Hamid Shojaee: AZ Disruptors
In today’s episode, we talk to Hamid Shojaee, an entrepreneur and investor who recently sold his business, Axosoft. Hamid has been passionate about the tech and programming industry from a young age, and he has started several success businesses since then. Recently, he and his wife have dedicated 10 million towards Arizona tech startups.
Hamid Shojaee is an entrepreneur and investor. He moved to Arizona from Iran when he was 10 years old, and has called Arizona his home ever since. Since he was 12 years old, Hamid was passionate about programming and wanted to one day be an entrepreneur like his parents. He absolutely achieved that goal and has started several successful businesses throughout his career.
“By the end of high school, I knew I was going to do something in software for myself one day. So, I kept dabbling and putting out software products and putting them on the internet for free.”
In college, Hamid started his first software business with his roommate. After 5 years, he left his business to go work at Microsoft for a couple years. It was during those years that Hamid worked nights and weekends developing software for project management, which eventually turned into Axosoft.
Axosoft is an organization that develops software to help companies with project management needs. In 2014, he left his position at Axosoft to become the CEO of Pure Chat, a company he had started during his time there. Hamid recently sold both Axosoft and Pure Chat last year in 2020. Since having two large exits last year, he and his wife decided they wanted to invest 10 million dollars into Arizona startups.
What inspired you to invest 10 million into Arizona tech startups?
“When we decided to invest, I wanted to focus on making Arizona that much better, because Arizona has given so much to me.”
What is one thing you learned from your first software company that you applied to starting Axosoft?
“The one major mistake we made in our first company was that we tried to do 4 or 5 different things right off the bat, and that was a huge mistake. Coming off of that, focus was a big lesson I had learned… As an entrepreneur, it’s hard not to pursue your ideas because you don’t just have one idea. You have lots of them.”
What is the “30 days off” philosophy?
At Axosoft, “once a year, we would take 30 days off and do other things. We made that part of our system. Every year, we would take a month and dedicate it to all of us working on other products that have nothing to do with our business… Those side projects ended up creating two other products that they themselves became million dollar companies.”
Advice on starting a business:
“One of the discussions that I had recently was how important it is to accept that 90% of what you’re doing is probably a mistake. That is okay, because that 10% that works ends up making up for the 90% that doesn’t work.”
Follow him on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/hamidshojaee/
Learn more about AZ Disruptors https://azdisruptors.com/
Listen to Hamid’s AZ Tech Podcast https://aztechbeat.com/podcast/