Strategy, Vision, Sales, Financials and that’s just in the morning. Seriously though, being a CEO of a startup is exhilarating and challenging. We’re about a year old now and processes, measurement and creativity are all key to our survival. The business we’re in constantly changes because social media platforms constantly roll out new products and features. I need to consistently understand how new technology can benefit our customers. The good old days of putting up a billboard and charging the customer $30K are gone. We’re all about numbers and we pride ourselves in truly delivering ROI. I don’t care about how many likes the customer has, I care about those likes actually driving measurable revenue. So what are my duties? I think a more interesting question revolves around my goals. My main goal is to create a world-class cohesive team that consistently helps customers get bigger, better, stronger and more importantly, profitable through our work in the digital marketing space. Oh, and also have fun doing it because life’s too short for mediocrity.
There are many great moments, but I guess my favorite moment is an unusual one when I was driving with my partner Slava through downtown Indianapolis. We were talking about marketing, Facebook, food, financials and many other things partners talk about. All of a sudden he turned to me and said, “You know what the best thing is about this job? It’s about helping business grow—especially in my community. It’s a feeling that goes beyond helping the customer. It’s the feeling that you’re also helping the community grow by helping the companies that support its growth.” I know that sounds a bit cheesy, but that’s the main reason why I decided to join Slava and create StrataBlue. You can be profitable and do good. I firmly believe that.
I have four kids in the house, so free time is at a premium. The youngest one is 11 and the oldest one is 15, so I have the privilege of being their driver. Ugh! Seriously, they are great kids, but they do take up a lot of time—as they should. I also like to play Borderlands on the Xbox. Ever since the invention of Pong—and yes I’m aging myself—I’ve been fascinated with video games and computers. I remember the first time I joined a BBS (Bulletin Board System) in the 80’s before the Internet, I clearly saw the power of connecting people together across the world and communicating with them. To me that was the beginning of social media. That of course spread to video games and for some reason I get immersed in Borderlands. Frankly it’s addictive, a little too much. I love it!
My son asked me once,”Dad, what is a touchdown?” I said, “I don’t know son, I’m a Jets fan.” I love the Jets and the Mets. Ugh! Seriously though, I love sports and I just wish I had more time to immerse myself and truly get into things like fantasy leagues.Damn you Borderlands! One great thing about having two boys is that they are both sports fanatics and I attend many football, baseball and basketball games. It truly is a great feeling watching them jump up and down as our teams score. The energy rush is amazing and actually a little emotional.
I earlier alluded to my discovery of emerging social media in the 80’s and helping customers, but when I think about the industry, the thing that stands out the most is its ever changing nature. It’s never boring and I constantly learn new things. To me social media is still the wild, wild west of technology. It’s as disruptive as the automobile was to the horse drawn carriage. I love the fact that you can still invent things and make them better. I love the fact that because of what StrataBlue does, we can reach out to so many different and cool people and that constantly changes as new clients come on board. We at StrataBlue continuously learn about different industries and what makes people tick. Frankly, it’s fascinating.
Game of Thrones. Many people like it because of the violence, fantasy, human nature, and more. To me it’s interesting how a show can become a social phenomenon and elicit such emotion and fervor. It clearly shows the good and the bad in people. The violence is very graphic and unfortunately we live in times where this violence can be seen in the real world. We should never forget that human nature is a two-sided coin and we must always strive to be on the good side. Sometimes that is hard and the show pulls no punches there, but I’m hoping that once the books are finished and we watch the final episode, we can learn something good from the show and apply those lessons in our lives and the world.