👉 Short and sweet AMA from Jesse’s full talk 👈

Speaker Background

Jesse Pujji co-founded Ampush in 2009 and serves as its Chief Executive Officer. Previously, Jesse worked as an Investment Professional at Goldman Sachs in New York and as a Consultant at McKinsey & Company in New York and Dubai focusing on the internet media, e-commerce and telecom industries. Jesse is a Member of the Advisory Board of Blue Collective and currently serves as an advisor at Milo.com. Jesse earned a B.S. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with a dual concentration in Finance and Entrepreneurship from 2002 to 2006 and a second degree in Political Science. He also earned a B.A. in Political Science from University of Pennsylvania between 2002 and 2006.

This is just a taste of Jesse’s full talk. Check out the full talk ✨ here!✨

Can you start a business on the side or do you have to quit everything? (Franky Cen, Computer Science, NYU Tandon School of Engineering)

  • Know thyself: Life is about understanding yourself — when I first got started it was about how to achieve (how to get into Penn, how to get good grades), nothing to do with understanding myself. It depends on the person — so begin to understand yourself.
  • Everyone is different: I have friends that start things on the side and make it work.
  • Commitment is a requirement: It can only start on the side — eventually you have to go all in.

What is the culture at Ampush and what is important to you as you grow? (Kat Slump, IT Innovation, Computer Science, Business, University of Nebraska at Omaha)

  • What culture is not? Culture is not perks and benefits — that is all surface level.
  • What is culture? Ampush’s definition of culture: values and common behaviors that an organization holds.
  • Less is more: 10 values is probably too many
  • Polarizing cultures: a general tip for culture is to be polarizing: By definition, when you polarize you will get the right people that generate the consistency of behavior you are looking for. We ask candidates if they are optimists or pessimists. If they say pessimists, we don’t hire them.
  • Ampush values include the following:

“Entrepreneurs in training make mistakes” — we are entrepreneurs first (we are creating), in training (constantly learning), so we make mistakes (make hard decisions and take risks)

“Get the right things right” — In a startup you have limited resources so you must focus and prioritize on the right things. And getting things right means you engage with rigor — you must be striving for excellence.

“Savor the climb” — this purposefully is not “enjoy the journey.” Companies are a climb, they are hard. Savor means take pride in your work. This value means we are more input than output oriented.

How did McKinsey and Goldman help start Ampush? (Salmaan Rashiq, Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta)

  • Safety Nets: Most important thing prestige provides is a baseline — top colleges means you can take risks and come back to fancy jobs and that is a nice safety net to have. Take advantage of it.
  • Value of McKinsey: Jesse learned some very good things at McKinsey: in consulting you have to get very smart very quickly. In starting a company you need to speak with a lot of experts and synthesis information. Where Jesse learned how to outsource work to others as well as other countries.
  • Credibility of a brand name always helps people are more likely to take a meeting with you, and the network helps.
  • Analyst Beware: in entrepreneurship analysis is not the product. In consulting, you sell a deck, and analysis is the product. You’re getting great at something by working at a brand like McKinsey, but it might not be what you want to be doing.
  • Hustling vs. Analyzing: DJ’ing and starting Shirt Guyz were better teachers for entrepreneurship — Jesse forgot how to hustle at McKinsey.
  • What hustle looks like: Just like how the Airbnb founders sold cereal boxes to fund the early days of the company, Jesse has similar story. At GLG where Jesse was an expert on digital advertising, so many bankers would get on the phone with him to talk about IPOs of digital ad companies and were impressed by him that Jesse had a quick idea. He made a slide deck about a performance marketing company in classic McKinsey style — a 50 page slide deck with market sizing, competitive dynamics etc. and solid it for $5k each. He sold over $150k in decks and even started bidding aggressively on the names of companies he was covering on Google to sell the decks to investors who were searching for specific companies before their IPO.

What provided the courage to quit a fancy job and start a company like Ampush? (Delaney Ugelstad, Economics, Wellesley College)

  • Simple calculus: Jesse could come back to a prestigious job, he has a great resume other people would kill for. Only thing he can lose is time.
  • Entrepreneurial Influences: If you parents are small business entrepreneurs the reality of entrepreneurship is an easier pill to swallow.

This is just a taste of Jesse’s full talk. Check out the full talk ✨ here!✨

🎉 Congrats on making it to the end! 🎉

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