Featured Guests: Nick Shah, Jordan Bryant
Our guest for this episode is Nick Shah, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer at Ampush. Prior to Ampush, Nick worked as an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in New York and Mumbai advising a range of deals, from IPOs to mergers, in the media and telecom industries. Nick graduated from The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School with a dual concentration in Finance and Operations, and Information Management. Nick can be found playing basketball, participating in dance-offs, fearing bicycles, loving all things India, cheering for the Detroit Pistons, and always being positive. He was born and raised outside of Detroit, Michigan.
Here are the highlights of our conversation with our Guest:
- Getting to know Nick professionally and personally from his rich childhood, his interest in basketball, being a rebel, to becoming an eventual entrepreneur.
- Nick shares details of his story on what led him to deviate from the family’s expectation of him becoming a doctor and how he pursued business and finance with his co-founders.
- How being friends with his Ampush co-founders since high school helped in his success and why he feels that building long-standing relationships is an essential facet in your journey as an entrepreneur.
- What prompted his transition from finance to advertising and how it was like for them quitting their jobs during the recession and building their company during challenging times. Nick also shares obstacles and lessons gained along the way including analysis paralysis and underestimating the work it took to put things into place; and the wins they have celebrated which caused them to pivot.
- An introduction to their company, Ampush, their objectives and what their teams do. He also talks about how they worked with the Dollar Shave Club and their initial hesitations in taking them on as a customer.
- Nick shared strategies they have employed specifically for the Dollar Shave Club which helped them grow and achieve a 6-7 figure/month spend, including starting with insights gained that the bottom-line issue was customer service innovation and planning awareness campaigns from there.
- Learning the things that Ampush had done for the Dollar Shave Club through Facebook advertising which allowed them to reach their targeted demographics and most importantly, to convert them.
- What Nick thinks of the current situation of mobile advertising, the opportunities he sees in the current trends and how he foresees the industry will evolve into.
- Nick shares his opinion on what he thinks will happen if Facebook fails to acquire other social networks to reach the younger demographic and the potential risks the company may face.
Rapid Fire Questions:
How would you define innovation?
- It starts with a vision. As an entrepreneur, you have to create a vision and when you do that, you have to think about that vision and disregard all resource constraints. Then the process of innovation is approaching those constraints head to head and saying I going to beat you and figure out a way around you to achieve that vision.
Would you put more emphasis on the idea or the execution? How would you weigh each of them and why?
- I’m execution-minded. The idea is important but what will make you win in the market place and make you stand out is execution. I would go maybe with 90/10 or even 99/1 execution to idea.
What is your biggest learning lesson on your journey so far?
- When you start a business and become your own boss at an early age, you don’t think that it’s really about the people and the culture. You don’t think how much time you are going to spend their or how much of your success will be determined by the decisions you make. Now, I realize that that’s 99% of the battle.
What is your favorite business book?
- Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
What is your favorite mobile app resource?
What is your favorite app and why?
What is the coolest thing that you are working on right now that you want everyone to know about?
- Recently, we have evolved into a deeper engagement model where we take over more social channels and networks; and own and host more landing pages to ultimately drive customers.