Ben Chestnut is a name synonymous with entrepreneurship, innovation, and digital technology. Known widely as the co-founder and CEO of Mailchimp, Chestnut’s story of success is one that offers vital lessons in the world of startups. However, there is much more to this tech superstar than meets the eye. The following article reveals ten things you probably didn’t know about Ben Chestnut.

1. A Self-Taught Entrepreneur

Although known for his entrepreneurship, you’d be surprised to discover that Ben Chestnut didn’t initially study business. In fact, he developed his business acumen through experience, learning about the corporate world along the way. Being entirely self-taught, he built-up Mailchimp from the ground, developing a company that caters to more than a million businesses worldwide.

This lack of formal business education didn’t slow Chestnut down. Instead, it prompted him to approach problems creatively and find innovative solutions, setting the standard for Mailchimp’s company culture. His approach to learning by doing sets a perfect example for aspiring entrepreneurs worldwide.

2. An Industrial Design Background

Contrary to his lines of work, Ben Chestnut is actually a graduate of Industrial Design from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Although it may seem entirely unrelated, this background was instrumental in shaping his perspective on business.

Using the principles of industrial design, Ben saw how people interacted with products and systems. His understanding of user experience and how people interact with interfaces has been pivotal to the success of Mailchimp. He brilliantly shaped the company’s software to be user-friendly, making it the favorite of many.

3. Worked Odd Jobs

Before becoming the CEO of a multi-million dollar company, Ben Chestnut worked several odd jobs, such as dishwasher and grocery bagger. He did all these when he was just a teenager.

He used these early work experiences as learning opportunities. He observed and developed a better understanding of customer service, which would later become integral to Mailchimp’s ethos.

4. Supportive Family Background

Ben was raised by a family of small business owners. Growing up in this environment, he discovered the significance of customer service and hard work early. This instilled in him a deep appreciation for small businesses and the struggles they face.

Drawing from his own experience, he wanted to provide a platform, i.e., Mailchimp, that would act as an aid to small businesses, allowing them to send beautifully designed emails to their customers, thereby growing their client base.

5. Bootstrapped Mailchimp

Although raising venture capital is the norm for most tech startups, Ben Chestnut bootstrapped Mailchimp. He refused to take any external capital to fuel his startup’s growth, ensuring complete control over the direction and culture of the company.

This unusual path allowed him to grow Mailchimp organically, focusing on long-term sustainability rather than short-term gains. Largely profitable, Mailchimp still operates without any external investors.

6. Values Employees

Ben places huge importance on his team. He’s been quoted as saying that there’s no such thing as a ‘self-made’ man, reflecting the importance he places on the team’s collective efforts.

Ben ensures that each employee is valued, listened to, and cared for. This approach has resulted in a diverse, inclusive, and innovative team of people at Mailchimp.

7. Champion for Diversity

Ben’s commitment to diversity goes beyond the gender and ethnicity. He even went as far as to seek a staff of varying backgrounds, experiences, and skills. For Ben, having diverse thoughts and perspectives results in better decisions.

Today, Mailchimp boasts a diverse and inclusive workforce, which further helps it to understand and cater to the needs of its equally diverse customer base.

8. A Lover of Books

Ben Chestnut is a voracious reader and a lover of books. His reading interests span a variety of genres, including business, technology, and psychology.

He believes in the power of continuous learning and attributes his success largely to his reading habits. It’s through diverse knowledge that he manages to stay ahead in the game.

9. Enjoys Cooking

One of Chestnut’s favorite hobbies is cooking. He finds it to be a satisfying and creative outlet outside of his work. He even likens it to designing a service or a product, as it needs good organization and the ability to work well under pressure.

10. Named Among the Best CEOs

In 2017, Ben was named one of the top-rated CEOs by Glassdoor. This not only highlighted Chestnut as a leader but also Mailchimp as an organization with an exemplary company culture and employee satisfaction.

Chestnut’s leadership approach focusing on transparency, empowerment, and mutual respect has led to high employee morale and overall success of the company.

In Conclusion

Despite his many accomplishments, Ben Chestnut remains humble and grounded. His story is an inspiring testament that hard work, perseverance, and a unique approach can lead to unimaginable success.

For more information, please feel free to visit the following links:

About Mailchimp
Ben Chestnut as a top-rated CEO