We caught up with Rob Banagale, the founder of Gliph, to gather some words of wisdom from his experience leaping into entrepreneurship. Starting a new business can seem as fast-paced and exciting as a video game adventure, so we illustrated some of Rob’s journey through 5 challenging levels. Mastering each level helped him acquire important skills and tools critical for reaching the final destination: success! See how the adventure unfolds and learn the wisdom won. Leave a comment if you have gone on to reach other levels or let us know where you’re at in your own journey.
Level 1: The Ledger of Self Accountability
Rob’s made his first applications, the podcasting tool Podcastinople and then early iPhone apps (Baby Names! Tip Calculator!) while he was working full time jobs and going to graduate school. With his hands full, it was hard to keep his eye on completion. He acquired The Magic Ledger of Self Accountability. With it, he is able to set a direction, track his progress, and compete projects.
Wisdom won: “High performance people embrace challenge but pace themselves”
Level 2: The Customer Empathizer
After developing a few successful applications, Rob got a job working in a large digital agency. He saw that big budgets and big brands were not a guarantee of a good app. Knowing what the users need was the key to success. Rob uses his Customer Empathizer to find out what his users are doing and what they need.
Wisdom won: “Heavy hitters don’t know any more about customer needs than the little guys. Go and hang out with your customers to find out what they are looking for.”
Level 3: The Velvet Glove of Compassion
Rob does not make applications in solitude. He works with dynamic teams of talented people, and they all work hard. When working on intense projects, Rob has learned to treat all of the people he works with as human beings, not just as providers of deliverables.
Wisdom Won: “Know the people you work with. Build real relationships so that you can count on them.”
Level 4: Professor Banagale’s Balancing Elixir
When you are doing exciting work you believe in, it is easy to lose contact with the rest of your life. Rob has learned to frequently dip into Professor Banagales Elixir of Balance and connect with non-work relationships. It is proven to prevent burnout and enhance endurance. He is not ashamed to note that he recently took a half-day to spend time with a friend mourning the loss of a beloved pet. He believes that creative professionals should learn how to let their lives and business fluidly mix.
Wisdom Won: “Take time for life when life asks you.”
Level 5: The Trumpet of Marketing Mastery
The next challenge is telling the world. Rob knows that there are skills yet to achieve and he must stay engaged in ongoing learning as his adventure unfolds. Rob believes that Gliph could change the way people communicate on the Internet, allowing people to build relationships without giving up their privacy. However, a great application only gets him half way there. He is learning how to get the message out. During SXSW 2012, Rob created and manned a mobile cell phone charging cart on the streets of Austin as a way to directly communicate with the people who should learn about Gliph.
Wisdom Won: “Get to the people who need you and learn from them.”