Keith Schacht of JobCoin

April 6, 2007

Keith Schacht is Founder and CEO of JobCoin, which provides a user-friendly job board application that gives websites a new way to monetize their content. He also currently co-edits Freshwater Venture and previously co-founded Inventables, Lever Works, Inc., and Chicago Beta. As someone experienced with living the start-up life and succeeding, here’s how Keith tackled the Six Simple Questions:

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Back then I would of told you “Someone who can just make stuff all day.” Give me some space parts and a little duct tape, and I was entertained for days.

Whether it is in a big way or a small way, how do you change the world?
I’m changing the way people connect with one another around job opportunities. I’m constantly amazed at how inefficient the process is.

What’s one invention or innovation that would change the way you do your work?
I want a tool that knows what I’m working on, or what I’m looking for, and automatically connects me to people who are in the same boat as me or who can help. It has to be instantaneous and it has to be smart. Yahoo Answers and other sites are almost there, but not instantaneous enough. People have an inherent desire to help each other and answer questions.

What problem do you encounter most frequently in your everyday life?
I don’t feel like there are a lot of problems, I’m amazed how many tools exist to help you day-to-day. It would be nice to eliminate batteries, no more charging laptops, cell phones, etc.

If you could go back to when you were just starting out, what are two things you’d do differently?
I don’t think I’d change anything. I know that sounds cliche, but it’s a learning process and you have to experience the good and the bad to learn the lessons.

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Cinnamon!

If you’re interested in learning more or getting a job board for your site, check out www.jobcoin.com. Also, be sure to keep up to date with new developments at the JobCoin Blog.

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Brad Feld of Foundry Group and Mobius Venture Capital

April 5, 2007

Brad Feld is an MIT graduate who’s technological aptitude has taken him on an entrepreneurial journey that currently has him in position to what he loves, help start companies. Brad is Managing Director at Foundry Group and Mobius Venture Capital. Previously he founded his own company and served as CTO for the company that acquired the company he started. He also serves on the boards of several private companies and non-profits. Here’s how he took on the six simple questions:

What did you want to be when you grew up?  I never really thought hard about it. My dad was a doctor so I knew that I didn’t want to a be doctor. I started playing with computers when I was 12 (1977) so that was always in my mind.

Whether it is in a big way or a small way, how do you change the world?  I love to help create companies. I’ve been a co-founder or early investor in over 100 companies.

What’s one invention or innovation that would change the way you do your work?  If my compute infrastructure was smarter and could figure out what I wanted and didn’t want, my life would be a lot better.

What problem do you encounter most frequently in your everyday life?  Massively inefficient stuff – whether it’s a function of government regulation, the stultifying bureaucracy of accounting firms, or the current inefficient “deal process” that “just is this way.”

If you could go back to when you were just starting out, what are two things you’d do differently?  Nothing.

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?  Chocolate anything.

To learn about more about Brad and what he does, check out his two blogs: Feld Thoughts and Ask the VC


Mary McPhail Founder of Wonderful Graffiti

April 4, 2007

Mary McPhail has turned her unique flair for decorating into a fascinating business concept. As an advertising copywriter for 25 years, she wanted to use words as decoration in her home. Not being particularly crafty and finding little help in her quest to decorate with words, she wondered how many others were looking to do the same. Put two and two together and Wonderful Graffiti was born. Mary’s is a great example of finding a niche and filling it, not to mention she’s now created a business doing something she loves. To get to know a little more about Mary here are her answers to the six simple questions:

What did you want to be when you grew up? An Olympic Figure Skater

Whether it is in a big way or a small way, how do you change the world? We give people the freedom to write whatever they want on their walls.

What’s one invention or innovation that would change the way you do your work? Mind melding

What problem do you encounter most frequently in your everyday life? People who don’t move as fast as I do

If you could go back to when you were just starting out, what are two things you’d do differently?

1. Hire a different web developing company–the one we hired took us to the cleaners.

2. Don’t always expect everyone else to put your best interests first.

What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream? Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby

Mary’s final advice to others… Starting your own business is one big trip on an emotional roller coaster. If you’re going to ride it, buckle up.