The countdown to 100 begins...
Monday is the beginning of the week, a time to think ahead. Today's interview is with a nineteen year old who has started his life early. Jon Cooper is a college student at University of Miami. Jon is an SEO wiz, and a link-builder. He describes himself as "the link builder Google needs but doesn't deserve."
What do you think is the key to starting a successful company?
Knowing what you're best at and doing only that. Sometimes we get rapped up into doing everything ourselves, because that's the "entrepreneurial way" and because it's cost efficient, but a lot of the time it's just not smart. There are people out there that are way better at somethings that you could be even if you taught yourself. In terms of cost vs. time invested, as well in terms of quality, let other people do the things they're great at and stick to doing what you're best at.
As someone on the business side of the world what respect do you have at all for the design side?
Design is my secret weapon because presentation is everything. I love hacking things together with CSS & Photoshop as well as working with freelance designers because a great design means building trust with your customers and audience before they even see your product or content. Because trust is everything in business, investing in great design is a no brainer.
What computer/phone do you use and why?
I use a 15" Macbook pro because it's so reliable in terms of never having to deal with viruses and a slow computer. I also dual screen it with a 27" Mac LED monitor because I usually need a lot of screen space when working on most of my projects. I have an iPhone 4 (just preordered the 5!) not only for personal use, but also for business use because of all the fantastic Apps that make my life 10x easier. As of right now it's the best thing out there in the mobile space; that's why preorders sold it in an hour.
As a 19 year old, what advantage do you think you have as a teenager in the business world?
There's definitely more advantages than disadvantages. I first thought my age would be a barrier, but as I've embraced it (I don't flaunt it, but I'm not afraid to share it if someone brings up the topic), it's opened it up a ton of opportunities. Another plus is that I've got a head start on the majority of entrepreneurs just because few have things figured out this early in life.
I also think as a result of showing how serious I am about what I do, more & more people approach me for networking purposes (i.e. I've gotten to know quite a few CEOs of mid to large sized marketing agencies that were definitely more receptive once they found out my age). In my opinion, the better you get at what you do, the more of an advantage your age will become.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Even though I got my initial exposure blogging in the marketing space, I want to start expanding to bigger things. I'm now a student at the University of Florida studying computer science, because one of my biggest dreams is creating a web startup. I know it's a crowded space, but I also know I have a ton of passion for this stuff, which is critical if I'm serious about having any type of success.
Pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Here is the desktop I designed for Jon! Click the image to buy it.