Robin has built an excellent company with large, international clients in the healthcare domain and has used the bootstrapping using services technique that we espouse in 1M/1M.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s go to the beginning of your story. Where are you from? Where were you born and raised, and in what kind of circumstances?
Robin Wiener: I’m from Connecticut. I was born in Bristol, the home of ESPN. I went to the University of Connecticut for college. Early on, I had a major speech problem. I couldn’t really pronounce things. Along with that, I had a major learning disability. I had two sisters and a brother. The teachers told my parents that I just wasn’t as smart as my brothers and sisters. Maybe I could get married and that would be a good thing for me to do.
I was lucky enough to have a mother who thought they were crazy. She had me tested and figured out that I had dyslexia. I had a smart cookie as a mother and father. They figured it out. They got me into different things and made me show my worth. I was in plays and musicals. To help me with my speech, they got me into singing and helped improve my diction. I have such a fantastic family. Everybody supported me all the way through.
I went to the University of Connecticut. I did all right in college but it wasn’t great because of my disabilities. I worked in retail for many years. I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I always thought about it. I felt like I could do it my way and use the skills that I have found.
Sramana Mitra: When did you come out of college?
Robin Wiener: I went to college in 1982 and came out of college in 1987. The economy fell out. My best friend and I decided to come and move to Maryland. I’m never scared of trying something new. We came down to Maryland and got jobs down here and worked in retail for a long time.
Sramana Mitra: What kind of retail?
Robin Wiener: I ran different retail stores inside the mall. That’s what I went to school for—Fashion Merchandising. Through that, I realized that one thing I enjoyed doing was hiring people. I transitioned out of retail into recruiting. Through recruiting, I found my passion of trying to find the right person for the right job. I got into recruiting for IT people. This is where I started to look at technology as something that is really cool. At one company, I hired 200 people in a year. That was during the dot-com boom.