Mike Evans left his job as CEO of GrubHub after taking it public. He did so in order to unwind the twelve years of insane work that almost killed his marriage and left him utterly spent. While it was a formative decision, he still needed to decide what he was going to do next in his life. For Evans, that meant embarking upon a journey and crossing the United States by bicycle in order to reconnect with himself and find purpose for the road ahead.
On this week’s episode of FOMO Sapiens, Mike talks about his new book, “Hangry.” It details Mike’s road from startup to IPO, and shares what he learned on his journey across America. He also talks about what it’s like to start a new venture and how things are different this time around.
Meet our guest:
I grew up in northwest Georgia, the youngest feral child of a heroic single mom. Like most kids in a small town, I got up to mischief. But, unlike most kids, I had a talent for taking things to the next level. Flaming arrows arching into neighbors’ backyards, fireworks shot at cars, and being chased off neighbors’ roofs were just a few of the things that a long-suffering mom had to deal with on a weekly basis. Fortunately, my innovative streak propelled me to MIT, where my talents were more productively employed. After MIT, I founded GrubHub and ran it for 12 years through the IPO. To this day, I’m asked the question “Why did you leave?” by friends, reporters, and dumbfounded podcasts hosts alike. The business world is chock-full of people who just don’t understand why anyone would walk away from so much money and prestige. Which, in turn, has always dumbfounded me. These are not the things a well-lived life is made of. After GrubHub, I took a few months to get my head on straight and rode a bicycle from the Atlantic to the Pacific, with a big detour over the peaks of most of the Rockies. Since then, I’ve gone back to the grindstone, creating a tech-forward handyperson startup, Fixer, with the intention of rebooting trade education in the United States. Why? Because it’s hard, and it’s needed. I founded GrubHub because I wanted a pizza and getting pizza was hard. I didn’t expect how it would change me to want to make a difference in the lives of my employees, my community, and even the world. This is why I believe personal vision matters. When you know what you stand for, you know how to make a difference in what matters to you.