PROVO, Utah – Mar 02, 2020 – Every morning BYU Marriott alum Steve Todd straps on his running shoes and runs through the scenic trails of Provo determined to improve his running time, but he has not always focused on exercising. Before rediscovering his love for cycling and running, Todd spent twelve years devoted to growing a startup he co-founded and learned some important life lessons along the way.
Whether it's working on a startup, exercising, or being with his family, having the mentality of consistently improving one’s self is a part of Todd’s life. “When I run or cycle, I can tell how I’m doing because I track how far I went and the time it took me,” says Todd. “It's fulfilling to see how I improve over time through consistent effort.”
Todd, a 2008 graduate from BYU Marriott’s master of information systems program says his mentality of consistently improving translates well to the startup world. "In terms of working on a startup, you're improving your abilities even in the later stages,” says Todd. “You're still learning new things every day and constantly improving.”
Todd lived in the Philippines as a teenager while his father worked for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After returning to the United States, Todd came to BYU in 2001. “My mind was always aiming for BYU because it provided the atmosphere that I wanted and the BYU Marriott School of Business had a great information systems program.”
When deciding on a career path, Todd wanted to have a job that was multi-faceted. “As I looked to the future, I chose information systems because I didn't want to pigeonhole myself into technologist type career,” says Todd. “I wanted to have the background to start my own business.”
During Todd’s freshman year, he was approached by some students who recruited him to be a technical advisor for their team’s entry into the business plan competition called Schedule Works, which provides web-based workforce scheduling. After helping with Schedule Works and completing his freshman year at BYU, Todd left to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hungary, and continued to work on Schedule Works when he returned in 2004.
After Schedule Works didn’t take off, Todd began working at Agile Studios in Orem as a software developer. In 2006, he co-founded Jive Communications with some of his colleagues from Agile Studios. Jive is a cloud-based phone service.
Working in the startup world and watching Jive flourish was rewarding for Todd. “When you see the growth accelerating and you see people want to give you money for your product, it’s thrilling,” says Todd. Jive Communications has tens of thousands of customers and has offices in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.
Throughout his twelve years working and growing Jive Communications, Todd learned the importance of integrity. “Integrity is a value that BYU Marriott strives for,” says Todd. “Through my experiences with Jive, I Iearned the value of working with people who have integrity in their personal life and professional life–you can’t separate the two.”
As Todd watched his business grow, his focus turned to family. “I completely immersed myself into growing Jive which is why I got married later on, because family unintentionally took the backseat,” says Todd. Todd and his wife Carrie, a BYU Marriott MPA graduate, got married in 2015, and now have two young daughters they are raising in Provo. “I am glad I have the chance now to raise a family.” In 2018, Todd and his co-founders sold Jive Communications to LogMeIn, a publicly traded software provider.
Just as he worked hard to grow Jive, this attitude of consistent improvement expands to his hobbies and his family. “In the startup world it's easy to get hyper focused on the business and lose sight of other important things,” says Todd. “Keep your sights on the things that are important–for me that’s my family.”
Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Kate Monroe