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4 Examples of Risks Leading to Reward Meet the mavericks whose eccentric ideas paid off big.

By David Port

This story appears in the March 2015 issue of Start Up.

Kevin J. Miyazaki
They did it their way: Ryan Carson of Treehouse; Eventup’s Jayna Cooke.

Ryan Carson had spent enough time working for "the man" to know that as an employer, he didn't want to become the man: the soul-crushing boss employees love to hate. So in launching his Portland, Ore.-based online coding school Treehouse in 2010, he decided to try something different: a four-day, 32-hour workweek.

The reaction from the MBA types who had Carson's ear was a chorus of "You're nuts!"

But Carson's approach, as unconventional as it may have seemed, had a near-immediate positive impact on his company's recruiting efforts. He felt vindicated—and inspired to stay the course.

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