Photo: Business Insider
I was almost stranded on my bike on the back roads of Colorado today—but for the good graces of Ryan Holmes, CEO of Canadian social-media startup Hootsuite, who fixed a fouled-up chain and got me on my way.I’m in Aspen, Colo. this week hobnobbing with billionaires and startup CEOs at Fortune’s Brainshare conference. Monday morning began with a guided bike ride, 50 miles of pedaling on gorgeous roads, guided by a team from Chris Carmichael Training Systems. Carmichael coached Lance Armstrong and a host of other Olympic and Ironman champions. (He was supposed to be part of today’s ride, but he didn’t show up.)
I kind of crashed the party. The ride was sold out, but since I live in Colorado, and was driving to Aspen, I told the organisers that I would bring my own bike and tag along. I got the OK for that—as long as I signed their liability waiver.
I was one of maybe 50 riders. All but three of us were men. Not surprisingly, most of those guys rode off fast, ignoring the guide’s warning that “this is not a race.” So I was pretty much pedaling by myself at the start of a 10-mile climb. I shifted down and my chain jumped off the ring. I can fix that, but in this case it wound around the pedal crank and was good and stuck. The Carmichael guys were way ahead leading the ride.
Holmes was pedaling by, and gallantly stopped and fixed my bike. Then he pedaled my slow pace and chatted. We traded tales about how bicycle-friendly our towns are (Vancouver, British Columbia versus Fort Collins, Colo.) Hootsuite, now at about 190 employees, is so filled with bike fanatics that the offices look like a bike shop, he says. Hootsuite also sponsors a bike team.
I meet a LOT of startup CEOs in this job—so when I say that this guy is really, really nice, I really, really mean it.
Hootsuite makes a tool that helps companies manage multiple social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) It can’t hurt to be sociable in his business.