What was life like for Dana Severson during his startup career?
Severson is based in Minnesota. His family consisted of his wife and three kids. He has started up various companies, but he tells of how he would commute every week from Minneapolis to San Francisco to work on his company located there. He rented an apartment in San Francisco and did this for four months.
Why was Startups Anonymous created?
Severson wanted to share stories and ask questions, but he didn’t want to disclose his identity. He began to generate interest from other founders so they could share their stories and insights as well. It gave founders an opportunity and a bigger stage to have their stories shared.
What is Stick in a Box?
It’s Severson's gourmet beef jerky subscription box company that began over two and a half years ago. On a monthly basis, he searches for the best jerky from batchmakers across the U.S. and ships them to customers. He refers to his boxes as the anti-Jack Links. Anything you find in a convenient store, you won’t find in Stick in a Box.
What’s the best way to learn something you’re unfamiliar with?
Severson took the approach to get jobs in the things he was curious about. For example, he wanted to startup a pool cleaning business, but didn’t know how to clean pools. So, he got a job at a pool store to learn all that he could. He did this for a few other concepts, but the main point is to not let your lack of knowledge stop you from being comfortable enough to pursue an idea.
How does Dana Severson compare Ashley Madison to Stick in a Box?
Like the website, Ashley Madison, which is used for men to cheat on their wives, Severson jokingly created an ad to offer his subscription box as a cheat for vegans. His intention of the vegan campaign was not used to convert vegans, but to create an uproar and gain media attention since beef jerky isn’t a common media topic.
What is something that most companies don’t realize?
You use the promoter to find out who your biggest advocates are within your customer base to leverage the advocates for growth. Between 50-80%— depending on your type of business— of your revenue comes directly from your customers.
How do you establish your discipline as a stay-at-home worker?
For Severson, his wife stays home full-time, which helps minimize his distractions. Other than going on a run or out for lunch, he rarely leaves his office. Not getting up randomly helps his focus as well. Maintaining his work schedule helps him know his limitations. If they weren’t set, he would continue working.
What’s some advice for wannabe entrepreneurs?
Dana Severson has provided his information on his platforms for someone to give him a call and he will answer. He thinks the biggest thing to do is just actually put your idea into motion. Do not sit, overthink, and overanalyze your ideas because they won’t ever get started. Just do it and make it happen.