Name: Craig J. Lewis
Company: Gig Wage
Title: Founder & CEO
Location: Dallas Texas
Favorite Quote: “I learned not to fear complex problems, but to embrace them.” -Robert F. Smith
Meet Craig J. Lewis, Author, Founder and CEO of Gig Wage, a Stage 1 Ventures portfolio tech startup, that builds modern payroll tools for the future of work. “At GigWage we design payroll that meets the demand of your on-demand workforce. Simple. Fast. Easy,” he says.
We briefly caught up with Craig to talk his early beginnings, how he transitioned into entrepreneurship, and what separates his company from his competitors. Check out the Q&A below and meet him personally on December 1st at the COSIGN Awards Dinner & Gala.
For those who may not know, who is Craig J. Lewis? What’s your story?
I was born on the east side of McKinney TX, raised in Garland, and graduated from North Garland HS. I attended the University of Nevada Reno/Connor State/Morehead State on a full basketball scholarship. Degree in Communication minor in Marketing. Hooped overseas in Europe. I’m obsessed with legacy.
I still have hoop dreams myself… As a kid what did you want to be when you grew up? If you’re not doing that, what do you think happened?
NBA. I saw there was a better opportunity to create generational wealth in this tech game. (plus even though I got a check to hoop, I wasn’t NBA good lol)
At least you played professional basketball. When did you know that you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
I never really did, it was just the best next move but I’ll never look back.
What was your blueprint to launching/creating GigWage?
I was an early member at another San Francisco startup and learned a lot of the game there. But once we got Gig Wage popping I just kept making the best next move.
Tell us about your company and what differentiates you from your competitors? Our focus on solving this very specific problem.
Most of the competition views contractor payments and compliance as an ancillary thing and our world view sees it as core to all businesses and the global economy. Very much like Dropbox and their focus in the early days we solve nuanced problems for our customers that create exponential value for their because. We can only do this because we are hyper focused.
How did you realize there was a need for your company?
And what problem do you feel that your company solves in its industry? With the mature of Uber, Postmates, AirBNB, Lyft, Doordash etc we noticed a glaring opportunity to help not only those types of businesses but more traditional contractor dependent business improve how they pay, manage and support contract worker. Ultimately our goal is to help businesses keep contractors happy. This is important because in the future they will have to be really good at recruiting and retaining world class contractors and Gig Wage puts them on that path.
What’s been the most exciting customer testimonial you’ve ever received?
Businesses love that it’s easy and we save them so much time and money but I love when contractors message us about the apartment they were approved for, the personal loan they received or the car they were able to rent all because they’ve been getting paid via Gig Wage and they now have easy access to proof of income.
As much as we love success stories, can you tell us some of your pain points as an entrepreneur and how you overcame them?
There is no success without sacrifice, no glory without the grind. The pain is 90% of the journey. We’ve ran out of money, made horrible hiring decisions, missed product release dates, in a previous business we were sued by a bank, lots of time away from my wife and kids etc etc etc this thing can get lonely and dark real quick so you’ve got to be built for it.
We believe the power of a #COSIGN is real. Can you tell us how a #COSIGN has impacted your business. Whether it’s been through word of mouth? An influencer #COSIGN or celebrity #COSIGN?
No doubt. Too many to name but looking forward to rocking with ya’ll in the near future.
What’s your end goal?
Family legacy and generational wealth
Last but not least, who do you #COSIGN and why?
Everybody that’s willing to go for it no matter what because that’s what it takes to get better and impact the world.