[quote style=”boxed”]We just do it. That’s how Action Factory got its name. It’s all about action here. We view it as all positive action as well. If something doesn’t come out the way you expected the first time, then the experience itself was valuable. You will have a different set of actionable items the second time.[/quote]
Tammy Camp is the founder and CEO of Action Factory, a next-generation digital publishing company focusing on premium evergreen content and lifestyle brands. She has taken part in numerous successful business endeavors, facilitating over $1 billion in revenue, and serves as an advisor to startups in the security, consumer Internet, and executive research industries. Tammy is a kiteboarding world record holder and can be reached on Twitter or Google+.
What are you working on right now?
Action Factory is a digital publishing company that builds media brands by matching evergreen written content with engaging, high-quality video. Publishing has existed since cavemen first painted on walls. What makes Action Factory unique is our mixed-media model, proprietary audience engagement engine, and thematic focus on underdeveloped content categories.
Where did the idea for your current business come from?
While working as a product consultant at Walmart Labs as a result of my extensive experience in the publishing, demand generation, and monetization spaces, I had to test a product that the internal engineers built to grow their publisher network and help publishers make more money and live better. I tested the product on one of my personal sites and found that the product they’d built did not serve the purpose of helping publishers. After doing extensive research in the area, I actually found opportunity in a mixture of products and proved them wrong. They’ve since discontinued the product, and I separately started Action Factory.
What does your typical day look like?
This is a funny question because there’s no typical day for a startup founder. It’s like having five jobs in one.
Some days, I focus on technical product specs that include third-party APIs, database schemas, and core infrastructure. (Surprise! I’m technical.) Other days, I focus on financial modeling, business development, and legal contracts. On top of that, I do all the ad operations for the company as well.
If I ever have a free minute, I like to cook and ride waves on my kiteboard. Oh, and sometimes, I sleep.
How do you bring ideas to life?
We just do it. That’s how Action Factory got its name. It’s all about action here. We view it as all positive action as well. If something doesn’t come out the way you expected the first time, then the experience itself was valuable. You will have a different set of actionable items the second time.
What’s one trend that really excites you?
Big data excites me. Making decisions based on complex varieties of data available is great when the execution is flawless.
What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?
The worst job I ever had was when I was consulting in the innovation lab for a large retailer. The creativity they advertised did not exist. I’m a big believer that innovation cannot be done in large enterprise companies. The red tape and bureaucracy will add two years to the timeline of a project in an enterprise environment.
If you were to start again, what would you do differently?
During the fundraising process, I felt like I spoke with some individuals who claimed they were investors, but in the end, they just wanted to get information out of me. The next time around, I’ll definitely be able to distinguish the information and time vampires from those who are legit.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
I believe I can do anything. Seriously, if I don’t know how to do something, I either ask someone who’s an expert or Google it. Then, I get out there and do it on my own.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
For the love of God, someone please form a competitor to Dun & Bradstreet! They have the worst technology ever, and I’m forced to pay them thousands of dollars per year.
Tell us a secret.
Ask the NSA or my dog (she knows everything).
What are your three favorite online tools and what do you love about them?
1. Google Apps: It’s a one-stop shop for your email, calendar, and docs.
2. Asana: It’s our go-to project management system. It integrates with Google Apps, of course.
3. Spotify: It’s what we jam out to in the office.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’d recommend “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life.” It’s an amazing story of how someone with very humble beginnings strove for excellence and continues to carry out those values, regardless of how much he’s worth.
What’s on your playlist?
Right now, my jam is Sean Parker’s “Hipster International” playlist on Spotify.
If you weren’t working on your current business, what would you be doing?
I’d be traveling around the world, chasing wind while kiteboarding.
Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?
Naval Ravikant: He’s one of the smartest people I know.
Kara Swisher: She’s the best technology reporter in Silicon Valley.
T. Boone Pickens: He’s a billionaire who’s witty and down-to-earth, and he knows macroeconomics and energy.
When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
I laughed reading a piece on one of our sites, Witty + Pretty. Coffee may or may not have been sprayed.
Who is your hero?
My hero is Elon Musk of SpaceX, Tesla, and PayPal. An entrepreneur who has built three companies in different sectors is impressive. He privatized the space industry, which makes him the Thomas Edison of our time.
What’s the best business quote that you carry with you at Action Factory?
“If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” —Reid Hoffman
What is your favorite television series?
“House of Cards” is my favorite.