Joe Shartzer – Co-founder of Nyopoly

[quote style=”boxed”]Try them out and see what sticks. The best way to know what your customers want is to ask them.[/quote]

Joe Shartzer is responsible for marketing and community outreach at Nyopoly, which include Nyopoly’s style blog and social media presence. He’s a serial entrepreneur who loves the hustle of it all.

Shartzer’s background lies in marketing and technology, with a passion for connecting companies and consumers. He’s consulted with national brands to help turn prospects into customers and customers into advocates. Prior to Nyopoly, Shartzer started his own digital marketing agency with a focus on new media and web design. He loves fashion, good music, bourbon and Boston sports. Shartzer earned his bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from the University of New Hampshire. (Go Wildcats!)

What are you working on right now?

I’m a cofounder of Nyopoly and I started Sharenext Media.

Where did the idea for Nyopoly come from?

Shawn, our founder, owned a fashion retail business prior to Nyopoly, and experienced the pain of the inefficiency of fixed prices. He was always trying different promotions and sales to fix the fact that he was trying to find a single price that would work for a large group of people. Nyopoly was born out of this frustration, allowing shoppers to pay their personal price in a unbiased and non-competitive approach was the solution.

How do you make money?

We’re a ecommerce platform that has the traditional retailer business model.

What does your typical day look like?

More email than I like. I try to get up around 6, hit the gym to get moving, then it’s a combination of email, client outreach, and constant dialogue with my cofounders. Always have that Google Hangout popup working.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Try them out and see what sticks. The best way to know what your customers want is to ask them.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

Does the startup trend count? While I worry about talent spread issues – people who could be kicking ass at small/medium companies instead launching a startup and failing – I think it’s awesome seeing so many people take control of their ideas and start.

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

When I was 16, I would work seven hours at a local footwear store and then drive across the street to work seven hours at McDonald’s. I think I’d make like $80 a day. Taught me hustle and to just. keep. going. Wouldn’t rate this as a bad overall experience for the record, but since then I’ve always absolutely loved what I do.

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

I’d start earlier. No question.

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

Make lists and start crossing things off. Inertia will kill you as an entrepreneur – keep moving, both physically and mentally.

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

I’ve lost a lot of proposals I thought we had locked up – and every time I do, I just ask if there was any feedback the client might have. Try to use that failure, learn from it, and fail less next time.

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

If you live near a college or university, buy ten sets of hair clippers and teach ten kids how to (kinda) cut hair. Teach yourself first if you don’t know. Have the kids charge six or seven bucks a cut, everyone becomes friends, and you figure out a rev share, or you provide a room for this, or something. Obviously works best for guys haircuts. There’s a (small) business here.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

Lofty question. I think most of the world’s issues could be improved if people were a little less narcissistic and a little more tuned in to their surroundings.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I didn’t come up with the name for Sharenext Media – my mom did.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

I like Invoiceable for invoicing, Dropbox/Google Drive for not losing everything, and Basecamp for project management. Also want to mention Spotify, Google Voice, Grasshopper and Adblock. Also, do you have the best replacement for TweetDeck? Email me.

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

Tough to beat The Lean Startup. It’s cliche, but great. Also, I LOVE Rework.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

Getting your news from Twitter saves you tons of time – stop looking and trust that anything of importance to you will find its way into your stream. With that, make lists about what you love – I have one for news, one for my social circles, one for my business connects, etc. Three to fit in those would be @AP, @Newser, and @FastCompany.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I laugh a ton, so this is tough. It’s Monday, so I think I last laughed about how brutal my fantasy football team was doing.

Who is your hero, and why?

Too many to choose. Give me someone who just burns calories. That’s getting rarer and rarer.

When should I start? I kinda have an idea, but I’m not sure what to do first?

Yesterday. I started right out of college and I wish I had started two years earlier. As for what to do first, find a way to provide value to people. They later become customer and you later become a business, but start by providing value.

Who’s going to win the Heisman Trophy in 2013?

Glad you asked! As a lifelong Louisville Cardinal fan, it’s Teddy Bridgewater, no doubt.


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