Find a problem you think you can solve and really focus on it. Resist the urge to move from that problem until you have demonstrated by positive user feedback and growth that you have actually solved it.
Adam Rogas is the CEO and Co-Founder of NS8. With over 14 years of senior development and management expertise, as well as extensive knowledge in the fields of online fraud and spam filtering, Adam brings a tremendous amount to NS8. He was a founder of LoadMail and has worked as a trusted advisor to Postini, London Board of Tourism, Vivendi Universal, and Napster. In each case, Adam has helped implement big data, email, spam and virus filtering, and data security solutions. Mr. Rogas has architected extremely large-scale spam and virus filtering platforms, dealing with well over 100,000 messages per hour. He has also played a central role in the architecture of numerous large scale analysts solutions. Adam brings his love for safe, effective communication and startup ventures to NS8. He is married and also calls Las Vegas, Nevada home.
Where did the idea for NS8 come from?
My partners and I have run some significant and highly transactional websites and services prior to NS8. We understood that the common threads of fraud, abuse and poor user experience affected each of them in some way, shape, or form. Knowing this, we felt there had to be a better way to protect these types of sites and services, from being abused, regardless of their size. We also knew that any solution we created had to be easy to deploy, manage, and understand.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
In an early stage company you are wearing lots of hats. I work a ton of hours. So, the key for me, is to keep my thoughts organized. I usually divide my day up into 3 or 4 segments and then identify what I think I can accomplish in each one of them. Once I do this, I make a list for each segment. This gives me a semblance of structure to my day that helps me get my mind right for the tasks I have to tackle. It also helps me walk away and not overthink the ones I have already completed.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I usually start with an idea or something that would really matter to a specifc group of people and then I start asking questions. I will then usually build some simple example, or take steps to create what I’m trying to do, and show it to people get feedback and repeat until I reach my goal.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
It has gotten easier and easier to bring big ideas to life, and to compete, due to the growth of cloud services. To me, it really levels the playing field for a lot of ideas, that just 5 years ago, would have been impossible for all but the largest companies to bring to life.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I try to be fairly aware of my own ADD and so I will make lists to hold myself accountable for the items on them. I also try to solve this problem in our hiring practices by surrounding myself with people that are very detail and process focused.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Find a problem you think you can solve and really focus on it. Resist the urge to move from that problem until you have demonstrated by positive user feedback and growth that you have actually solved it. If you do that, and continue to do it over and over again, you will be successful.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
That I am a good singer ? I don’t know that I am very persuasive here …. but I do know I can’t sing.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I am constantly talking to our customers. I try to involve them early on, and very often in our process. This is one area I struggle with as we evolve and scale our product development processes, but it is critical to maintaining that connection as to why your customers want your product in the first place.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Surrounding myself with supremely talented people and partners. It has been instrumental to my own growth and the growth of my businesses.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
That would probably be my first company, Load Ltd. Load was a hosted application service provider before there was a term for Software As A Service (SaaS). We had a popular email product called LoadMail, that was used by a number of major companies. About 1 year into the business we chose to offer additional services above and beyond just mail and it was this decision that would prove to be our failure. As a team, we didn’t fully understand how diversifying our focus would negatively impact our effectiveness. I tell everyone who asks for advice to pick a problem you can solve and focus on solving it well. Successful entrepreneurs have one thing in common — they never give up.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I like ideas that take subject knowledge and find a way to productize it. One idea I had was to do this for athletic departments in D1 schools, so they could crowdsource from their athletes, managers, and students the creation of social marketing content. They could then manage it from a centrally controllable compliance system.
Plastics !! Invest in Plastics (god I’m old)
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
Money spent on experiences, dinner with my wife or friends, or money that helps someone. Recently, since we are living across the country from each other, it would be dinner with my wife the last time I was at home in Las Vegas.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
Slack. It helps our entire team communicate.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Start With Why” by Simon Sinek. It helps you think about what you are building in a way that really focuses on how it will be consumed by those whom you are selling it to.
What is your favorite quote?
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Tell us about one friend or acquaintance of yours who we should interview on IdeaMensch. Who are they, what are they doing and what’s their email address?
I actually have two Nick Jones, Nick and I started what was our first real company together Load Ltd along with my current business partner Paul Korol. Nick’s is currently working on a great project focused on personal and affinity based content creation called JRNL.com, they have recently been through boom Startup a SaaS focused startup accelerator in Salt Lake City and have just completed a seed round of funding.
John Njoku, John is working on a great project RentHub.com, which is at the intersection of Multifamily Residential Realestate and Big Data Analytics. RentHub has some huge clients such as StarWood capital and The Lefrak Organization and has recently completed the Elmspring accelerator based in Chicago.