Jun 20 • 49M

Building a company and family, the responsibility cloak, mistakes and setting irrevocable guidelines | Nick Soman (father of 2, Decent, Gusto, Amazon)

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Appears in this episode

Adam Fishman
Adam Fishman interviews executives, entrepreneurs, and company leaders in technology companies who are also fathers. We discuss the tough aspects of work, parenting, family, the mistakes made and lessons learned along the way. It's heartwarming and hilarious.
Episode details

Nick Soman is the founder and CEO of Decent, a healthcare company that helps small businesses band together to get more affordable health insurance for their employees. Prior to that he led growth for Gusto, was a product manager on the Kindle at Amazon, and started a company that he sold to Napster! In this episode we discuss:

  • How Nick's parents influenced his own parenting

  • The challenging early times as a Dad and startup leader

  • Discoveries he's had as a Dad

  • The importance of partnership in your marriage and how to navigate conflict

  • His "irrevocable guidelines" around family

  • Silicon Valley hustle culture and incompatibility with family life

  • Bringing his own values into his company

  • Many mistakes he's made as a father and what they've taught him

Where to find Nick Soman:

- Twitter: https://twitter.com/nicksoman

- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicksoman/

Where to find Adam:

- Newsletter: https://www.fishmanafnewsletter.com

- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adamjfishman/

- Twitter: https://twitter.com/fishmanaf

In this episode, we cover:

[1:50] Introductions

[2:36] Nick and Decent Health

[4:28] Nick’s background

[7:08] His Parents

[8:58] Family life and Starting a family

[12:27] Challenging early times as a Dad

[16:00] Responsibility cape/choice vs. obligation

[17:12] Masculine energy/Nature vs. Nurture

[20:44] Dad discoveries/Do as I say, not as I do.

[24:41] Dissonance between partners

[25:32] Importance of partnership/conflict

[28:00] Marriage advice

[30:22] How do you and your wife recharge?

[32:46] “Irrevocable guidelines” around my family

[33:27] Silicon Valley “hustle culture”

[34:19] A trap he fell into/a walkabout

[37:44] Bringing values into his company

[40:46] Mistake he’s made as a father

[44:28] Rapid fire round

Links we reference:


“Hold Me Tight,” Dr. Sue Johnson 

Nick's company, Decent

Andy Johns - How to Know When to Stop

Production support for Startup Dad is provided by Tommy Harron at http://www.armaziproductions.com/

Episode art designed by Matt Sutherland at https://www.mspnw.com/