By DREW OLANOFF
I’m at the #BoxWorks conference in San Francisco this week, which is an odd place for me to be at first glance. Why odd? Because I don’t really get into or cover “enterprise” technology. It’s nothing against the vertical: I’m just usually involved with smaller startups trying to change the world for people like my Mom.
Someone asked me today if I’d like to sit down with a Los Angeles-based entrepreneur, and of course I said yes. But I couldn’t help but think, “Please, don’t pitch me on this whole Silicon Beach thing, because that drives me insane.” Luckily, this wasn’t the case.
When I sat down with this gent, a few things came up, including why he’s involved in technology in the first place. His answers were interesting, introspective and made a lot of sense. It was a pretty refreshing conversation, I have to say.
Here’s our talk:
TC: You have a couple of startups. Why?
Entrepreneur Guy: I have three companies. I’m working on a social theater to share content right now, but without advertising. Advertising won’t save the world. If you want to have quality meanginful experiences, it probably won’t be free, just like a quality meal or product. Consumers are going to have to part with something in their brain instead of watch ads.
TC: What’s so different about LA and SF?
Entrepreneur Guy: Quite a bit, I love coming here, I meet so many smart people. I’m a high school dropout and had my own unique education. I ended up going back to art school and studied to be a painter. I’ve always been a problem solver, so for me to do what I’m doing is natural.
TC: What is your number one hurdle with having companies in LA?
Entrepreneur Guy: You have the same hurdles anywhere — how to build an unstoppable team and execute the vision. Those are the challenges you face everywhere, though, whether you’re a beach or a bungalow. There are more challenges being in Los Angeles, especially in talent. But over three companies we have 27 employees all over the place, so it doesn’t really matter.
TC: What are your favorite apps/sites/businesses right now?
Entrepreneur Guy: I like Path a lot. I am an investor for full disclosure. I think they’re unmatched as far as design and execution. They have a great leader, and they do something really excellent. They had the foresight to get into that space really early on. I think they’ve done a great job and shown how important design can be.
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