Folk Stories

10: Getting Off the Couch with Mike Grabham

December 3rd, 2018 (69 minutes)

Mike Grabham is a serial entrepreneur who has founded six companies over the past twenty five years. He currently consults would be founders who are interested in launching either software or hardware based products and services. Mike is also the founder of "Package Guard", a company based around a patented product that protects items left out after delivery.

In addition to all this, Mike also runs a non-profit with his wife called "Survive the Streets" which helps the homeless in Seattle. Every year, they organize an annual event on thanksgiving where they give away duffel bags filled with coats, fleece jackets and other equipment to help people stay save and warm over the winter months.

When not engaged in the aforementioned activities, Mike is an active member of Seattle's start up community. He currently serves as chapter director for Startup Grind, the world's largest independent community for founders, in both Seattle and Bellevue.

In today's episode, we talk about Mike's history and the lessons and challenges absorbed from founding six startups, Mike's most common advice to founders and Mike's philosophy of getting off the couch and why that can make all the difference.


  • brief history of Mike's career
  • Mike's start to entrepreneurship
  • mistakes and lessons learned
  • consulting and decision to do it
  • most common advice for startups
  • how to reach customers and what questions to ask
  • figuring out the price for something that's never been sold
  • characteristics of good startup founders
  • startup grind and what has changed
  • doing a startup in Seattle vs the bay area
  • survive the streets and helping the homeless
  • comments on having a public email address
  • setting goals

Closing Questions

  • inspiration:
    • homeless lady that came up and told the story of how an organization like "Survive the Streets" helped them get off the street and thanked Mike for his service
  • surprising fact
    • despite drawing energy from crowds, Mike likes spending time by himself and will sometimes put on headphones to avoid conversation
  • principles:
    • helping others
  • closing notes:
    • story of package guard, Mike's current for profit company, came about because someone stole bag of coats delivered to his house which was meant for his non-profit

Contact and Details