The Courageous Podcast with Ryan Berman

The Courageous Podcast Episode #23: Ryan Hogan (CEO, Hunt A Killer)

Episode Summary

Escape rooms are all the rage. But how to make them scalable? Enter serial entrepreneur Ryan Hogan who is the Co-founder and CEO of Hunt A Killer, an innovative gaming company that delivers clues, items and correspondence to your doorstep that creates an interactive and immersive story for its Members. Hunt A Killer received the honor of ranking No. 6 on Inc. Magazine’s 5000 list of fastest growing privately-held companies in the U.S. in 2020. To date, Ryan and his team have shipped over two-million episodes, surpassed 100,000 subscribers, and has doubled revenue year over year without outside investors, with continued growth expected. In this episode of the Courageous Podcast, we go to town walking through the many pivots Hogan had to embark on in his business lifetime. Ryan also shares the common thread he sees from each of his previous ventures to his current success. Finally, Ryan gives amazing advice to any entrepreneur trying to find their way navigating this uncertain business in the world.

Episode Notes

3:55 - Serial entrepreneurism, the Navy and new cities

5:42 - Perseverance and getting through adversity.  

7:39 - Don't get lost in the plan

7:47 - "Business plans are crap..especially in a start-up.  Day 1 your plan changes..."

7:58 - "My philosophy is LAUNCH...something to get started and get feedback"

9:58 - Only had one partner through my successful ventures...a lifelong friend

10:16 - I look for two things in a founder...TRUST...and...BALANCE.

12:24 - We all face fear and risks when starting something new...use the wins to build confidence no matter how small

15:41 - If this doesn't work, that's ok...part of beating back that fear

15:56 - Have the confidence that if everything'll be ok.  There is something else you can do!

17:12 - First lesson of if you build it...they DON'T come

19:05 - The evolution of an idea based on a failed one...

19:49 - Creating immersive experiences

20:09 - It's all about the pivots

20:23 - Went from exploding to imploding...learning entrepreneurism while scaling a company

23:33 - Firm believer in the LEAN startup

25:03 - Passionate about bringing people together

26:38 - We've been struck by lightning twice

27:09 - Must understand the key indicators of your business and the leading NOT lagging indicators

27:21 - Getting the right people in the right places is key

27:47 - Always hiring for what we need next, today.  Helps us get where we are going. If you hire the right people it comes back.

29:47 - Hunt a Killer...we have to make it feel real...we create a universe for you to experience

34:40 - What keeps me up at night is the unknowns

35:20 - Partnership with Lionsgate

35:27 - 3 pronged strategy - diversification of distribution, intellectual property, new genres

38:10 - The move to digital distribution

39:29 - Take some big swings every year

39:58 - Getting others to believe what you believe - genuinity, excitement, authenticity

40:44 - Team building kits for companies42:40:17 - Atrophy could keep us from achieving our goals - need to constantly challenge our own thoughts, biases, and ideas

44:04 - Two big things in entrepreneurism- just start and don't let your attachment to the initial idea get in your way