One chapter ends, a new chapter begins
May 4, 2015 / 1 comment
Back in 2008, I moved to San Francisco, CA from my home state of Oregon. It was a big jump as I had never been to San Francisco before. The move presented a plethora of new opportunities and challenges. The first of which was joining a competitive Skeeball league called Brewskee-Ball. In November of 2008, I joined San Francisco’s Brewskee-ball with some of my newly made SF friends. It was a magical time!
I quickly fell in love with the game of Skeeball, so much so that I went on to eBay and bought my very own Skeeball machine. It was 13 feet long and barely fit into my one bedroom apartment. It was so crazy that one of my friends thought I was idiot for stuffing this classic arcade game into my living space. I didn’t let the naysayers slow down my love for the game.
In February 2010, Brewskee-Ball hosted the very first Skeeball National Championships in Brooklyn, NY and I was a top seed from San Francisco. I was very confident that I’d win or at least make a very deep run in the tourney. It was in the 3rd round that I got knocked out and lost to the eventual champion, Skee Diddy. This sparked a fire in my competitive and professional eyes.
I went back to San Francisco and practiced in the league and on my own machine. During all of this practice, a very unique SF-based startup, Airbnb, decided to rent my Skeeball machine for their 2nd anniversary party. We disassembled the Skeeball machine and delivered it to the party. This party was the genesis of my new company…Joey the Cat Skeeball Rentals. The notion was that there could be a market for people/companies to rent Skeeball machines, go figure!
Using the funds from my day job’s salary and Skeeball rentals, I started to buy more and more machines. Eventually, I had a small fleet of machines and needed a storage unit. There was even interest from cities outside of San Francisco in Sacramento and Los Angeles. I started partnering with two of my very best friends, Nitty and Andrew, in their respective regions.
After growing the business on the side for a couple years, it got big enough where I knew the only option for growth was to leave my day job (at a successful startup) and focus on the Skeeball company full-time. It was on March 1st, 2014 that I officially left my day job to focus on my side project and see how big I could build it.
Shortly after leaving and going out on my own, I realized that I needed to hire someone to help me run the business. I posted on Facebook, “Goal: Hire someone to run my business.” I received overwhelming support and interest. One friend posted very diligently, “I want to run your business, the timing is perfect.” Enter: Alex Lane. His last name is what you call a Skeeball machine..a Skeeball LANE! You couldn’t make this up. We had met at a concert a couple years before this post and reconnected through this post. I interviewed Alex and we hit it off – he wore an epic Hawaiian shirt to the interview. HIRED!
Seven months after hiring Alex, I knew that he could deliver on his promise and actually RUN this company. This leads me to the next chapter! Starting today, 5/4/2015, Alex is the managing partner of Joey the Cat Skeeball (Arcade) Rentals and Events. Andrew is the Los Angeles, General Manager. I will be taking an advisory role and focusing on a new company.
Joey the Cat has over 30 Skeeball machines, 3 Basketball games, 3 Whac a Mole, 2 Bubble Hockey tables, 2 Pinball machines, 2 Cocktail Tables, 1 Air Hockey and more FUN! We’ve hosted some of the most amazing Skeeball tournaments and events ever. Our clients are the most amazing companies and people in the world! Thank you for making all of this possible.
– Many meows,
Joey the Cat