Name: Andrew Draper
Bootstrap Gold Medal Award Won: Best Website 2011
1. In three sentences or less, what is your enterprise’s value proposition?
Manpacks makes shopping simple for men (and the people who love them) by automating the basics and allowing them to do the things they really want to in life, like build empires, climb mountains or slay dragons.
2. What motivated you to first get involved?
While working on another project myself and my co-founder, Ken Johnson, had a conversation about creating a service that would be simple, free up time and create recurring revenue for us, within 20 minutes the basic concept had been hashed out and the domain secured.
3. What has been the single most exciting thing that has happened so far?
I’m not sure there’s just one, the last year has been an incredible ride, allowing me to quit doing contract/consulting work and focus on service/product based web services. Being invited to speak at a conference in Ireland was definitely huge, but I think the biggest was simply creating something that resonated with others enough that they signed up and shared the service with their friends.
4. What has been your biggest challenge and what did you do to get past it?
Probably the startup incubator we took part in this summer – we were forced to answer tough questions about what we were doing, continue supporting a growing business, doing multiple presentations in front of our peers, the community and other venues.
It’s a bit of a cliché, but my attitude to getting past any challenge is to just do it, there’s so many safety nets and other things in place in western society that ending up in a position worse than you currently are in is very difficult, and if you end up at the same spot you currently are, just keep iterating and trying, eventually you’ll have a net gain somewhere.
5. Why did you choose the life of an entrepreneur or intrapreneur?
It partly chose me, many in my extended family have been self-employed and built businesses in the past, I knew I would eventually do that too, and through a series of layoffs in the early 2000’s, I just started working for myself and nine years later here I am.
6. If you had one piece of advice for other entrepreneurs or intrapreneurs, what would it be?
Ideas are the cheap & the easy part, execution is the difficult, time-consuming part, and where the true rewards come.
(This is the first in a series profiling the winners of Exploriem.org Bootstrap Awards 2011.)