Jared Reitzin – Mobile Storm – http://www.mobilestorm.com/
1. What ignited the spark in you to start Mobile Storm?
Jon Schreiber, he is currently serving on my board. At the time he was an advisor who told me mobile is gonna be big. I didn’t know anything about Bluetooth, WAP, and SMS. He explained the eco system to me and it got me fired up. He also got me my first project with Interscope Records. We launched the company around that project.
2. What is your definition of success and has your company achieved it?
My definition of business success goes in this order:
1. Make a huge difference in your industry. Everyone respects you and talks about you.
2. Become financially independent. Be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want.
I have not achieved these things yet. I am close, but I have about 10 more years of hard work.
3. To what do you attribute your company’s recent achievements?
Being focused. There are a million ways to take our company and business model. The death of an entrepreneur is being unfocused. You have to do one thing and do it as best as you can. When you really become successful is when you can diversify.
4. How important have good employees and team members been to your success?
Nothing is more important than this. Not how good our service is, not our marketing, or our persistence. It comes down to one thing and one thing only, good people. Its every companies largest expense, and well worth it.
5. What three pieces of advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Never give up
Work harder than your competition
Hire good people
6. What have been some of your failures, and what have you learned from them?
Not growing quickly enough. This is due to a failure of not making a fast decision and sticking to it. Flip flop is bad for business. Make decisions quickly, don’t look back and stay focused.
7. Describe/outline your typical day?
I wake up at 7am. I am on the computer till 8. I get into the office around 9 and work till 6 or 7. I come home, spend time with my fiancé and baby girl and usually get on the computer again around 10:30 and work till midnight. Most of my days are spent on the phone, my headset usually dies out around 4pm. If I am not on the phone I am meetings with my team. I also take a lot of day trips to Vegas and SF where we have an office and clients. I work weekends but it is not nearly as much, I try to relax on Sunday.
8. Where did your organizations funding/capital come from and how did you go about getting it?
We were looking for a round of funding and an advisor of mine introduced me to a company who invests in SaaS companies (software-as-a-service). We had a call and they liked what I had to say. They flew out and we gave them a presentation. Two days later they called me up and said they wanted to invest. We must have broken a record because the whole deal was done in less than 3 months, from introduction to funding. That never happens!
9. What stops you from throwing in the towel and giving up when you are frustrated?
I used to have thoughts about throwing in the towel. Nowadays I don’t see failure as an option. But I do get sad from time to time about certain situations. If I am not in a good mood, I don’t pick up the phone. I put on some great house music, close my door and work on internal documents and projects I need to accomplish. It helps take my mind away from things. If I carry it into the weekend with me, I do my best to not work and to just relax and have fun. Drink some vodka, go out to a club, take my girls to the beach. Anything I can to not have to worry about things.
10. Do you believe there is some sort of pattern or formula to becoming a successful entrepreneur?
For sure. Some guys get lucky, but like Steve Job’s says “Pixar was an overnight success. It only took 10 years”. I speak a lot about the 3 things you need to become successful. Persistence, knowledge and networks. It starts with persistence. When you are persistent you become knowledgeable in your field. The more knowledgeable you become, the more people respect you and listen to you and the more your network grows. Ever heard of “the rich keep getting richer”? Part of this has to do with being part of a network of people who help each other out. The only other thing I would add to this is you need to be ethical the entire time or none of these three things will last long.
11. Who has influenced you most and been your greatest inspiration?
This sounds cliché but probably my mom. She taught me about the bigger things in life such as being a good person, and who God is. She also taught me about the smaller things such as how to balance a bank account, and how to earn credit. She is an excellent sales person and I got lucky and convinced her to come aboard mobileStorm about 5 months ago. She is the top sales person in the company right now.
12. What book has inspired you the most?
Harry Potter. Ok that was a joke, no offense Rowling. My dad got me 7 Habits when I was in High School and that really set me up for what I am doing now. Covey is brilliant.
13. How do you go about marketing your business? What has been your most successful form of marketing?
Nowadays it’s all about online. The best leads come from natural search, so SEO is a huge part of what we do. We do some pay-per-click advertising with Google,
but I am beginning to think it doesn’t have a great ROI, it continues to fail us after all these years, and I know we are doing it right. Also strategically placed banners and ads on sites and in emails that are geared towards new media have been good for us. But nothing beats picking up the phone and closing a deal. Sales is our real driver right now.
14. In one word, characterize your life as an entrepreneur.
Can I use two words? Can I cuss? “F**kg Fun”.
15. Excluding yours, what company or business do you admire the most?
Google. They are going to take over the world. Their business model is brilliant and so is their leadership and staff.
16. How do you achieve balance in your life? Or do you?
Ah balance. Balance is one of the most important things in life. Anything to extreme, right or left, fails. I balance my life as best as I can being a non perfect human being and all. I do my best to always not take things to seriously, have as much fun as I can, work really hard and love my friends and family.
17. Where do you see yourself and your business in 5 years? 10 years?
5 years in a dingy. 10 years on a yacht.
18. What’s your exit strategy?
In the words of the late great Dave Chappell “I’m rich biatch!”. Ok maybe Dave’s not dead, but those words live on. My exit strategy whatever it is, will make the most amount of money for my investors and employees.
19. If we could introduce you to anyone, who would it be and why? (you never know who we know!)
Hands down Bill Gates. I might like Google now as a company, but nobody comes close to what this man has created. One of his 1,400 in house attorneys once said, “Bill knows law as good as anyone in this company”. Don’t forget his last position was Chief Software Architect. He is the Michael Jordan, no wait most recently the Tiger Woods of his industry. He is truly a captain of his industry. I am not sure if we will ever see someone create what he has in our lifetime. I met Bill Gates once, he was walking through the crowd at an event in LA (no security!). I walked right up to him, put out my hand and said “Mr. Gates, it’s an honor to meet you. Thank you for standardizing global business”. If YE can get me a meeting with Bill Gates, I just might give you a free year of mobileStorm service!