Chief Executive Officer
Location: Boulder, CO
According to Scott Lininger, the best way to remain influential in any industry is to remain humble and keep learning. His entire focus throughout his career has been focused on learning and educating. As the CEO and co-founder of Bitsbox, a Boulder Edtech startup with a subscription box service that teaches kids to code, Lininger has been able to share what he has learned.
“Bitsbox’s mission is to teach every kid on the planet the fundamentals of coding,” said Lininger. “Our first half-decade was about perfecting the way to do this. Our next is about reaching more kids through schools, online communities and foundations.”
The road to success, though, wasn’t as smooth as Lininger expected. He has held various positions as a designer, developer and leader while helping to hatch several startup companies, one of which he sold to Google in 2007. In 2014, he decided to go into business for himself and launch Bitsbox.
“When Bitsbox was just getting off its feet, we had a semi-tested product and a trendy model for getting it into the world, but we didn’t have customers, or a team, or proof that we could deliver on our lofty promises,” said Lininger. As a result, he feared the company would crash and burn within the first year.
However, Lininger and his co-founder did one thing right, he said. “We hired the perfect people and together we made it all work,” said Lininger. “Bitsbox is healthy.”
“The last couple of years have been surprising, scary and wonderful,” said Lininger. “I could run down the lists of milestones we hit and crises we faced, but the details aren’t what I remember. What I remember is how intensely I experienced them.”
For Lininger, that intensity is what he is most thankful for today. “To start Bitsbox, I had to leave a very nice gig with a team I loved and an employer who gave me immense freedom,” he said. “I was happy there, but Bitsbox is way better.”
With an ever-expanding client list and increased revenue, Bitsbox has gained attention. The company was named one of the Colorado Companies to Watch and was also the Angel Summit Venture Bucks winner. Bitsbox has earned SUBTA’s Best Subscription Box twice and is listed on best gift guides around the world.
According to his colleagues, the success of the company is largely attributed to Lininger’s leadership style. For his leadership and commitment to make STEM education fun for every kid, he has earned a spot as a Titan 100.
Greatest Leadership Lesson
Do less better.
Besides being captain of the Bitsbox ship, Scott is also the King of Hobbies; he writes mystery and middle-grade fiction, once built a viral video game, draws and paints, and owned a prior company designing board games. Scott first prototyped the Bitsbox interface for his curious daughter, and loves sharing his hobbies with her.