Ep. #5 - Kendall Tucker, CEO of Polis, on Close Teams, Supporting Peers, and Sleep


"It kind of breaks my heart that people think that entrepreneurs are special or a different breed of person than any other person.  I really think the only distinctly correlated thing is people who don't have student loans and have some sort of family support.  And I think that's a shame and something we should do better at, helping more people become entrepreneurs." - Kendall Tucker

This episode’s guest is Kendall Tucker.  Kendall is the CEO and Founder of Polis, the fastest growing data company in the door-to-door sales space. For nearly 3 years, Polis has been selling the most technologically robust mobile canvassing app in politics and a variety of corporate industries. Polis has also expanded as a leader in the door-to-door energy sales space with partnerships alongside the two largest retail energy companies in the country.

Kendall is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree and Polis has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe and on the TODAY Show. Before starting Polis, Kendall worked as a management consultant, where she advised executives at multi-national corporations and Fortune 500 companies.

Kendall and I met at Techstars Boston, where I was working, and she was building Polis, and bonded over running, which she seems to enjoy far more than me, among other things.  She’s a good friend, a great CEO, and someone I always make sure to meet up with when I’m in Boston.

In this episode we cover how she got the original idea for Polis, how she transitioned to working on it full time, her experience as a woman in tech, and much more.

Where you can find Kendall

Twitter | LinkedIn | Polis

Selected links from episode:

Show notes

  • Kendall's love for Harry Potter and fan fiction [2:30]
  • What Kendall was like in high school [4:36]
  • Why Kendall chose Columbia and political science [6:28]
  • The jobs Kendall held while studying at Columbia [7:39]
  • Kendall's experience studying at Oxford [10:04]
  • Kendall's start working in politics [15:40]
  • Why Kendall decided to join management consulting firm Parthenon Group after college [17:59]
  • The first iteration and testing of Polis [18:26]
  • How Kendall transitioned from full-time at Parthenon Group to full-time on Polis [24:16]
  • How Polis has shifted focus and what they're planning for this year [30:40]
  • Kendall talks about the challenges she's faced as a woman in tech, and how she encourages her team to talk about problems [37:18]
  • Kendall's advice for both men and women in tech to support each other [44:32]
  • The books Kendall likes to read [47:52]
  • The first person who comes to mind when Kendall thinks about successful [49:42]
  • Negatives that have turned into positives for Kendall [50:54]
  • The behaviour that has most improved life for Kendall in the last few years [52:29]
  • What Kendall does to get back on track when unfocused and when overwhelmed [54:23]