Michael “Medium Rare” O’Donnell
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Michael started Cave Tools in 2013. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Cave Tools?
The true start of my journey goes back to college when I took an unpaid internship with a serial entrepreneur. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I never knew anybody that was actually running a successful business. It made me realize that I could play things safe and get stuck in the rat race of a regular job or I could take responsibility for my own destiny and build a business that would help create the freedom I desired in life. Just 6 months after graduating from Penn State, I took the leap and started my own marketing agency.
That experience exposed me to the world entrepreneurship and gave me the confidence to start my own marketing agency just 6 months after graduating from Penn State.
When I started, there was no grand design to build out this giant brand.
I started out by building websites and running SEO and PPC campaigns for local clients. I had various ups and downs with my agency and never really made a ton of money. I was basically just surviving for the first couple of years, but the important part was that I was getting paid to learn and develop my marketing skills.
When I started Cave Tools, there was no grand design to build out this giant barbecue brand. I was telling all of these companies that by working with me I could grow their business, so Cave Tools was really just a side project to put my money where my mouth was and see if I could sell my own products and make money.
It’s kind of funny because I chose the name Cave Tools to leave the door open for any type of Man Cave kind of products. The reason I started with a grill brush was just that it was summertime and they were selling well. Cave Tools was a side project for the first year and a half as I learned the ropes while still running my marketing agency. When the next summer came around I decided to release a 3 piece barbecue tools set as our 2nd product line and that was the point where I decided that I would just continue doing barbecue related products. I finally made the switch to go full time on Cave Tools in late 2014 and was able to use all of the skills I had acquired to scale the company quickly.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater