Today's Entrepreneur


Today's Entrepreneur: Crick Waters

Number 1 Mistake: Failure to talk to customers first

Innovation series by Mingmei Niu
May 1, 2014
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Today's Entrepreneur is Crick Waters, CEO and Founder of EasyDNA, which is a subscription service beginning with a free account for individuals and low-cost annual subscriptions for teams and small businessess. As the needs of the buisness increase, so does their organizational complexity and management needs. EasyNDA supports enterprise-class needs with sophisticated solutions and annual subscription contracts.  

EasyDNA is one of the top 15 finalist to present at Splash Oakland on May 6-7. Be sure to support Waters and EasyDNARegister here.

Waters graduated from Duke University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MBA later on. Waters also holds a MS in Nuclear Engineering from Bettis Reactor Engineering School. 

Let's take a look at his entrepreneurial background.

Companies I've founded or co-founded:

Ribbit, Conga, LeafLit, EasyNDA

 Companies I work or worked for:

Nortel, International Paper, NorthPoint, AT&T, British Telecom, Vidtel, Alianza

 Company exits (of companies you founded):

Ribbit ,

Vidtel ,

Achievements (products built, personal awards won):

Cross-media voice mail notification and delivery(Link) - United States 8,155,281 
System and method for replying to voice messages left by callers(Link) - United States 8,320,533 
Telephonic communications with intelligent protocol switching(Link) - United States 20110029682

If you are an entrepreneur, why?

I love creating things that people value

What's most frustrating and rewarding about entrepreneurship/innovation?

Frustrating: Knowing deep in your heart you're going to have a valuable technology and service while repeatedly being told in one form or another the opposite.

Rewarding: Being told how great what you've build is - especially by those who had told you otherwise.

What are the top three lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur?

Wow. Let me boil it down to one top lesson: Keep on networking. 
I love what The "Power of Pull" by John Hagel et al. teaches. There are some great lessons learned in the TechCrunch article, "The Ribbit Rollercoaster: A Founder’s Story From Concept To $105M Exit" ( and my follow-up post, " 
The Rest of the Story of The Ribbit Rollercoaster: A Founder’s Story From Concept To $105M Exit"

Full bio 

Crick co-founded Ribbit in 2005, which was acquired by British Telecom for $105 million in 2008, on the simple premise that voice has value, and that value is in the application of voice. He served as EVP of Strategy and Business Development.  Prior to starting Ribbit, Crick lead development and delivery of consumer voice and data services including fiber-to-the-home, VoIP, DSL, Wi-Fi, and voice over DSL services for AT&T Consumer Services.

Crick was Director of Value Added Services at NorthPoint Communications where he was responsible for creating services delivered over the company’s high speed data network. During his tenure, he launched one of the Nation’s first voice over DSL services. Prior to his civilian life, Crick devoted seven years to developing nuclear reactor instrumentation and control technology for the U.S. Navy’s submarine, the U.S.S. Seawolf.  Crick has served on the Boards of Directors of the DSL Forum and the International Packet Communications Consortium. He has B.S.E.E and M.B.A degrees from Duke University, and a M.S. in Nuclear Engineering.



Related companies, investors and entrepreneurs

Description: EasyNDA Eliminates NDA Pain Whether it's the pain of team members simply knowing whether or not you have an NDA in place or the pain of k...
Bio: Tall enough that most people get a Crick in the neck talking to me at a stand-up party. Starter, creator, builder. Competitiv...

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