I’d like to welcome James Lee, founder of Stiqr, a tool that you lets you design your site just like in Photoshop, directly from your browser. Today he’s going to share his experience as a successful entrepreneur.
Q: Is Stiqr your first businesses? What have you done before?
A: Stiqr is actually our third business together as partners. Myself and Jae started working together straight out of high school and started our first startup called YRLESS, a Wifi-Hotspot provider. Something we see everywhere now but was just gaining traction at the time. Our second startup was a web hosting company called Simplehelix, where we provided high-end premium web hosting space targeted toward users wanting Magento as their e-commerce platform.
Q: Did you always see yourself as an entrepreneur. What do you think where the most important experiences that lead you to become a successful entrepreneur?
A: I didn’t know of the word entrepreneur until I took some business classes at college but I always knew I wanted to work for myself. I can’t think of one specific experience that has lead our success but I strongly believe it is the mindset one keeps. It’s about wanting to solve the problems that you see in your life and knocking them out one by one. Small or big, you are solving problems and some of the problems apply to a larger radius than yourself.
Q: Were you a good student? What where your favorite subjects in school?
A: School was never my favorite place to be. I’ve always wanted to get out and work on real life problems. I felt that school, especially up to k12 moved to slowly and did not teach me any real skills and got bored extremely fast. I loved my programming and science classes as I was able to apply them to make real things in life.
Q: How did you get the idea for Stiqr?
A: Although I love coding, coding can be tedious. Especially when it comes to coding up HTML & CSS for a design that you have already mocked up in Photoshop. So many times have I just wanted to move an image or an html element a few pixels but caused me hours of pain. I knew I wasn’t the only one that shared this pain and me and my partner decided to move forward with it.
Q: What have been the most challenging aspects so far of Stiqr?
A: Identifying our target users and which feature sets to further develop. We have a technology capable of blending in to improve and solve many other problems on the web. We are currently in the process of collecting feedback and weighing our choices.
Q: What has been the most successful way for you to promote Stiqr and acquire new users?
A: The largest source of our traffic came from a coverage done by us at go2web20.net. There coverage then extended to many other blogs and news writers writing about us. Another great source was from asking our fremium users for feedback and giving them the option to tweet and spread the word for a our premium account.
Q: How do you plan on monetizing Stiqr?
A: Our current model may change in the future but we stand at selling domain licenses. We are working to further develop our product for a subscription model to make sense and even a new marketplace to open up rev-share model.
Q: What would be your most important advice you would give to a young entrepreneur?
A: Build connections. To elaborate a little and not stating the obvious, it is crucial to start when you are young. It is the perfect playground for it and the opportunities for connections are far easier to come by. Time factors into a large portions of what a connection is and having that strong foundation to start out with, will be your greatest asset as an entrepreneur.