We do a lot of interviews here on IdeaMensch. Last month we did 40. And just in case you’re curious, here are our five most read interviews of July 2011.
#1 – Derek Sivers, the Founder of CD Baby and Author of “Anything You Want”
Derek came to us via the awesome folks at the Domino Project (a publishing company founded by Seth Godin and powered by Amazon.com) who released Derek’s first book “Anything You Want.” Derek is a legendary entrepreneur who actually donated all the proceeds from selling his company CD Baby to a charity that he set up. My favorite answer that Derek gave was to the question of how he brings ideas to life. Here is what he said:
Shut off distractions. Get offline. Turn off your phone. Be unreachable. Give them your full attention, and they’ll jump to life.
Read our full interview with Derek Sivers.
#2 – Brad Feld, the Co-founder of Foundry Group and TechStars
Brad is a much admired VC investor and thought leader, who sits on the Board of Directors of amazing companies like Zynga and Cheezburger Networks. I actually am a big fan of Brad’s blog (http://feld.com) and here is my favorite quote out of his interview with us.
I don’t think ideas have much value – I’ve written extensively about that. I’m a believer that it’s all about execution. So – my business idea would be “don’t focus on ideas, focus on executing your ideas.”
Read our full interview with Brad Feld.
#3 – John Amato, the CEO and Founder of MarketSharing
Unlike Derek and Brad, I had never heard of John before he did his interview with us. That didn’t make it any less awesome. Derek is the CEO and Founder of a company called MarketSharing, which basically is like a Groupon for businesses. I found it very interesting how John organizes his typical day.
My day splits up into quarters. I typically spend 25% of my looking for talented team members to hire, 25% helping my team, 25% analyzing MarketSharing’s future and 25% on whatever the most crucial current business initiative may be. Regarding that last quarter, an example of a crucial initiative could be if there is any sort of business or operations glitch, I will roll up my sleeves and solely focus on that particular issue until it is figured out and resolved.
Read our full interview with John Amato.
#4 – Travis Katz, the CEO and Co-founder of Gogobot
Travis Katz is the CEO and Co-founder of a company called Gogobot, which basically is a social media travel resource that allows you to make travel plans based on your friends’ recommendations. Prior to Gogobot, Travis was the GM of MySpace. And I loved the lesson that he shared with us from one of his experiences of running MySpace.
When I was at MySpace, I ran the international business, and in the first year I launched MySpace in 15 countries and 10 languages and self-funded the entire expansion with our own advertising revenues. The roll out was going very well, and we were seeing double digit monthly growth in each country after we launched, and were profitable and growing. But we made the mistake of believing that the past could be a good predictor of the future. It wasn’t. At the end of my second year, Facebook, after lagging behind for years, exploded out of the gate, exploding with such force it literally stopped our growth in its tracks in many countries. Then the recession hit and we saw ad revenues drop 25% in one quarter. We had staffed up assuming the current year would look somewhat similar to the prior one. It didn’t, and we ended up having to lay off staff to make the numbers work. I am now obsessed with running leaner than you think you need to.
Read the interview with Travis Katz.
Paul-Frédéric Viès – Co-founder of Voxtrot
We have been gaining a lot of traction with entrepreneurs and startups in Europe, so I love that our fifth most popular interview in July came from Europe – Zürich to be particular. Paul-Frédéric Viès not only has more accents in his name than any other interviewee but also started a company called Voxtrot, which is aiming to be a free mobile network in Europe. Not only do I love the idea, but I also love that this Paul-Frédéric’s first business ever. Way to start off slow.
And we’ll end this post with what Paul wants to tell people who’re contemplating starting their own business.
Just do it. There is always a zillion reasons why this and that will hypothetically not work out. Don’t let it turn you off, the road you take as an entrepreneur is a bumpy one, for sure, but it’s also an extremely exciting one. Life is too short to waste in a cubicle. With a lot of heart, will and fighting spirit I have absolutely no doubt that anyone can make it as an entrepreneur. Choose what you like, share your ideas and put them in motion!
Read the full interview with Paul-Frédéric Viès.