Justin Spraggins is the CEO and Co-Founder of Snack Break, Inc., a technology startup that most recently released a bite-size video app for work called Popcorn.
The entrepreneur spirit has always been in Justin having started his first business at the age of 15 in Cleveland, OH. He left Cleveland for a quick stop in New York City before venturing off to Los Angeles in pursuit of an acting career. In 2008, he booked the first ever iPhone commercial which ended up being the initial spark that drove him into technology.
Seeing the potential as well as the disruptive nature technology was having on society he decided to leave the acting world and venture into creating socially relevant apps.
Since 2011, Justin created a number of different apps many of them having been featured by Apple (Best New Apps) including the photo sharing app Looksee, which trended #1 in the app store with millions downloads.
In 2016, Spraggins founded Unmute Inc. and raised 2.2M from venture capitalist which included Greylock Partners, Greycroft Partners, Crosscut Ventures, Betaworks, Courtside Ventures, BDMI as well as from former NBA commissioner David Stern and the creator of The Walking Dead comic series, Robert Kirkman.
In 2020, Spraggins founded Snack Break, Inc. with Ben Hochberg to build Popcorn, with a mission to transform work by empowering people to communicate and express themselves more efficiently.
Where did the idea for Snack Break come from?
My Co-Founder and I have built a number of consumer mobile apps. This past year we felt disconnected from our team working remote. We asked ourselves “Why isn’t there like a Snapchat for work”. An app that made it quick and easy to share bite-size video message with each other asynchronously…. enter Popcorn.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wake up at 6am. I get my two year old Wesley set up with cartoons and I start my day. I’m a morning person which makes it easy to start off being productive right away and I love what I do so that energy carries throughout the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I’m a designer and developer so when I have an idea or get an idea from an user for a feature or product improvement I start by designing it and implementing the UI. This brings the idea to life then I loop in my Co-Founder and CTO to help hook it up and ship it to users.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Not sure it’s a trend yet but I believe the next trend will be the next generation enterprise apps will look a lot like consumer social apps.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I have a standing desk which makes the habit of just getting in front of the computer to design or code super easy when I walk into my office. Once I’m in the flow the momentum builds.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Get into tech sooner.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe in hard work and long hours. The key is to find what you love to work on so work doesn’t feel like work.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I talk to our users to get feedback on how we can make Popcorn better.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Get out there. Tell as many people as possible about what Popcorn is and the problem we solve.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
My previous company Unmute failed. In 2015 we created a live audio app that let you unmute listeners, kind of like a live podcast. We were maybe two early or missed slightly on the execution because in 2020 Clubhouse came out with the same concept and has been a wild success.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A digital merchandise platform for influencers where their fans can purchase AR effects and other custom digital effects.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
32oz Nalgene water bottle. Staying hydrated is so important and before I bought this big water bottle I wasn’t drinking enough water.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
Notion. I love how makes doing checklist super easy.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
You can not go wrong with reading the Bible.
What is your favorite quote?
A Little Wayne song lyric “asleep on the gas, no break pads”.
- Find work that you love is step one.
- Stay hydrated.
- Get out there and talk to as many users and potential customers about what you are building to learn what’s working and what’s not.
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.