Meet Mike Adams, Co-founder & CEO at Grain:

Mike Adams is the Co-founder and CEO of Grain, a remote-first company specializing in video meeting management. With a background in online education, he recognized the power of digital conversations as valuable data. Since 2018, Grain has embraced remote work, enabling them to hire top talent from around the world. While fully remote, Mike values in-person interaction and occasionally travels to meet his business partner. Through Grain, Mike Adams has revolutionized remote work and leveraged technology to empower teams globally.

Listen Up: Mike Adams, Co-founder & CEO at Grain — Full Podcast Episode on Spotify

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Quick Read: Mike Adams, Co-founder & CEO at Grain, Interview Highlights

The Rise of Remote-first companies: Conversation with Mike Adams

In the most recent episode of Default Global, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Adams, co-founder and CEO of Grain, a global-first company that offers a unique platform turning video calls into shared knowledge.

Adams’ journey began in San Francisco in 2014 with a coding bootcamp, which later evolved into an online school, Mission U, in 2016. It was this experience that sparked the idea for Grain; “As conversations move into this digital realm, they can become useful,” Adams shared.

Grain Today: A Truly Global Team

Grain started as a fully in-person team in 2018, but it quickly evolved into a remote-first company, hiring from Mexico, Ukraine, Nigeria, and beyond. Adams explained, “It fundamentally comes down to talent and being able to work with the best people regardless of where they live has been, I would say, our primary motivator.”

Grain’s emphasis is not on cutting costs but finding the best fit for their team. Adams elaborated, “A large amount of our team has been growing through referrals. Folks who already work at Grain.” So for those budding entrepreneurs looking for opportunities in global first companies like Grain, Adams’ advice is clear, “Network locally to develop relationships that are connected globally.”

Raising Funds and Looking to the Future

Grain successfully raised 16 million dollars in round A funding, an achievement Adams doesn’t take lightly. “Investment is best served as an accelerator of something that’s working more so than an enabler to get something to work,” he explained. He further emphasized the importance of “using investment as a means to an end” and not seeing it as the signal of success.

As we look into the future, I asked Adams about the challenges and opportunities for global first companies like Grain. He mentioned the possibility of “remote offices” where a team is based in a specific location, but the company operates globally.

It’s clear our conversation with Adams illuminated the shifting landscape of the global workspace, with the rise of remote-first companies.

Whether it’s operating across multiple time zones or navigating through international hiring laws, these challenges are just another step in the path of an ever-evolving global market. Adams concluded, “There’s strong polarization to the teams and companies either hate it, teams that love it and embrace it.”

As the world continues to adjust to these changes, it’s clear that the future of global companies is very much up in the air.