Isaac Garcia – CEO and Co-founder of Central Desktop

[quote style=”boxed”]Ideas are a dime a dozen. Success in business is rarely about the idea – and mostly about the execution of that idea.[/quote]

Isaac Garcia is the CEO & Co-founder of Central Desktop. The company is the provider of the cloud-based collaboration software Central Desktop, which revolutionizes how people connect and share information to drive profitable business results.

Prior to Central Desktop, Isaac co-founded Upgradebase in 1997, a leading product data provider to the Computer and Consumer Electronics industry; and Vendorbase in 1999, a B2B Marketplace for Computer Resellers. Both companies were acquired by CNET Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: CNET) in 2002. During his three-year tenure at CNET, Isaac served as a Director of North America Enterprise Sales for CNET Channel. As Director, he was responsible for the acquisition, sales and management of global partnerships with Microsoft, Google, eBay, Yahoo and Best Buy. Isaac led and managed CNET’s global partnership with Microsoft to launch the Windows Marketplace campaign in 14 countries, Microsoft’s largest sales and marketing campaign at the time.

Isaac officially started his career in the technology sector when he was hired as the first sales rep at Quote Desk Software, a quote and procurement solution for computer resellers, which was also later acquired by CNET Networks, Inc. in 2000.

Prior to all of this, Isaac studied English and Theology at Ambassador University in Texas and continued his English studies at the University of Northern Colorado Graduate School in Greeley.

What are you working on right now?

100% of my time is dedicated to Central Desktop. We are in our sixth year now and are focused on scale and faster growth.

3 trends that excite you?

My background and my focus has always been B2B. I get excited about products that help businesses work faster, better and more efficiently. So I’m still excited about collaboration in the workplace. While there are many collaboration tools on the market today to choose from – there are few obvious leaders in the space. I continue to see opportunities in the collaboration market, particularly the socialization and consumerization of work through collaboration.

I also get excited about mobile – as the industry continues to grow at an unprecedented pace. The future of how people access and interact with each other over the internet is switching from the desktop to mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.).

Lastly, I continue to be intrigued by gaming – but not in the consumer sense. I’m interested in gaming as a means of engaging people at work. Gaming, through competition and teaming, can have a profound impact on how people adopt software tools at work, interact with their customers and innovate on new ideas.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Ideas are a dime a dozen. Success in business is rarely about the idea – and mostly about the execution of that idea. The past couple of years have highlighted start-up methods such as Lean Startups and Customer Discovery that focus on the early stages of businesses (at the idea stage). The emphasis is around the idea of “Product Market / Fit” and the importance of validating your ideas with direct customer feedback.

As an entrepreneur, looking back at my prior startups including Central Desktop, the methods we used to bring our ideas to life were always focused on customer feedback (discovery). So, the way you bring ideas to life is to develop a prototype of the idea (or high fidelity mockups of the product) and talk to as many potential customers as you can in your target market before you ever write a line of code.

What inspires you?

Efficiency inspires me. A well oiled machine inspires me. When I walk into any business that is “humming with excitement” – whether it be a body repair shop or a sandwich shop – the buzz of a small team working furiously and efficiently to serve smiling customers inspires me. So in my day to day life, I’m always interested in learning about how “your business works.” I don’t care what it is – I’m interested in learning about your business model, how you gather feedback from customers, how you collect money, how your customers refer business. All of it inspires me.

What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?

In the early 2000s I sold a company to a large public company. It was a success but we sold at the bottom of the market (2002 was a bad year to sell a business). I look back and believe that we could have held out longer. We could have stuck to it longer and either built a more profitable business in the following years, or, at the very least sold the business at a higher valuation. But we got scared. We looked at the economy and felt like things weren’t going to turn around. The lesson is to stick it out to the end – and the economy always turns around. Be patient.

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

I still believe there is tremendous opportunity in the SMB back office, particularly in the finance department. Small companies always struggle with cashflow, collections and managing their accounts receivable. I’ve always believed that there would be an automated way to export your accounts receivable on a regular basis into the cloud and leverage both automated payment tools like PayPal, etc.  But that is just the foundation – the value point is the ability to automatically reconcile (re-import) the collected accounts receivable back into the financial software. If you could “complete this loop” then you are not only solving a business problem for the SMB, you are increasing cashflow for them by automating their collections. And, even better, you (the software vendor) is now collecting business analytics on thousands of companies. With these analytics you would have accurate credit ratings based on real data of payment terms, payment methods, DSO, etc. Good luck!

What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?

The best book on bringing ideas to life is Steve Blanks “Four Steps to the Epiphany.” It’s a tough read, but it’s a goldmine of information and a clear path to success.

As for a tool? I live in Notepad. I type notes, to-lists, reminders, links and ideas in Notepad.

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

I think Daryl Bernstein of RightSignature would be a great interview for you. He has bootstrapped RightSignature to success.

What is the biggest challenges you face as you grow Central Desktop from an early stage startup to a mid-stage company?

Transitioning the company from being Founder-centric to being Team/Company-centric. In the early days of the company, everything was managed by two people (myself and my co-founder). As we’ve grown, the importance of relying on the good people that we’ve hired becomes paramount to our success. The ability to scale the business is a result of the people that you’ve hired and YOUR ability to let them execute. You have to let go.

Besides working at Central Desktop how else do you spend your time?

I’m an avid reader and never have enough time to read everything that I want to read. Besides that, if I’m not working, I’m spending time with my family. Work, family and reading. That’s my life.


Isaac Garcia on Twitter –!/isaacgarcia