He might be known for building successful companies, but more importantly, Jon Fisher knows how to build and maintain strong family bonds. After all, according to Jon, the amount of quality time he is able to spend with his wife and young daughter is the true measure of his success.
After cofounding and becoming CEO of three startups — all owned by leading Fortune 500 companies — his latest venture, CrowdOptic, is known for its augmented-reality technology. But Jon, who is living his best life, is already living the dream – no virtual reality needed!
Aside from embarking on successful entrepreneurial endeavors, Jon is deeply dedicated to ensuring that he does all he can to make this world a better place for his 9-year-old daughter and future generations and is even on the Biden for President Finance Committee.
Let’s just say that Fisher has found his way in Silicon Valley and wants to spread his message that it is indeed possible to achieve financial success without sacrificing family values. “I live in a small seaside town, and I’ll take this level of success and level of consciousness within my network, whereas so many millennials are conditioned to be great even if it means jeopardizing everything for your build. If this message can help some guy who is more talented to be more of a human being, I’m happy,” explained Jon.
After delivering a commencement speech at the University of San Francisco, the video of Jon speaking went viral and has since been viewed by over one million people. In fact, Jon’s impactful message keeps on resonating and gaining an even broader reach. According to Jon:
“Everybody wants to be Elon Musk, but you can still get to a high level of success without getting to that level. In this world we’re living in, I’m trying to project a bit of a refreshing message out there. It’s something that I’ve practiced for a long time. I’m just trying to be a person in Silicon Valley. You can change the world and live under the radar and still feel like what you’re doing is super rewarding. My wife and I recently celebrated 17 years of marriage and I volunteer dozens of hours a week at my daughter’s school. The reason I joined the Biden for President Finance Committee is because he strikes me as a very good human being. I just want others to know that they too can be happy both in their career and in their family life. This is the first time that I’ve jumped into something politically like that, I just feel that we’ve reached the point of no return. If we can create an army of people doing this in the Valley and in Hollywood and in professional sports, we can turn things around, or at least slow the onslaught.”
Jon keeps stepping up his startup game and has gained the attention of many influential investors along the way, including the former president of Oracle, who was one of Jon’s earliest investors. At one point, John Elway even invested in Jon’s technology and put it in Bronco Stadium. “I say my companies look just like a Seth Rogen movie,” explained Jon. “He doesn’t build blockbusters or go crazy with budget. He makes content with few resources — like the way I build startups with few resources.”
By creating patents and jobs, Jon is indeed doing his part to make this planet a better place. In fact, you can find Fisher named on over a hundred patents! CrowdOptic, which is already a crowd-pleaser, is helping to revolutionize the athletic and medical fields. With CrowdOptic’s technology, surgeons are able to train for medical procedures without having to be in the field. “I love the inventing part. Our software allows medical professionals and salespeople to work on things remotely rather than flying around. Whether it be in hospitals or teaching physicians, you are selling billions of dollars in medical devices and you must install these devices as a function of compliance and train others. When it comes to building a startup, I make sure not to waste time and resources. A lot of people fail trying to raise too much money and being too aggressive.”
Jon explained that the reason why he is able to remain successful while staying committed to his family is because “we are a long-standing and cohesive team. I’ve invented and founded these companies with the same core engineering team, and same co-workers. The joke around here that is we consider ourselves a less good-looking, legal, married-with-children version of the Oceans 11 team. We’re building good companies and selling them to other companies. Running a company is a lot like exercise — it’s discipline. Thinking of something in your head and then seeing it practiced is super special. It’s the path of least resistance when it comes to making a contribution to the world. We’re building software that’s going around the world. If you work this way you can put family first, even in a cut-throat industry like this. I have a lot of free time because we have different satellite offices and don’t really have to commute. We’ve been together for so long that we automatically know what we have to do.”
This mentality of maintaining a flourishing and functioning family life while being financially stable is all part of the Fisher family philosophy: “I think I got it from my dad. He’s a particle physicist at Stanford and PhD there. He came into my room when I was 12 or 13 and was honest about appreciating talent and greatness. He instilled in me the belief that you can self-actualize a lot of your happiness and see where you fit in in the world. He passed on to me that you can avoid the traditional pitfalls of disdain by this self-actualization process.”
The forward-thinking Fisher, who has authored Strategic Entrepreneurialism — now required reading at a number of top MBA programs — also explained that “operationalizing companies is a great way to create a successful company without being overfinanced. Just look at WeWork as an example of what can happen. People refuse to be students of history. There were 500 photo sharing companies at one time but only a few have made it. It’s really this herd mentality and it’s a shame to see the mistakes we’ve all gone through happening over and over again. I think we’ll see a shift from the whole founder aura to more scale managers coming in. These bigger companies that come in with so much money really exacerbate all that’s wrong with the Valley. It really is a message that more entrepreneurs and inventors need to learn about and understand. It’s a statistical impossibility that everyone is going to succeed.”
Jon truly practices what he preaches in the hopes of showing others how to progress both personally and professionally. This dedicated dad even bikes with his daughter to school every day. “We use electric bikes and look at all the traffic passing by. It’s really a metaphor that if she can think creatively, she can bypass certain things in her life. We all have to do a bit more than what we’re doing. In California you pay ten times as much for a house in the Hills and people can’t get power. That’s a spooky thing. This climate thing might be at people’s door already.”