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November 8, 2022
Why [me]: B3's Story
Very few people get in on the ground floor of a startup and even fewer stay through the exciting (albeit tiresome) process of building upwards. Luckily for MarginEdge, we have a handful of lifers including our one and only VP of Software Architecture, Brian Skrab aka B3.
As a teenager, Brian worked at a small internet service provider doing telephone technical support (circa Windows 3.1), where he discovered his first love: writing code. He then went on to study computer science and got his first job at a tech startup (marking the first of seven startups he has been a part of). It was his first full time programming job and used this new thing called the Internet to eliminate the need to pay long distance charges to deliver faxes (oh, what a time). There, Brian found exactly what he wanted to do with his life: solve real people’s real world problems.
While he was working at startup number five, Starfish Retention Solutions, two of his co-workers, Sam Leiber and Brian Mills (aka B1 for those following along at home), were leaving to build software that solved restaurant operators’ daily problems: MarginEdge ([me]). B3 needed little convincing to come onboard with [me] after he saw an opportunity to make a real impact on the lives of restaurant operators, with a product that would level the playing field between huge corporations and small businesses, all the while continuing his startup streak.
At this point you might be asking yourself, “If we’ve got B1 and B3, where the heck is B2?!” Well, while B1 and B3 were working together at their previous company, there was a piece of software named B2. To avoid confusion with the aforementioned, they skipped over B2 and went with B3. When both Brians came to MarginEdge, the nickname carried over, so it’s basically an inside joke that most [me]ople aren’t necessarily on the inside of (even if we like to think we are).
You might also be asking yourself, “Does he even like this nickname?” and the answer is yes. No really- he signs his emails “~b3” and is almost exclusively called B3 in the office. We even have B3 coffee mugs. Don’t believe us? Just go look at his LinkedIn.
Having joined MarginEdge when we had 10 employees and our office was tiny enough to fit above a Starbucks, Brian has really seen it all and has (reluctantly) tried his hand at marketing, branding, and design. As with most startups, this was true for many who were there at the start of MarginEdge (he is very, very grateful we now have dedicated professionals for all those jobs).
When we asked B3 how he felt about MarginEdge as a 150+ person company today, he responded with excitement and nostalgia. Excitement for our growth, future and continued success, and nostalgia for the period of time where everyone knew not only each other’s names, but the details of their lives. Although 150 is only a handful more people than 10 (give or take), Brian still feels like MarginEdge is a small company. Things have changed (obviously), but our mentality and narrative of putting our clients first, having fun, working hard, and collaborating as a team remains the same as it was when we were above that Starbucks.
Today, B3 is still able to spend his time doing what he loves: solving problems. He codes a bit less but he is glad to let his team take the reins and supports them where he can. He steers our product towards the future, taking great consideration for our users’ feedback into what we produce. We’re grateful to have a lifer like Brian and while he may be third by name, he’s first in our hearts.