John Corrigan – Chief Interviewer at TravelsOfJohn

John Corrigan is an and AOL alumnus, a relentless traveler, and proud conversationalist. John’s personal maxim may well be “hunger is the best sauce” for the zeal with which he approaches life and work. Tenacious, ever-curious and unquestionably blessed with the gift of gab, he’s ferociously loyal, socially uninhibited, and infectiously upbeat. He’s responsible for charting the course of TravelsofJohn as well as manning the tiller, for mining the Rolodexes of his associates in search of interesting contacts and for chatting up everyone in sight – a task which is as innate to him as the migration on the fertile plains of Africa is to the noble wildebeest. Or something like that…..

What are you working on right now?

I’m trying to figure out how to scale interview content for TravelsOfJohn without sacrificing quality of our interviews or bankrupting our venture. I know I’m not alone in my quest, which doesn’t suck.

3 trends that excite you?

My fellow millennials stepping up to disrupt the status quo and saying nope I don’t like how that has been done and changing it. I have great hopes for my generation. We have been given a lot and much is expected. We canNOT fail.

The consumer life cycle in the Western world and how through the use of data and technology we can deliver individuals a more relevant experience both online and offline. That makes no sense, but in my mind it does.

Long-term travel with a bent towards vagabonding.

How do you bring ideas to life?

It generally involves a few phone calls to my brain trust of friends that are much smarter and more or less as insane as I. Once an idea gets washed through that group a few times. I sit down and map out all the pieces that need to be brought together to execute. I identify what I can and can’t do. Then go about finding the people who can do what I can’t. I start with the most critical pieces and then try and get those together as fast as possible. The focus is always to keep moving forward and making decisions. Being stagnate kills an idea very quickly.

What inspires you?

Two things:

The unknown.
The possibility of bringing an idea to life, it being sustainable economically so that it provides a living for others and then walking away from it because it doesn’t need you anymore.

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

I wasted a lot of time in college and missed a lot of things going on outside my bubble. Things I could have taken advantage of or gotten more involved in. I had all this time to do anything I wanted, learn, and build anything I wanted. I didn’t. I try very hard not to waste time anymore.

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

Not a specific idea. But focus on utility and the reduction of friction. If you can create something that provides consumers with real utility while reducing friction in their life you will be incredibly successful.

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

Rework by Jason Fried & David Heinemeier Hansson and everything that 37Signals makes. Basecamp is just kind of amazing.

Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?

The ex-presidents.

What advice would you give students looking for their first job?

It is less about the company you go to work for and more about the boss you go to work for. Find the person who is going to teach you the most and who is going to help you grow the most.

What do you refuse to travel without?

Moleskine notebook, my Father’s pen, Kindle, Macbook, digital camera, toothbrush.


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