I have a unique story leaving me a bit of a unicorn: (technical + designer + marketer).
- College for mass communication, sold a video production business at 21, opened a 3D animation business and tried to build a Pixar, but failed. I was a great technician / animator / project lead, but terrible business owner at the time. In college I painted (and sold!) cubist art, and animated professionally (NBC, PBS, Microsoft, etc. - i.e. have a design background with tech chops i.e. 3D rigging, etc. and had been on computers since age 8 with a commodore 64)
- Closed the animation biz in 2001 (not sold, not bankrupted, just closed up) as I had a kid en route and moved into real estate via a friend. Seems like an odd choice, but this was good timing (real estate boom years). I failed at the animation biz due to marketing, not product, though we had deals, peaked at 17 people, worked with WB, Atom Films, Dreamworks, Starz, etc.
- Built a mortgage-specific CRM (Lendermate) 2005-2007, but it was only a base hit. Was making several thousand a month residual, but wasn't a great product market fit and by the time we had some modest traction, the real estate bust (2008-9) washed out a lot of clients. I was also doing real estate sales (realtor) 2005-2010 here and there. Started electronic signature software iSignature.com, but failed technically (ran out of runway / resources see below).
- In 2007 I closed the mortgage biz, stopped iSignature at the finish line (ouch - capital$), was in chemo + radiation for a very curable type of cancer called Hodgkin's Lymphoma (all cured, thanks!), and divorced, and was even technically homeless for 6 weeks (well, couch surfing with friends). At the same time, and with my then 3 years old son. I'm all good now, but this makes for an entertaining story low point. ;-)
- Now I've bounced back - I am reassembling the software I wish I had while in real estate into a software suite carefully taking a more client-first approach based on lean startup (Eric Reis), lean running (Ash Maurya) type approaches, as well as doing UI / UX consulting, high end wordpress sites, etc. as we build traction.
Note: I welcome consulting work, but generally B2C only, due to a potential conflict of interest, I must decline anything related to CRM, accounting, or project / task management.