Ilya Bodner – Co-founder and CRO of The Shipyard

In fact, you end up failing a heck of a lot over the course of the journey. The ideas that stick, and get support end up taking on a life of their own.

Over the course of the last 10 years as an entrepreneur I have successfully launched, managed, and sold off several businesses. Each organization has added some value to my understanding of the business world today. My philosophy has been that 9 things out of 10 that I try will fail, but that golden one is always worth the battle. In my experience that has proven to be the case and my successful businesses still operate today under the management of those whom I have sold off to.

Where did the idea for The Shipyard come from? What does your typical day look like?

The Shipyard is a place where sales, creative, technology and marketing comes together, a place where an organization can have an end to end strategic partner to get to that very next customer. We found that there is a great need in the distributed sales channel space. An enterprise that sells through a distribution channel often has many complex ways of influencing its customers (the SMBs) to get to the consumer. My typical day is figuring out ways of connecting ready to buy customers with ready to sell counter parts.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Well, like any other entrepreneur (and I think inventors are like this too) you end up trying out a lot of things. In fact, you end up failing a heck of a lot over the course of the journey. The ideas that stick, and get support end up taking on a life of their own.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

More and more organizations are starting to pay attention to the consumer journey.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

Not afraid of bringing others in on my idea.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I had only a handful of jobs in my life but the last one was the worst. I joined a startup that was put together by 5 men that were already doing business together in a very successful other venture. They hired a COO, bought the building they were in, and had one major client. For many reasons the situation was a longshot for me from the start but what I learned from it was that you build relationships along the way and those relationships must be cherished!

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

How many things am I allowed to list here? My biggest things I’d change I think are not borrowing from close ones, not working with close ones, and shooting for a better name school.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Never stop meeting new people, talking to successful folks.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

Break the rules, push all boundaries. Everything is negotiable – taking that to the extreme hurts you but if approached from a positive side it saved me money, helped bring in better people and got us more followers/customers.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Just one? It is important to never stop dreaming. I’m not kidding myself I just try really hard to envision myself being successful.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Why is it so hard to gather all the pictures from a big event past weekend? There’s someone’s facebook, someone else sends you a few emailed pics, then I get an invite from Picaso account or a Dropbox link, mixed in with some new Kodak accounts? I can’t stand it, there should be a way to click a button and it groups it all together for you.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

My nickname in preschool was Megaphone.

What software and web services do you use? What do you love about them?

I’m addicted to all Google services.

It’s the future.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

I have a terrible habit of getting 1/3 of the way through to books. If you are interested in that then I have many, email me.

What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?

Recently I’ve had the pleasure to partner up and work with Rick Milenthal. He’s got an amazing perspective on things.


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