John T. Meyer, Businessweek’s Top 25 Entrepreneurs Under 25
May 17, 2011

 

Hi John, would you please introduce yourself and to Korea readers?

My name is John T. Meyer and I’m the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer at 9 Clouds. 9 Clouds is a social marketing firm that improves business through digital literacy. We specialize in online strategy, monitoring, and social media management.

and John, What makes you to start your own business with your brother?

I was working a big corporate job in Minneapolis, Minnesota and wanted to get out and do my own thing. My brother and I had this idea and were awarded a $15,000 startup grant to start 9 Clouds. I knew we could really help improve businesses so we just went for it.

When was your first tough time as an entrepreneur in 9 Clouds?

I think every month I have a moment where I ask what the hell I got myself into. It’s crazy to be your own boss, to have employees, and to have so much responsibility but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

I guess there are many social marketing firms trying to help customers to succeed? What’s your strengths and different parts from your competitors?

We’re committed to analytics and tracking everything we do for our clients. We want to make sure everything we do has a purpose and if we can’t track success in one area we’ll move on to the next thing. It’s important to subscribe the right prescription for every client because they all have different needs.

What are your key points or philosophy for the clients to succeed in their own business using social marketing tools?

It’s critical to be transparent and have a sinceref interest for your customers and audience. If you provide value to your audience and are real with them they will respect that and you will succeed online.

what’s your future business plan or goal with 9Clouds?

Well, we recently launched our first product, Yellow Sandbox (http://yellowsandbox.com). The Yellow Sandbox is an online community to help people learn how to use today’s online tools. We want to be the Internet’s help desk. So we’ve just started to grow that and want to have representatives all around the world in different languages. Hopefully we’ll be in South Korea soon!

What are the ways to find your co-founders? And how do you persuade them to join your team?

I guess I found my brother since the day I was born, but I think it’s vital to find a co-founder who can compliment your skills. Find someone who will motivate you and believe in your product/idea almost as much as you do. If you have to persuade them, I wouldn’t have them as a co-founder. They have to want it badly and be willing to sacrifice hard work and time for this idea

 

I found out that your blog has many new business ideas. How do you make yourself creative?

I try to be really aware of what is going around me in my everyday life and around the world. Whenever I see a problem I think, “is there a better way to do this?” I also read a lot online to see what new ideas are coming out and what new tools are upcoming.

And would you please say the things that you want to say to korean readers especially to entrepreneurs in the field of social marketing, before saying good bye?

There are two main points I tell any aspiring entrepreneurs. First, know what problem you solve and be able to explain it. Your new idea, new website, new product or service should help someone today in the marketplace and make their life easier. If you can prove that, you’re ready for success!

Secondly, START! The biggest hurdle for entrepreneurs is at the beginning when they’re afraid to fail or afraid their idea isn’t good enough. When you have a great idea start then because you are most excited about it. I’ve been a business owner for 18 months now and I’ve made so many mistakes, but every time I learn from that mistake and I become a better entrepreneur.

 

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