In Depth with Steve Simonson (Part 2)

In this part 2 of our in depth conversation with Steve Simonson, we learn more about “fumbling moments” and lessons he learned and how he applies it today in his business decisions.

Growing the company

  • Hired people and expanded services.
  • Carpet cleaning business expanded into insurance restoration.
  • In the 80’s, Steve didn’t make that much money
  • Steve had to fix the problems within the company.
  • When Chris and Steven’s partnership broke up, Steven was bought out and he bought a new company in 1992.

Moving on…

  • Steve bought a new company. He learned a lot with the new company.
  • He ran the company and grew it. They were in the top franchise nationwide.
  • The people were brilliant and taught him a lot.
  • The subcontractors were brilliant people.
  • From ’92 to ’96 – internet was conquering the world.
  • He saw that the internet is the next big thing.
  • Steve movie pick: October Sky

Fumbling Moments

  • Steve was not happy – he saw a rocket ship: the internet.
  • In ’98, he got on Yahoo Store. It still exists today.
  • From service based to product based company.
  • In ’99, he ran a free shipping campaign and it validated the rocket ship.  It took off.
  • He sold his store, kept the assets and started an online business.
  • There was no SEO back then. But the bottom line is:
  • Let’s do things we understand – his motto when faced with vagueness.
  • Dot-Com crashed in 2000 and they reverse merged with another company.
  • He did not take VC money because he didn’t know where he will use it.
  • If you understand how you make money and all the calculations – then you’ll know how much to spend.

Discovering Amazon and the Bubble

  • Steve was aware of it but his websites were doing much better.
  • In 2007, signs that something was not right started to show.
  • The company’s growth was not as projected. Something was not right with the market– then the market bubble burst.
  • He quit as CEO and the VCs started spending money to grow the company but it was not going anywhere. A year after that the company went bankrupt and Steve lost $60 million.
  • He started a new company on electronics.
  • Lessons learned:
    • Subordinating your decisions to someone else when you know in your gut that you are right.

Thresholds

  • At a certain age, you have to give yourself permission to stop doing the things you don’t want to do.
  • Steve likes being a walk-around management guy and when he can not do things his way then it is time to go.
  • A day in the life of Steve:
    • Block the week with main issues
    • Mondays for check ins
    • Tuesdays – follow ups
    • Wednesdays – half meetings
    • Most days – walk around and learn.
    • Amazon CEOs should figure out the “why” of what they are doing, and not keep on running the rat rice.
    • Be very rigid with that time too.

Thinking and Decision Process

  • Brains work uniquely and at one point when things don’t make sense then rest and disengage.
  • Your brain gets tired too. By disengaging, you bring out the best work.
  • Forget people who will tell you that things can not happen. Focus on yourself.
  • Solve impossible problems 🙂

Connect with Steve Simonson: http://liranandsteve.com/

Check out his podcast: http://www. awesomers.com

Join us in these key events!

September 12-14 – Sellerfest Lithuania | Check event HERE
October 1 – Birmingham Linn Academy | Check event HERE
October3 & 4 –  Amsterdam PPC Congress | Check event HERE
October 17 – AmaFest Manchester | Check event HERE
October 22- 23rd – Cross Border Summit and China Magic the same week!
October 27 and 29 – Global Sources | Check event HERE
October 14-20 – India Sourcing Trip | Check event HERE

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