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Interview with internet entrepreneur Kevin Garber

Interview with internet entrepreneur Kevin Garber

Kevin Garber is an “African entrepreneur living in Australia” he is the founder of Melon Media and co-founder of 89n.

“Melon Media is also the home of CheckDogManageFlitterTourCowEmailSociety.”

To give you a quick rundown, no Im not making this up:

89n is co-founded by Kevin Garber – an Australian (ex-African) entrepreneur who likes yoga, tofu and shooting staff members with lasers (seriously), and James Peter – a man whose brain has most-likely been sent back from the future and augmented with super-smart technology.

kevin_

 

89n is the home of a bunch of quirky, intelligent and inspiring folk that like to make great things.

 

Oliver:    When  did  you  first  know  that  you  wanted  to  be  an  entrepreneur  and  what  did  you  do   about  it?
Kevin:   I  started  my  first  business  when  I  was  about  16  making  customised  stationery  on  my  father’s  laser   printer  which  at  the  time  were  really  expensive.    I  had  the  grand  total  of  1  customer  ever  purchase   anything  from  me!  However  I  got  a  buzz  that  someone  would  pay  me  for  something  I  had  on  offer.    I   also  grew  up  watching  my  father  and  uncle  build  up  a  technology  business  from  scratch  and   observed  how  satisfying  it  was  for  all  involved  to  create  something  from  nothing,  provide  people   with  employment  and  control  their  own  destiny  somewhat.    I  also  saw  how  much  work  they  put  in   and  how  much  stress  they  experienced  but  somehow  (thankfully)  this  didn’t  put  me  off.    So  from  a   fairly  young  age  I  knew  that  sooner  or  later  I  would  give  building  a  “real”  business  a  go.

Oliver:    You  say  you  have  been  on  the  internet  for  the  dark  ages,  how  did  you  get  started?  Did  you   take  a  course,  did  you  teach  yourself,  did  you  work  for  someone  else?
Kevin:   I  first  encountered  the  internet  via  email  and  Usenet  in  the  mid  90s  at  University  at  which  time  I  also   saw  the  Web  for  the  first  time  at  a  family  friend’s  house.    I  taught  myself  –  the  great  thing  about  the   internet  was  that  the  best  place  to  learn  about  all  things  internet  was  on  the  internet!

 

 

Oliver:    Your  site  says  you  like  to  shoot  your  staff  with  lasers…  Is  this  how  entrepreneurs  should   get  things  done!?  ☺
Kevin: Does  it  say  that  on  our  site?  Entrepreneurs  should  hustle  and  get things  done  in  anyway  that  is  legal  and   ethical!

 


Oliver:    You  say  you  like  simplicity  and  identifying  and  solving  consumer  “pain  points”,  how  vital   would  you  say  these  both  are  to  the  success  of  an  online  business?  

Kevin: Consumer/enterprise  “problems”  can  be  viewed  at  falling  into  two  broad  categories:

1)  Problems  that  consumers  or  the  enterprise  know  that  they  have,  for  example  finding  it  difficult  to   grow  their  Twitter  account  follower  numbers.

2)  Problems  that  consumers  or  the  enterprise  don’t  know  they  have,  for  example  pre  YouTube  did   people  think  they  had  a  problem  accessing  and  viewing  obscure  and  mainstream  video  content?

If  you  tackle  problems  in  category  2  you  generally  require  a  long  financial  runway  and  thus  be  well   funded  as  it  can  take  a  long  time  to  generate  revenue.    The  rewards  however  can  be  great  as   markets  can  be  untapped  and  very  large.    If  you  have  a  short  financial  runway,  are  bootstrapped   and/or  have  limited  funding  the  easiest  way  to  turn  revenue  fast  is  to  find  a  pain  point  that  is  very  obvious,  offer  a  well  executed  solution  and  charge  money  for  the  solution.        Ultimately  all  businesses  have  to  be  solving  a  problem  with  a  compelling  well  executed  solution.       This  is  true  of  both  online  or  offline  businesses.

 


Oliver:    What  is  the  most  important  thing  you  feel  you  have  learnt  from  your  long  experience   operating  web-­‐businesses  that  perhaps  doesn’t  apply  to  offline  businesses?
Kevin: The  exciting  thing  about  online  businesses  are  how  easy  you  can  access  global  markets,  and  how   much  easier  you  can  scale  your  businesses  then  offline  business.    You  can  find  your  niche  to  sell  to   online  a  lot  easier  than  offline  businesses  can.

 


Oliver:  App  or  website  you  couldn’t  live  without?
Kevin:  Google  is  probably  something  that  I  would  hate  to  live  without  although  I  really  enjoy  using  Twitter   the  most.  

 

Oliver:  If  there  was  one  thing  every  aspiring  entrepreneur  should  know  what  would  it  be?
Kevin:  The  highs  are  going  to  be  higher  than  you  can  imagine  and  the  lows  lower  than  you  can  imagine.    Eat   well,  exercise  well,  the  entrepreneur’s  journey  is  a  marathon  and  you  give  yourself  a  greater  chance   of  success  if  your  body  and  mind  are  in  good  shape.    Enjoy  living  in  the  mystery  and  tenacity  is  by  far   the  most  important  quality  you  require  to  keep  on  going.

 


Oliver:  What  is  the  average  work  day  like  for  you?
Kevin:   No  two  days  are  ever  the  same  and  the  variety  is  a  big  part  of  what  I  love  about  my  work.    My  day   consists  of  meeting  with  various  staff,  reading  and  researching,  reviewing  metrics,  reviewing   finances,  tweeting,  and  lots  and  lots  of  email.  

 

 

Oliver:  Best  thing  about  your  job?
Kevin:  Working  with  super  smart  people.  

 

 

Oliver:  What  skill/ability  would  you  say  sets  a  business  leader  apart  from  everyone  else?
Kevin:  The  ability  to  be  able  to  maintain  a  big  picture  outlook  whilst  understanding  many  of  the  details  in   the  business  as  required.    A  fascination  with  what  drives  humans  also  helps.

 

Oliver:  Any  wizardry  words  for  the  aspiring  entrepreneur?
Kevin:   Find  as  many  smart  patient  mentors  as  you  can.    The  biggest  risk  to  us  all  is  we  don’t  know  what  we   don’t  know.    Never  stop  learning.

 

Oliver: Thank you so much for your time Kevin!

Kevin: Thank you Oliver.
Kevin is an avid Twitter user and you can follow him here: https://twitter.com/Ke_Ga

 

I also suggest you check out their ManageFlitter tool, you can see our review on it here.

Written by OIiver

Oliver is a 20 year old web-enthusiast and entrepreneur from the UK. He enjoys Marketing, SEO, Technology and Business.

  • Stephen

    Great interview Oliver and thanks to Kevin for contributing. Seems like a fantastic story and a very great portfolio of on-line businesses.
    What a great example for Young Web Builders.
    Very inspirational!
    Stephen

  • http://www.seroundtable.com Ashlee Haselden

    I’m a teen entrepreneur and I’m selling wedding pom poms, which is a type of decorations that hang under the ceilings of banquets and on top of tables. I’m trying to get people to buy my products, and in order for that to happen, I need to find a way to present my product to wedding planners. So how should I do this?
    I NEED MORE ANSWERS PLEASE! I’M A TEENAGER! I NEED MORE INFORMATION!
    |What does a marketing company actually do? What is the purpose of it? I am going for a job interview for admin work in a marketing company and don’t understand what they actually do, i am just wondering what they do in case the employer asks me questions about marketing etc

  • http://enigmaboard.com lucasbytegenius

    Interesting interview. I’ve heard of a few of Kevin’s projects, didn’t know there was more to it.