Don’t spread yourself too thin, you have a finite amount of time, spend it on what really matters.
John Rushworth, an entrepreneur with 8 years startup experience in the tech hospitality space, is the founder and CEO of BottlesTonight.
Where did the idea for Bottles Tonight come from? What does your typical day look like?
I love facilitating the interaction of people around entertainment experiences. My background has always been in hospitality tech, live concerts, and small business management. I used to organize large groups and travel to Las Vegas or Los Angeles. During these experiences, I realized most night clubs struggle to fill tables and potential customers have a hard time accessing this inventory. I knew the problem needed a mobile solution. I formed a team and started BottlesTonight.
On a daily basis, I focus on the most important aspect of our business, revenue. I’m constantly engaging with our nightclub partners and consumers of our app. Relationships are key to any business, especially in hospitality.
How did you bring the idea to life?
I had previously employed an engineer at my last company, who became a friend. When I knew that I wanted to start another business, I circled back with him and co-founded BottlesTonight.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
How tech is enhancing the experience space. I call it the Viceconomy.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Only focusing on one thing at a time, the most important thing, and outsourcing/hiring for the other tasks that need to be done daily.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
The worst job I ever had was a summer painting job, freshman year in college at my cousins painting company. I had to get up at 5:30am every day. It was hard labor work, sanding and prepping for the painters. I learned that the people I worked around really valued my college experiences since they had never gone to college. It made me further value my education and pushed me to study harder.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. Learning is part of the fun. Being naive can help you.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Work out. So many entrepreneurs neglect working out. It’s important for self-esteem, to combat depression, and serves as a time that allows you to think through the hard challenging problems you may be facing.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.
Keep everything that you do simple and focused, and go really deep on it. From building product, marketing and focus. Don’t spread yourself too thin, you have a finite amount of time, spend it on what really matters. If you don’t know what matters in your business, as your potential or current customers.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My last company, BarSential – a groupon for bars, proved to not be scalable. Assessing the potential customer needs, before you build a product, is essential to eliminate bias while building your company.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
CoffeeRush. On-demand coffee delivery.
Tell us something about you that very few people know?
I ran the 100-meter dash in 10.9 seconds my senior year in high school.
What software and web services do you use?
Objective-C, Ruby, Java, AWS, Heroku
What do you love about them?
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Into the wild. It’s helped me be more open to exploring and pushing forward when facing challenges.
What people have influenced your thinking and might be of interest to others?
Travis Kalanick, Founder CEO Uber
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.