Lisa Morrow is the co-founder and CEO of BirdyTell, an online service that simplifies thoughtful gifting. Those who create a profile on BirdyTell can create beautiful wish lists and share them with their friends and family before birthdays, holidays, and special occasions. BirdyTell helps its users get to know each other better and purchase meaningful gifts that will always be remembered.
This fall, BirdyTell will experience a new and improved platform upgrade, complete with improved wish lists and hand-delivered gifts by local businesses and artisans.
What part of Arizona do you call home?
I live in Scottsdale.
How did you come up with the idea for BirdyTell?
I was a working parent who liked to give thoughtful gifts on Christmas, however it was time-consuming and challenging to find gifts for everyone. Reluctant to spend most of my time off hunting for gifts, I was shocked to find there wasn’t a better technology solution yet. Gift cards are the only quick option, but they are not a good way to celebrate the people who matter most. I thought we could do better and decided to commit to solving the problem. I was lucky to find a team of people who wanted to do the same. We still work together as determined as ever.
What was the biggest challenge in executing this idea?
Initially, we walked into the trap of trying to create a platform that solved everyone’s gifting problem. We learned the hard way that creating a product for everyone was the same as creating a product for no one. Over the past couple of years, we have talked with hundreds of people and we’re now laser focused on building a product for our target market. I think you will see this shift when we launch our newest version in the fall.
How did you get started in the tech industry?
I have a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in community counseling. My interests have always been centered around solving social problems. I was a happy consumer of technology, but didn’t give it much thought as far as a career. However, technology was the best tool for solving gifting problems, so here I am.
How long have you lived or worked in Arizona?
My family moved to Tempe when I was five. I grew up working in our family business and later opened a coffee shop in downtown Scottsdale in 1998. At that time, I set up an area in the cafe with three computers for customers to use. It was quite a chore to find someone to service those computers, and finding someone to create a website for us was nearly impossible. I often think about that time in contrast to the staggering growth in the industry over the past three years.
If you could only describe your city with one word, which word would it be?
What’s your favorite thing about living in Arizona?
The mountains and weather.
What’s your least favorite thing about living in Arizona?
I’d love to see less strip malls and more unique buildings and shops. Downtown Phoenix and Arcadia are great models for the rest of the Valley.
In what area do you think Arizona still has a long way to go?
We have become really good at supporting seed-stage companies. However, there is a lot of work to be done in supporting and funding companies past that point. If we have more tech companies with big wins and those leaders advise and fund startups, we will grow into a better position to foster companies with big growth potential.
The foodie scene is growing bigger and bigger by the day here in Arizona. What’s your favorite place to grab lunch in your city?
Nekter Juice Bar or Flower Child.
What’s your favorite dinner spot?
I love the atmosphere at Cibo.
Image by Cibo.
What’s your favorite place to work in your city?
Boss Coffee, Maverick Coffee, or Lux.
What is your favorite memory from Arizona?
My favorite memories involve being with my family, whether it’s hiking, camping, or having big dinners together.
What is something about living in Arizona that only a local would know of?
Arizona is bubbling with optimism and full of motivated people who are eager to see our town flourish beyond the constraints of the past.
Any tips for new Arizona residents?
Eat and shop local. There are countless places to discover all over the Valley and in every small town. Also, if you are a small business owner, maker, or artisan and you make something that would be an exceptional gift, please let us know. We want to support you.