Featured on Aug 19, 2011
"Dream Big, You May Never Wake Up - Snoop"
I am the Founder of Crowdtap, our mission is to shift marketing to a truly collaborative process between brands and consumers. Building off of 4 years of experience, with my prior startup, Crowdtap is well positioned to shake things up as the network for Brand Influencer Communities. Prior to that, I invented high-thread count pajamas. Not sure how that applies but Vince bought them on Entourage and Courtney Cox wore them on Friends, so that was cool. Very happy to have made the change from fashion to tech. Also thrilled to be living in NYC for the past 9+ years after stints in Austin, London and Chicago and childhood in Cleveland. Still can’t shake the pain of being a die-hard Cleveland sports fan though.
- Title: CEO and Founder, Crowdtap
- Age: 33
- Location: East Village
- Contact: @brandone
Did you run into any unexpected challenges with Crowdtap that you had not faced previously in your prior startup?
I think there are always unexpected challenges in startups, that's really what makes it so fun and rewarding. I'd say that I've learned a lot from my team on keeping things lean and agile so we could really adopt and change as we uncover new data. While we haven't had to pivot, I'd say we've had some major changes to pricing, positioning and the overall way our system works in the year plus that we have been live. I certainly didn't anticipate most of these changes but I feel we've really been able to deal with them well. One thing I'd say is that I feel I knew my customer better than most do when launching a company and there was still a lot I didn't anticipate so I'd advise any startup to expect to learn a lot throughout about their customers, how they buy, who they decision makers are and what the levers are for a purchase etc.
How did you end up switching from high fashion pajamas to tech?
Well, I did start out in tech during the first Internet boom while in business strategy at Sapient out of college. I think my skill set has always been between strategy, marketing/advertising and technology. At the core, I am an idea guy so I like to follow those ideas that I am most passionate about and that really seem to fill a gap in the market. My first idea that I was able to execute on was pajamas. In particular, the first line of high thread count sleepwear. I saw that people were in love with high thread count sheets but no one had created pajamas in the same material and felt the need to create them. Most of sales were online so I certainly had a tech aspect but wish that blogs and social media were around then as most of our business was via word of mouth.
What do you like most about NYC in comparison to Austin, London, Chicago, and Cleveland? How did you first decide to settle in NYC?
I think living in all these other cities has made me appreciate NYC even more. I've lived is some great cities but none can hold a candle to the energy and excitement I feel while in New York. Every winter I briefly question living here but that quickly subsides when I think about the opportunities, people and vast entertainment options that exist here. I do love Austin as well though, I think it is an amazing city and has a great tech scene as well.
When you’re not bogged down with work, what do you do for fun?
I think my interests are fairly diverse. I love live music and try to check out shows whenever I can. I also have a huge competitive streak and always need to be doing something competitive. I am in a softball and flag football league and recently started training fairly seriously in boxing. During the summer, I do my best to get out to a beach or get away to another country whenever I can. Other than that I love checking out new restaurants and bars in the city and in particular in the East Village where I live.