This post is part of our June series on start-ups. We reached out to some of our favorite local start-uppers to find out how they're innovative. This post (the first one!) is by John Clark. After becoming a Vistaprint super-affiliate, John tried too many to count niches in search of mastering affiliate marketing. Landed on yoFreeSamples.com and is now evolving to Indivly.com. He is currently obsessed with black beans and yoga.
It seems 99% of entrepreneurs I’ve met have the same plan. They want to start something, cash in and become an angel investor or start another company. Compared to other entrepreneurs I’m much more focused on having a life-long stand with my company.
Looking outside the still young tech industry one can find many businesses that have latest generations. Entrepreneurs like Warren Buffet, Frank Mars (How about a Twix?) or the infamous Rupert Murdoch have been running one business most of their life. Focusing on creating a life-long business may seem crazy with this “Insta-frothy” market but revenue generating companies last through thick or thin. But even certain financing options and media publications are problematic in that they focus on the shorter term - 5-year fund goals or editorial coverage.
For me, innovation comes from a mix of idealism and realism - an outlook where I’m passionate about a seemingly ridiculous dream and realistic in that I need to keep the lights on by making money. It’s like the approach of an artist. My sister is an artist who applies that approach towards everything she works with. At this point in her life, she’s focused on coffee and food – two things that provide an outlet for her artistic passion plus helps pay the bills.
In the business world I call this “founder-market fit”, a mix of happiness, realism, and idealism that comes from wisely choosing what you’re doing. For example, while it was fun (and profitable) building computers a kid the thought of having to deal with computers problems all day wasn’t that appealing. I made time for video editing and software coding – two things I was really passionate about.
Those interests led me to the media-content-platform that is Indivly. And I can see myself running for the rest of my life. It’s not just a project that makes money. To me, it’s a work of art to which I bring the skills that passion has honed. It’s a base for innovation and creativity that can last a life time.