About Brad Stroh
Hi and thanks for visiting. My marketing / brand team put up this “blog” and asked me to write a blurb… so let’s start with “welcome.”
Not sure why you’re here, unless you’re my mom (in which case, hi mom), but I’ll give you a little bio and what I am up to these days.
Here’s a quick history of the guy in the picture below: born in New York state, lived literally all over (Montreal, Boston, San Francisco, Wisconsin, Champaign – IL, Philadephia, Amherst – MA, Oxford – England, parts of Kenya) and now reside in the bucolic countryside just outside of Stanford University named Portola Valley. Rumor is that there are more horses than people in our town, not quite sure if that adds up though since the equines keep a much lower profile.
I was fortunate to have gone to some good schools, including Haverford, Amherst, Oxford, Stanford Business School and made some great friends along the way. Also have some good stories, but none that can be openly shared.
I ended up starting a business with my good friend Andrew Housser (note to other aspiring entrepreneurs, pick a smart guy to co-found a business with and then get out of the way). The business is named Freedom Financial Network and provides a bunch of specialty finance products to consumers. While far from perfect, Freedom has been a great ride. It has a terrific board (Ariel, Dan, Doug and Chuck are phenomenal and even better they are good friends), 500 awesome employees who I still learn from every day, a management team that I wouldn’t trade for any other company, and has won a bunch of awards. It’s also helped hundreds of thousands of consumers solve money problems. I wish that I never learned about litigation, but for the most part I am very proud of the business.
In 2006 I was eager to build a larger presence that was more scalable and cold-called the CEO of a company and offered to buy the URL “Bills.com” for one million dollars. He sold it to me. He was smiling. Don’t know if we were crazy or not, but we have gone on to build one of the largest direct to consumer financial services portals out there. Ethan and his team run the business with precision and I would guess that literally millions of people’s financial lives have been improved as a result of the tools, calculators, providers, videos and services that Bills.com offers.
Somewhere in the middle I picked up golf, stopped running marathons, wrote a fictionalized saga about the Tibetan Panchen Lama named “The Dharma King” and got a lot older. I lecture a bit over at Stanford Business School, where they wrote a case about our first company, and still write a bit and help advise start-ups and entrepreneurs too… and continue to be a work in progress and still make more mistakes than I do things right, but working on it.
I’ve also got a wonderful wife that I don’t deserve and have two tigers by the tail named Brayden and Brooke who give meaning to my life. Ok, gotta run. By mom.
Here’s an old picture of me that makes me look better than I look today.