[quote style=”boxed”]You can get a lot farther by making people talk about you than you can by plastering the world with advertisements that people will ignore.[/quote]
Emmitt Parkman is the founder of Sports Talk Trash, where he is working to build a platform to bring together the world’s most passionate sports fans. Emmitt also has his own line of sports t-shirts, which he personally designs, for those who dare to wear their pride across their chest. Emmitt is a hardcore gamer and a huge fan of RPGs (role playing games) and sports games. Emmitt resides in the Washington, DC area, as well as Columbus, Ohio (sometimes).
What are you working on right now?
I am working on developing a website called Sports Talk Trash (STT), which is a social media company for dedicated sports fans. In addition, I am working an apparel line to be sold on the STT website
Where did the idea for Sports Talk Trash come from?
The idea came to me while I was attending sporting events and observing fan interaction.
What does your typical day look like?
A typical day, for me, starts with a hearty breakfast. While I’m eating, I catch up on current events. Then I enjoy an invigorating workout, and when I’m done with that, I work on the website and apparel designs for the majority of the day. After the day’s work is over, I like to make dinner for my family and watch the news and/or whatever sports games are on.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We are always brainstorming new ideas for apparel designs. Normally, the spark for an idea originates from some piece of news or from a team or simply from a rivalry within the sports community. We like to spark conflict between different teams when designing apparel. The more infuriating a design is to the opposing team, the better.
Three trends that excite you?
- The multitude of ways that entrepreneurs have to find funding to make their ideas fly–whether it’s through angel investors, incubators or crowdfunding sites.
- The way social media has evolved to play a role in every aspect of our daily lives; it enables us to find a place to have dinner, to say hello to a friend, or to even laugh at pictures of cats with silly captions.
- The growth of sports and technology working together to better athletes and spectators. Never before has it been so easy for spectators to see what is going on during a game (thanks to things like instant replays) or to interact with one another through computers or mobile devices. Technology is helping athletes compete better, through the use of biofeedback devices, and is also connecting them with their fans, through social media.
What is the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
By far the worst thing I have ever done was work at a shoe store. It taught me how to interact with people, which was the best part of my job. Working in the men’s department, I got to talk sports with all of the customers while I got their shoes for them.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
If I could start all over, I would like to be a sociologist, observing others and trying to impress upon the minds of those I meet that despite our differences, we are all the same. You can win together or lose alone.
What is the one thing you do over and over again as an entrepreneur and recommend everybody else do?
I recommend being sure of your base market so you know how many people are interested and where they are, so that it is easier to target them.
Tell us a secret.
Word of mouth is stronger than the written word will ever be. You can get a lot farther by making people talk about you than you can by plastering the world with advertisements that people will ignore.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Whatever market your business is in, you should make sure that your business is your passion. If it’s only something you like, you may fail because you aren’t passionate enough to bring it to fruition. You can’t be concentrating on the payoff; the journey may have to be enough for a while, as passion can carry you through tough times.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
Death to the BCS by Dan Wetzel, Josh Peter and Jeff Passan. It effectively articulates a failed business model and describes why the BCS fails to match the very best teams in college football. (They are getting rid of the BCS in 2014.)
If you weren’t working on Sports Talk Trash, what would you be doing?
I would be completing my computer science degree.
Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?
- @AngelllFace, because she is a die-hard Miami Heat fan who doesn’t take criticism of her team very well. She can talk smack with the best of them.
- @terilyn68, because she is the all-American, Philadelphia sports girl who isn’t afraid to mix it up with the boys for a round of sports talk.
- @RealSkipBayless, because he isn’t afraid to speak his mind, regardless of the backlash he gets from the media and fans.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it.
I was watching the news, and one woman who was being interviewed looked like she was on drugs and just started talking craziness when the reporter asked her a question. I’m always amazed at the people they find to interview.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
What three apps do you find the most useful in your line of work?
- Tweetbot, so I can keep in touch with all the people who are anticipating my product release.
- Skype is great for meeting interactions with co-workers who are located around the country.
- Flipboard keeps me up-to-date on tech news and trends.
Who has had the greatest influence on your life? Why?
Kitchener Galloway. He was my art mentor when I was growing up as a kid. He always challenged me to draw and paint different abstracts out of ordinary things to help me see the world in different ways.
Sports Talk Trash on Twitter: @sportstalktrash
Sports Talk Trash on Facebook:
Sports Talk Trash’s website:
Sports Talk Trash’s email: [email protected]
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.