say. I’m going to be frequently contributing to the Goal Zero blog from now on, so I’ll do my best to keep it interesting. We’ll quickly see if I’m successful. To provide some brief background, I have been with Goal Zero since January of this year…which makes me a relative newcomer here at one of the fastest growing companies in the country.

Goal Zero CFO Trent Read and family

When I say that we are one of the fastest growing companies in the country, as a reference, if we were old enough to be in the Inc. 500 we would finish this year in the top 50 and once next year is in the books we could be as high as top 10 (by the way, from a solid year one figure unlike most top 10 finishers who use Beta/insignificant revenue as their starting point…weak sauce).

So the logical question is, ‘How is Goal Zero growing so fast?’ Well, at the risk of being overly cliché, I’m going to go ahead and quote Steve Jobs. According to the April 2012 Harvard Business Review Steve Jobs said, “My passion has been to build an enduring company where people were motivated to make great products. Everything else was secondary. Sure, it was great to make a profit, because that was what allowed you to make great products. But the products, not the profits, were the motivation. Sculley flipped these priorities to where the goal was to make money. It’s a subtle difference, but it ends up meaning everything—the people you hire, who gets promoted, what you discuss in meetings.”

Anyone who knows our founder, Robert Workman, knows his passion is for creating great products that will change the world for the better. That passion has been imbued into everyone at Goal Zero. We are working to create products that will make the world a better place to live. Even better, it’s not in trivial ways, but in ways that will make peoples’ lives safer and fuller. We’re helping light villages in Africa! We’re helping people prepare for disasters! We’re helping people document their adventures by harnessing the power of the sun rather than lugging around replacement batteries. And the fun part is that this is only the beginning.

I come to work in the morning absolutely stoked that I am now a part of something really meaningful. I speak with customers and they consistently love our products…heck I love our products too! I also love our product road map. There are some seriously exciting things that you will be seeing from Goal Zero in the coming months and years. These exciting things are just the highly visible “what” that comes from Goal Zero’s “why.” Goal Zero’s “why,” our reason for being, is to empower human potential. We exist to help people live with Zero Boundaries, Zero Regrets, and Zero Apathy.

I have been a part of some great companies. I’ve worked at four Fortune 100 companies (Honeywell, Cisco, Wells Fargo, UPS) and a Global 500 company (Deutsche Bank). I’ve worked at two smaller companies (Sagent Advisors and OrangeSoda). I have learned a lot at each stop and have always been someone who enjoys work. But unequivocally, I have never been a part of a company that had me this excited to get into work in the morning. Like the quote above from Mr. Jobs, this company is filled with passion for great products and as a result this will be an enduring company. I am grateful to be a part of it and will be doing everything I can to help empower human potential and basically change the world for the better.

That’s my take on Goal Zero. I’d love to hear your thoughts. You can DM me on Twitter (@TrentRead). I look forward to hearing your thoughts and hopefully my contributions to this blog will be worth reading.


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