In many ways, tech entrepreneurs are the sages of today’s world, offering wisdom that can’t be learned in university or the daily grind of the 9-to-5.
Startup culture is high-pressure in every sense of the word, with fortunes made and lost in the blink of an eye. This creates some compelling characters with lots of lessons to share, and we’re more than eager to hear them.
Who better to offer some of this real-world wisdom than entrepreneur Dennis Hegstad, co-founder of the ecommerce startup LiveRecover – a business putting up impressive numbers with plenty of room to grow.
We asked Mr. Hegstad five questions ranging in topics and seriousness – all of which are interesting and useful in their own right. Let’s begin.
A Bright Idea
First of all, we wanted to know how Hegstad came up with his brilliant idea for LiveRecover.
The app is marketed as SMS abandoned cart recovery for Shopify, contacting lost customers and bringing them back for the conversion – all through text messaging.
Hegstad had been dabbling in tech projects and various ventures since the days of Myspace. How did he decide that LiveRecover was his ticket to the top?
“My technical co-founder actually brought the idea to me and asked to partner because of my past experience in ecommerce,” said Hegstad.
Is it the most engrossing startup story out there? Maybe not, but results talk.
When asked what he believes to be the most exciting trend on the tech scene, Hegstad’s answer was not exactly surprising, given his area of expertise.
“SMS and messenger marketing,” he said.
Lessons in Branding
These days, branding is of utmost interest across the startup space, with social media influencers and MBAs speaking endlessly on the subject.
Does branding deserve all of this attention, or are we missing the mark by focusing too heavily on personal brands?
We asked Hegstad to share with us something that nobody else agrees with him on, and this is what he said.
“Personal brand doesn’t matter nearly as much as a good product,” Hegstad explained. “The largest brands are built by entrepreneurs with no personal brand. They end up having personal brands as a byproduct of building a successful business.”
Hegstad might be at odds with the sea of branding gurus online, but we think he has a point.
The obligatory part of the interview when we ask Mr. Hegstad for his favorite quote. As someone who doesn’t distract himself with interpersonal drama, his answer was perfect.
“Elanor Roosevelt’s quote – great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people,” said Hegstad.
This is a common thread among focused entrepreneurs who aim to achieve unprecedented things – there’s no time to spend on gossip or everyday events when a business must be built.
Our favorite books reveal a lot about our personalities and priorities. When asked about his selection, Hegstad knew right away which book deserved a shoutout.
“The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz,” was Hegstad’s pick. “Real world business book that tells stories of things you won’t learn in school. How to fire your best friend? How to tell your parents no? Pretty powerful stuff.”
This goes to show that not all great business lessons are learned from business school, and that real-life experience is truly the best teacher of all.
Free Business Advice
In need of a startup idea ASAP? Hegstad was kind enough to give us his next great business idea and encouraged our readers to run with it.
“Go build a business that focuses on price elasticity testing for Shopify and if you launch a good enough product, I’ll angel invest,” said Hegstad.
Someone out there will take this advice seriously, so if you’ve got the tech chops and some extra time, we suggest you get after it!
Bonus: Best Purchase
Tech geniuses make everyday purchases as well. Groceries, clothes – the stuff we all need. What has Hegstad bought lately that he felt was important enough to share with us?
“$100 best spent recently on new running shoes,” said Hegstad. “My feet hurt.”
Simple questions interesting and enlightening answers – what else would you expect from one of the top-performing entrepreneurs on the scene right now?
We’ll be keeping a close eye on Mr. Hegstad, LiveRecover, and the other projects he’ll surely be pursuing in the near future. Stay tuned to see what he does next, and best of luck on your own startup journey.