Episode 28 | How to Excite and Amaze Your Customers Through Giving with Omaze CEO Ryan Cummins

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Too often, companies are focused on how they can extract value from an opportunity or market, and not on the value they can provide.

Not so for Ryan Cummins and Omaze, the Los Angeles-based company that raises money and awareness for caused-based charities by creating the chance to win once in a lifetime experiences.

Ryan, along with co-CEO Matt Pohlson, lead a team of 58 rockstars in a shared workspace with mobile gaming studio Scopely – a fact that comes with some serendipitous cross cultural benefits.

Ryan can trace his dual passions for story telling and caused-based philanthropy to his days in film production, when he and Matt worked on projects like Al Gore’s global concert Live Earth, and Girl Rising, a documentary about young women in developing countries making their mark in tech.

As Ryan tells us in the episode, giving is a powerful force in delighting Omaze’s audience, and the power of giving isn’t limited to philanthropy-based organizations. In fact, he argues that businesses in every industry can harness the transformative power of giving.

Ryan had a ton of amazing insight for us, including how the team at Omaze practices a form of radical candor, and the surprising way Ryan uses fear and self doubt as a tool of self-transformation.

Key Takeaways

  • Ryan describes the origin of his dual passions for storytelling and philanthropy, and how these two impulses inspired him to found Omaze with partner Matt Pohlson.
  • Ryan relays an anecdote about his nieces and nephews that taught him the value of storytelling, and tells us how companies can harness the power of good stories.
  • Ryan tells us about one of Omaze’s coolest campaigns involving cast members from the new Star Wars films.
  • Ryan tells us why Omaze makes it a point to practice radical candor when it comes to providing feedback, and tells us a method to ensure feedback is communicated effectively.
  • Ryan tells us what makes a good leader, and describes what he’s currently doing to become a better one.
  • Ryan tells us what it’s like sharing a workspace with a startup from another industry (gaming studio Scopely), and describes what the two companies have learned from one another.
  • Finally, Ryan talks candidly about personal fear and self-doubt, and tells us the surprising way he’s turned his fear into a powerful tool of self transformation.


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