Harrison founded Spokeo in 2006. It’s a people intelligence service with 15 million unique visitors per day. 

And in today’s podcast, we’re making the shortest jump we’ve made on the show —the 9th of March. 

When SVB collapsed.

It was 12.52 pm. And Harrison got a Slack message from his team members. SVB had made a statement reassuring their clients that they would be safe, even though their stocks had just made a 60% drop. 

Although SVB wasn’t their main bank account — some of the team members were worried. 

But Harrison wasn’t. 

Although there was a little uncertainty, the stock drop shouldn’t affect their deposits. 

He’s the CEO — he had meetings to attend. And it was important not to be distracted. 

Less than an hour later — the SVB stock drop had made the headlines. 

VCs were advising their portfolios to withdraw their money from the bank. 

This was a red flag.

Harrison asked his team to make a plan B for the company’s accounts. 

Luckily, he had a lot of systems in place to make this plan quickly. 

And the first step was to fully understand the situation. They had to figure out how much money they had in each bank, evaluate the risks, how big the problem was, and go from there. 

By 3 pm, other banks had started emailing Harrison asking if he wanted to transfer his money to their banks. 

Things weren’t going to end well for SVB, and this is the moment when Harrison realised he maybe wasn’t going to have a lot of time to act. 

The company had a checking account with SVB — and if they didn’t get the money out… Harrison might not be able to make payroll next week. 

Within 10 minutes of this realisation, he had a report detailing what their options were and what the situation was. 

Decisions necessary were made by 4 pm. And by 4.20, actions were taken. 

Within 24 hours, the bank had collapsed. 

But while this process was fast and organised. It wasn’t how Harrison normally would do things. 

Managing Uncertainty — By Taking Your Time

When the collapse started, Harrison wasn’t too bothered. What’s $1 billion to a bank like SVB? Not a lot.

Having been an entrepreneur from a young age — Harrison is very firm in his philosophy about not rushing things.

Harrison best summarises this by explaining that, because he is the CEO, people expect him to know everything — but he doesn’t. 

When he takes a full day to carefully consider a solution — he finds the best answers. Whereas, if he rushes and does things quickly, only bad decisions will be made.

For Harrison, nothing in life is that urgent you need to do it right away.

There will always be opportunities to grow — and if you’re going fast, you might not see them. 

But, on March 9th — there was no time to look for answers later.

He had to act fast. But, because he and his team were prepared, he was able to act accordingly — without stressing or rushing. 

In this episode, Harrison shares the shock that was yet to come as he and his team tried to rescue their money before it was too late. 

We discuss

  • Remaining optimistic even in tough situations
  • Tips for staying calm under pressure
  • The power behind preparation

Harrison went from just another day of meetings to dealing with a financial crisis that could have resulted in not making payroll. But he made it through quite easily. 

Tune in for all of the moving parts that made that possible.