Why do you do what you do?
My “Why” is different from Aaron’s. He ran kickstarters and knew they needed a specific software solution for his businesses. I was interested in working on this project because I like to help small businesses do more and succeed. I have been an entrepreneur my entire life. In fact, I am a third generation entrepreneur, so it truly runs in my blood. As a preteen, I created a “fanzine” for fans of video games and was featured in Electronic Gaming Monthly (EGM). I even worked with Blockbuster (remember them?) to run a contest to win a free video game subscription for a year and one of my subscribers actually won. By the time I was a teen, I was building and selling custom computers. I have continued to create and build companies and go through the entrepreneurial process over and over again and I love it!
It is exciting to be part of an industry that is filled with brand new ideas and businesses. We meet a lot of creators that have an idea and are motivated to turn their idea into a fully developed product or service and then bring it to the marketplace. They have used crowdfunding as a means to launch their business. This is where Crowd Ox comes in. We help them get to the next step with solutions that simplifies the process. It gives them a leg up on their competition and helps them to grow their business. It is fun to be a part of their success story.
What are the top three most important things in your life?
- Family: I'm a husband and a father and both of those come before anything else in my life. Even the place where I live is over 3,000 miles away from where I grew up and the primary reason that we moved and live in Virginia is to be close to my siblings.
- My Projects: This is my life's work, my passion, and something I can't imagine ever letting go. I'll always have one thing or another that drives me. Right now, it is Crowdfunding and helping creators and small businesses succeed through technology.
- Music: I love Music. Listening, dancing, playing and just experiencing music. Our lives are made better through good music. We created a "Music room" in our house where music is played and it's always been a strong focus for our kids and family.
What is an interesting memorable fact about you?
I love chickens. In high school, I had a chicken as a pet and his name was dinner. The joke was that he would grow up and I would eat him for dinner, but I could never do that! I had him from the time he was a baby chick. He was a birthday present from a friend. He would come to me when I called him and he loved to be held and he would even perch on my head. Over time, we found out my chicken was actually a rooster and we couldn’t keep him because he was too loud for our neighborhood. Dinner spent the rest of his days on a local farm.
What do you look for in a Crowd Ox team member?
It is always difficult to find the right people. I have been in a hiring role with Crowd Ox as well as other companies. Crowd Ox is a completely remote company. Everyone in the company works out of their home or in a co-working space. We have to hire people who are able to work on their own and motivate themselves. I find that self-motivated people like to work on multiple projects and they tend to have a lot of things going on. Natural curiosity and the need to know the answer to the “why question,” are important traits for Crowd Ox team members. When people are inherently curious and want to know why something is the way it is and take a deep dive into the information, they are able to solve problems and teach others. Crowd Ox staff is made up of self-starters that manage their own workflow and do their own jobs independently.
Tell us a Crowd Ox Success Story...
One of my favorite success stories is of our very first customer. They really fit the Crowd Ox mold. A project creator was working with his daughter and had developed a guitar capo that he thought was better than what was out in the marketplace. At the time, Crowd Ox was only an idea. Just like the project creators who are now our customers, we had an idea for a software solution. We were able to sell the idea to this creator before the software was even built. He knew it was a brand new product. We didn’t have a dashboard set up yet, but the software worked extremely well and he went on to raise an additional 30% in revenue by selling other products through our highly customizable survey. He then went on to build a very successful business. We had to work hard; it was bumpy in the beginning, but it helped us to define our product and develop our company. It taught us some very valuable lessons on what we needed and what we didn’t need. It shaped our company and is something I will always remember.