[quote style=”boxed”]To give up your day job and keep going at it until you succeed—there’s really no other way to get your ideas off the ground.[/quote]
Paul Cameron is the co-founder and CEO of Booktrack. In 2006, Paul founded the Marops Defense Projects Division, a high-tech electronics and software company that provides products and services to the global defense industry. As Division Director, Paul was integral in exponentially expanding the company’s revenue, resulting in its selection as one of the top 20 fastest growing companies in New Zealand. In 2010, Paul co-founded Booktrack, where as CEO his business acumen, leadership skills, clear product and business strategy and strategic vision brought Booktrack to market. For over a decade Paul flew as an officer with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, he is a qualified aeronautical engineer from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and a graduate of the Royal Canadian Air Force Aerospace Systems Post Graduate Course.
What are you working on right now?
I am the co-founder and CEO of Booktrack. Booktrack created a new technology that synchronizes audio with text to create an immersive reading experience. Books published by Booktrack include a customized, hand-created soundtrack that matches the action in the text. As readers go through the text, music, sound effects and ambient audio change to reflect the plot. Booktrack is creating the standard for a new genre that is focused entirely on enhancing the age-old practice of reading.
Where did the idea for Booktrack come from?
The idea arose from my brother, Mark, who was commuting to Hong Kong by ferry every day. During the trip, Mark would read books and articles while listening to music on his iPod. On occasion, there would be serendipitous moments where the music and the text would align tonally and thematically, enhancing the experience of both. He called me up to explore how we might be able to make this happen on a regular basis for all readers. I was running a team of developers at the time, so we started prototyping and developing, and from that, Booktrack was born.
What does your typical day look like?
A typical day can start in either New Zealand or New York with either a nice quiet drive to work or a noisy subway downtown (reading a Booktrack, of course!). From there, I spend the rest of my day working with everyone from our Academy Award-winning audio teams to our own software team based in New Zealand to our sales and marketing team headquartered in New York. Because Booktrack is a truly global business, emails and phone calls come in at all times of the day and night to our trans-continental teams, so there is never a dull moment.
How do you bring ideas to life?
By investing as much time, energy and thought as I can into them. The key is to never give up on your idea.
3 trends that excite you?
- The move of everything to mobile and the associated smart device development opportunities.
- The shift away from software and apps and towards browser and cloud-based computing.
- Social media integration with everyday products.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
I’ve never had a truly bad job—everywhere I’ve worked, I’ve always learned something and have walked away feeling that the experience was valuable.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
We would have scaled our software development team earlier to get our product to market quicker.
What is the one thing you did/do as an entrepreneur that you would do over and over again and recommend everybody else do?
To give up your day job and keep going at it until you succeed—there’s really no other way to get your ideas off the ground.
Tell us a secret…
All of Booktrack’s R&D and software development is done in Auckland, NZ and Academy Award winning sound studio Park Road Post completes all of our audio.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Booktrack will be making the tools available for anyone to create a story available in the future. By providing the tools and platform, we hope that we will become the standard for book soundtracks.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore, Booktrack version, of course. With the sound created by Park Road Post, it truly is an amazing, high quality and immersive experience that showcases everything Booktrack can do.
If you weren’t working on Booktrack, what would you be doing?
I’d be a stay-at-home dad raising my 2 beautiful daughters.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
- @booktrk: To find out the latest about our product.
- @bhorowitz: He’s a famous New Zealander who is based in Silicon Valley. He’s quite brilliant and always has something interesting to say about the market.
- @TheRealHandley: In addition to serving as our chairman, Derek is a really inspiring and innovative entrepreneur in the digital space.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
The last time I laughed out loud was while watching the movie Bridesmaids. Very, very funny.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
Rod Drury–he leads a New Zealand company called Xero that has put accounting software in the cloud and will forever change the way small and large business accounting is done.
With Booktrack, why did you get involved with reading and books?
I have always been an avid reader and could see that books are no longer the first choice of entertainment for many teens and children. I wanted to make sure there was a reading option available to young people who can compete in the multimedia universe in which they find themselves. We believe that Booktrack maintains interest as well as any other form of entertainment, and we hope that young readers will come to Booktrack to explore great content that they otherwise may have missed.
What’s the secret ingredient to success as an entrepreneur?
Tenacity—never give up.
E-mail: [email protected]
Booktrack on Facebook: www.facebook.com/booktrack
Paul Cameron on Twitter: @pccameron
Booktrack on Twitter: @booktrk
Booktrack on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/booktrack