This week I interview entrepreneur John Murch and his motto, JFDI.
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John Murch is a good friend and well, a lot like me. He’s a geek at heart, a fellow Computer Science major, and his interests include SEO, entrepreneurship, Tim Ferriss, cars, the iPad, SXSW, and helping others with their projects.
We co-founded a meetup group called NYC Masterminds to bring together people in the world of design, social media, internet marketing, programming, and app development, and well, if we could just find some more time away from working on our projects, we’d host more meetings.
The intention of our meetup group was to help people find and develop side projects and get them off the ground.
For me, it was my salary negotiation class, which eventually became an eBook, and then was picked up by a mainstream publisher (Salary Tutor goes live on Amazon on April 1, 2011!).
John has a very different and unique product: uBlanket, a site that allows you to take your old favorite t-shirts and convert them into the ultimate curl-up-on-your-couch-and-watch-The-Dark-Night blanket.
The concept is simple… we all have some old t-shirts that we don’t wear anymore, but can’t bear to get rid of. They may be old fraternity/sorority shirts that hold special meaning, a collection of t-shirts from running races or triathlons, a souvenir from the 1996 Olympics, or the time you saw the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 1991.
In the interview, we talk about:
- His straightforward entrepreneurial attitude; how JFDI — just freaking do it — keeps him focused and allows him to create sites within hours, not weeks or months
- The incredible story of how he and his co-founder went from idea to concept to revenue-generating business in such a short amount of time
- The topics include the programming language used, the shopping cart checkout system, the website design template, the unique customer-facing offline/online production system they created, and yes, even how to find a quality seamstress
- John gives tips on marketing a startup, from simple postcards that can be handed out to interested users, getting noticed in the startup community, to being featured on MSNBC television
- There’s also a charity element: With each uBlanket order, there is extra shirt material created. Instead of just throwing it away, uBlanket uses it to make blankets for homeless children throughout the country. They have partnered with Project Night Night, a non-profit organization serving over 25,000 children each year, to help distribute these blankets.
- He also is trying some unique advertising from one of my favorite guerilla marketing companies (Hint: It involves t-shirts and I interviewed them in Episode 73).