Interview with entrepreneur Jared Reitzin from mobileStorm, a Web-based marketing company
Jared is the CEO of mobileStorm Inc, an 8 year old digital marketing company located in Hollywood , CA. He got my attention with his blog that provides entrepreneurs with basic tools to find the right people, make and market a great product, budget finances, and successfully communicate with employees, clients and partners. The title is “Helping the resource(less) entrepreneur go from zero to ten million”. We exchanged some e-mails and I found out it would be a good choice for an interview:
Cristian: What does mobileStorm do?
Jared: We help business make more money by providing them with a easy-to-use Web-based marketing solution. Our platform Stun! allows businesses to build and grow a database of customers or potential customers and them market to them via email, wireless text messaging, voice and fax broadcast and even direct mail.
Cristian: So, your company is already 9 years old? What about the myth that most company fail in 5 years? What was your recipe?
Jared: We are approaching 8 years in October, but we officially didn’t incorporate until August of 2000. But regardless it’s been a long time. Of course you can say the recipe is persistence, but you can only be so persistent, if you don’t love what you do its hard to stay in the game. I love what I do. I love the Internet, web 2.0, messaging technologies, closing deals, hiring kick ass people and making money. I have been able to make money and to do what I love. You cant beat that.
Cristian: What would you say is your target customer? Medium businesses? Large companies?
Jared: We target small to medium sized business with more of an emphasis on the medium sized business.
Cristian: How do you promote your company and how do you reach your customers? What marketing model works best for you?
Jared: Word of mouth for us as in most businesses has been key, however we have an in-house sales force that encompasses lead gens who first field the deals. We also spend quite a bit of money on pay-per-click. I also have a great Internet marketing manager who has helped us get great natural search rankings through optimization. We capture a lot of leads on our site.
Cristian: How many employees you currently have? How do you hire them?
Jared: 25 with another team of 4 in India who do our development. Craig’s list rocks! So does having a big family and a great group of friends.
Cristian: If you could start again, what would you do differently?
Jared: Focus on one thing and only one thing. It took us a while to get focused. Once we cut out the B.S. we started growing fast.
Cristian: What about college? Did you actually used something you learned there into running your business?
Jared: I did a bit of city college but couldn’t stand learning about the ass of a nematode worm anymore so I dropped out and started a record label. The most important class I ever took was typing in high school, Spanish is a close second.
Cristian: You have previously founded another company, Katalyst Music Group. What exit strategy you had? How did you find out that you should start something else?
Jared: We wanted to break bands so we started making websites for the major labels. We were offered a mobile development project so we took it on and that is how mobileStorm started. mobileStorm started to do well so stopped the label and pursued a career in technology.
Cristian: How long did it take to actually make a profit from mobileStorm?
Jared: What does the word profit mean? I am still growing this thing!
Cristian: What about the competition? How do you watch their moves?
Jared: I just finished my regular 12am to 1am market research hour. I spend about 5 hours per week just looking at competitors. I love competition, it gets me out of the bed in the morning and makes me want to work harder. Plus when my competitors do well it helps the market out which will ultimately help mobileStorm out. Google alerts is a good way of keeping tabs on people. So is subscribing to their newsletters or RSS feeds.
Cristian: What do you think is the future of Mobile Marketing?
Jared: Personalized, Targeted, Relevant and Timely and completely opt in. Its all about making things as easy as possible for the consumer to get what they want and at the right times.
Cristian: You just started an entrepreneurship blog. What is this all about?
Jared: There are so many little tricks to running a company with no resources. I want to share my experiences and make a difference in the entrepreneur’s life. However blogs are interactive, I know I will learn as much as I teach, so it’s also for selfish reasons. So far so good, I have received a good reception in the blogging community.