Thom Holland is an American entrepreneur most notably known for being the Co-founder and CEO of Beckon. He is a graduate of Florida State University and holds a MBA with a specialization in marketing.
What are you working on right now?
We build better businesses. For the past year we’ve dedicated much of our energy on “Beckon Online”; a service that provides businesses with a systematic way to generate and convert leads online. Essentially, Beckon Online provides businesses with a scalable and systematic “Online Presence as a Service”.
What does your typical day look like?
I spend most of my time in what I like to call “collected chaos”. As I’m sure most business leaders would tell you, running a business can be challenging at times. Ultimately, we have to be able to deliver under pressure and capitalize on opportunities.
In a typical day I spend the majority of my time focusing on Beckon’s strategic matters. More often than not this consist of making phone calls to potential investors, creating future plans, and setting up possible deals.
3 trends that excite you?
The increased interest in Software as a Service models.
The rate at which the Internet improves.
Improvements in online education.
How do you bring ideas to life?
“Plan your work and then work your plan.”
What inspires you?
Entrepreneurs and savvy business-minds.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
I had to learn early on that you can’t do everything yourself. Show me any great leader and I’ll show you a whole team of great people behind them.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I’d really like to see the microfinance industry take off. Companies like Kiva have done an incredible job at getting small amounts of money to small entrepreneurs. It would be great if their was some type of support system that helped these entrepreneurs execute their plan after they receive financing.
What do you read every day, and why?
I spend a lot of my time reading through educational material. Most of the time, material that you would find in a business program will present you with a more complete and accurate picture.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read, and why?
Any book by Geoff Moore.
For those interested in technology-related startups, “Crossing the Chasm” is a great read. Geoff’s books are great at presenting difficult topics in a way that is easy to understand.
What is your favorite gadget, app or piece of software that helps you every day?
I’m a big fan of Google Apps.
Three people we should follow on Twitter, and why?
David Garland (@TheRiseToTheTop)
David interviews all types of interesting people on his Internet show “The Rise To The Top”. It’s a great source for finding real-life lessons that can be applied to business.
Michael Beck (@MintBeck)
I would definitely recommend that small business owners follow Michael on Twitter. He’s a great resource for all types of small business IT advice and information. I imagine we will be seeing much more from Mr Beck here shortly.
Barry Moltz (@BarryMoltz)
Barry has one of the best business radio shows I’ve heard in quite a while. It’s always a pleasure tuning in and hearing his interviews.
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
If we could go back in time, I’d like to hear Albert Einstein’s thoughts on business. I imagine he may have some interesting things to say.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it.
My wife is great at getting me to laugh. I’m sure I laughed 3 or 4 times this morning before leaving to go to work.
What’s been your greatest achievement?
To be honest with you, I don’t feel like I’ve done enough. There’s still a lot of people who need help out there. Once we figure out a way to solve the serious problems….then we’ve done something.
What’s the best part about your job?
People… without a doubt.