Poker at Obvious

I caught up with fellow alumni Tony Stubblebine the other day at his offices to catch up and grab a beer.  Tony is the co-founder of, a company funded by the Obvious guys and operates out of their offices.  I dropped into the Obvious offices to meetup with Tony and end up playing poker with him, his co-founder Jon Crosby a few of the Obvious guys late into the evening.  It was a great to chat further with their team and learn more about the ins and outs of poker.

Eric Ries, Author of The Lean Startup, Comes to Luxr

Today’s Luxr session was fantastic.  We had Eric Ries, the author of the best selling book The Lean Startup come by to have a fireside chat with us, moderated by Luxr co-founder Janice Fraser.  It was a great session with Janice asking some very relevant questions that allowed Eric to explain his thoughts on the lean startup world.  He told some great stories, including a funny one about his experience on Fox News.

Eric is a very sharp individual who has taken the tech community by storm with his lean startup concept and it was a pleasure meeting him again.  (Mike and I met up with Eric a while back in Whistler, which indirectly lead us to Luxr and moving to San Francisco)  As part of our bulk purchase of Eric’s book, we get 4 hours with him to chat about whatever we want.  I look forward to having him over to the PayrollHero house and showing him in more detail what we are up to.  Sounds like mid December we will have that opportunity.

Here are a few pictures from today:

(L – R) Piotr Banasik, Stephen Jagger, Eric Ries, Michael Stephenson, Adam Baechler

Eric Ries signing 1 of our 500 copies of The Lean Startup (watch this blog for book giveaway details)

Janice Fraser of Luxr and Eric Ries

(50 Coffees)

Who Are The Other Luxr SF5 Companies?

There are 4 companies attending the 10 week residency at  But before we get to them, what is the Luxr 10 week residency? “The 10-Week Residency is a design program for early-stage product teams. The program is radically low priced and tailored to serve lean, agile startups.” (complete details) – Super Human Capital Management Software delivered via the cloud to browsers and mobile.  Businesses whom seek to attract quality individuals to their workforce, must find new ways to interest them in their careers. helps businesses automate the tedious & repetitive functions of payroll administration, source deduction contributions, attendance recording and maintenance of their related banks, paystubs and annual reporting. – Tony Stubblebine and Jon Crosby have created an interesting new application for unlocking human potential through positive reinforcement.

 – Giggo is changing how consumers connect with merchants and brands.

 – When you can’t be together in person, Scoot & Doodle offers a fun, new way for parents and kids to get together with friends and family online.


(L – R) The PayrollHero team: Piotr Banasik, Clark from CarbonFive,
Adam Baechler, Michael Stephenson, Stephen Jagger

Luxr SF5 Residency Mixer At PayrollHero

After the first session at Luxr, we wanted to get to know the group as soon as we could so that we could get the most out of the Luxr Residency and fast track the relationships with the other members of the cohort.  So, we did what we know best, and threw together a cocktail party at the house for all of the attendees of the Luxr program and the instructors.  It was a great way to meet the other teams, share a few stories and learn more about what they are up to and where they are going.  (complete picture set here)

Where cocktail parties always seem to gather (the kitchen)

(L – R) Adam Baechler, Piotr Banasik, Tobi Adamolekun, Toni and Jason Fraser

(L – R) Bryan, Janice Fraser, Michael Stephenson and Jesse Martinez
(L – R) Stephen Jagger, Tony Stubblebine and Jesse Martinez Day 1

We have arrived at, for Day 1 of the Lean UX Residency.  We have had a few people ask about how we ended up at Luxr? how did we hear about it?
When starting (OTD) in Manila my business partner (Mike Stephenson) was having a hard time with payroll, schedules and time tracking.  There were some solutions for some of it, but not one thing that did all that we needed and that we liked.  So, Mike suggested building our own, so we put a few developers on it and built a payroll/time tracking/scheduling software application.  It worked well.  We showed it to a few business owners in Manila, they liked it and wanted to use it.  BOOM – was born.  We adjusted the system to work for other companies and began adding Alpha users to the system.
Through Eric Ries (who Mike and I met with up in Whistler) we learned of in San Francisco.  Actually we bought 500 copies (details of that deal) of his new book The Lean Startup and with that package came the entry and a bunch of other slick stuff. is a paid residency program in San Francisco.  There are 4 other companies in it.  The quality of the other Luxr groups are fantastic. And one of them, Lift, has already been funded by Ev and Biz from Twitter.