Ryan Durkin’s Story

I like to build things that solve my problems.

I grew in Andover, Massachusetts. I was your typical young, energetic kid. I played baseball, basketball, rode my bike all around town, and learned piano. I owned Super Soakers. I liked playing manhunt and dodgeball. I had lemonade stands with my brother and sister. And my mom drove us to soccer practice in her mini van.

I had my first 150 house paper route at age seven, started caddying at age 10, and started my first business at age 11 called “Caddy on Call.” It was pretty straight forward. I gave out refrigerator magnets with my name and phone number on them so that golfers could reserve me to caddy in advance. It solved my pain point of previously having to wait “on the fence” for potentially up to two hours before being picked by a golfer. As a result, I got to sleep in longer, had friendlier players who respected my skillset, and made way more money. I worked hard, paid attention, was as quiet as a shadow, and learned as much as I could about the game of golf. At age 13 I was offered a paying job at the country club and a year later was promoted to Pro Shop Manager. I worked every waking hour possible outside of school and track and field, and I loved it. I had one of my best bosses ever, Mike Miller, and met great people, who I am still close to today. Great friends and great memories. I had the best childhood anyone could ask for.

In high school I ran long distance for my track and field and cross country. I was captain of all three teams. I was recruited by UMass Amherst to run for the team and decided to go to college there after meeting Coach Ken O’Brien and a runner named Paul Noone. I studied Finance, graduated top in my class, won more scholarships than any student in UMass history, paid for my entire education on my own, started a class in real estate taught to thousands of students, and worked hard. I’m a big believer in public education and community colleges. Let’s face it, you can learn almost anything today using tools online educational tools. I hope someday my kids never have to go to college, but instead learn as much as possible online for free.

While I was at UMass, I watched my younger brother, Brad, enlist in the United States Marine Corps as a Rifleman in the Infantry. One of the proudest days of my life was watching him graduate from boot camp at Parris Island. I know my older sister, Lindsey, was equally as proud. Today, my brother is an Afghanistan Veteran and is also one of the best UI/UX designer in the city of Boston. He leads the UI/UX team at SessionM in the Seaport. He’s one of the only user interphase leaders you’ll ever meet who knows how to use over a dozen highly lethal machine guns and other dangerous weapons. My sister is one of the best women I know and is in a senior management position at State Street. The two of them have great relationships with their girlfriend and boyfriend, and I’m proud of both of them.

After graduating UMass, I joined a team of four other students at UMass: Jared Stenquist, Boris Revsin, Brian Strunk, and Sasha Grosman and took a company called CampusLIVE from a rinky dink idea at UMass to a leading digital media tech company headquartered in Boston, with millions of dollars in revenue, 30 employees, and funding from Highland Capital Partners, Charles River Ventures, and GSV Capital. Our clients included many national companies you’ve heard of: Chevy, Ford, Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds, Mondelez, PUMA, and a bunch more. After 4+ years there, I decided to move on to learn about other businesses. I joined the Product Management team at Wayfair and have been very happy there.

Here are a few projects I am testing and validating now. If you are willing to speak about any of these projects, please contact me at: contact at ryandurkin.com.

HeadstoneHub: Quality, affordable headstones and monuments: http://www.headstonehub.com
SweepAngel: Say goodbye to Street Sweeping tickets forever: http://www.sweepangel.com
Sharetact: Share contacts. Help your co-workers. http://www.sharetact.me
ZenName: Give a gift this holiday season that lasts forever. http://www.give.zenname.com

Also, I’d also like to note that I am a proud supporter of the U.S. military. If you would like to donate to the nonprofit I run in Boston called the Massachusetts Soldiers Legacy Fund, please go to http://www.mslfund.org and donate. Every dollar will be given to the children of fallen Massachusetts servicemembers to help them with their education. We have raised $4.5 Million thus far, and are supporting 75 wonderful children. Thank you in advance! It is donations such as yours that contribute to our growing fund!

That’s my story in a nut shell!

Ryan Durkin

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