Thursday, November 18, 2010
Joe Kutchera > www.joekutchera.com
Joe Kutchera, Author, Latino Link.
What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
You need six things: Understanding the needs of the market, a good idea that satisfies those needs in a new or different way, access to capital, an amazing team of people, hard work and good luck
What inspired you to start your business?
My last two positions were entrepreneurial although technically I didn't start my own business. I started the digital ad sales team at Grupo Editorial Expansion (Time Inc Mexico) in 2006-2008. We started two major Spanish-language web properties CNNExpansion and Quien.com. Then I launched the Spanish-language ad network for ContextWeb in the U.S. Hispanic market and opened their Mexico City office. Unfortunately, that last one didn't go well. But that brought me to writing my book, another very entrepreneurial project.
That's actually a funny story. In March of 2009, I attended a panel at SXSW Interactive "So you want to write a book?" which included a roundtable of authors, book publishes and agents. After the session, I approached one of the book publishers about the initial idea of Latino Link. (http://amzn.to/latinolink) He said, "That's a great idea! Let me send you my book proposal template." I wrote the proposal in the evenings and over the weekends. Two months later, I sent the publisher my proposal. He liked it and agreed to recommend it to his editorial team. I thought to myself, "It would be great to have some time off to write the book." Two weeks after that, ContextWeb laid off 10% of its workforce, including me, because of the bad economy. I thought to myself, "well, I guess I'm going to write Latino Link." As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for!
By the way, your readers can download a sample chapter from Latino Link about social media here: http://joekutchera.com/latinolink
Being Hispanic...Does it have any influence on your business?
I'm a white guy born and raised in Milwaukee, WI who moved to New York to go to business school and stayed to work in the media business. If you have the opportunity to open up my book, Latino Link (http://amzn.to/latinolink), and read the dedication, you'll see what inspired me to write the book and combine my career in digital marketing with Spanish-language media. "This book is dedicated to my parents who met in Spanish class, honeymooned in Mexico, and had me nine months later. I've loved learning to speak Spanish ever since." Did learning Spanish, a language that I learned to love, have an impact on my career in media? Absolutely!
In the face of adversity, how do you keep going?
Friends, family, good food, exercise, and yoga classes
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Editing my book (not the writing of it) was much harder than I thought it would be.
What was your childhood ambition?
To be a musician
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Dave Morgan, founder of Tacoda and 24/7 Media, columnist for MediaPost and board member of the IAB
Gary Vaynerchuk, author, speaker and founder of Wine Library
My dad, grandfather, and great-grandfather who ran my family's food distribution business in Milwaukee, WI
For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Early breakfast with coffee
Biggest mistake made?
Failures and mistakes get you closer to the successes that come next. It's important to remember not to beat yourself up for the mistakes along the way. Move on to what's next and focus on the present opportunities and challenges. Some of my biggest mistakes happened because I wasn't patient enough to persevere through to the next wave. I'll leave it at that.
What is your favorite quote?
Pablo Picasso: "Good artists copy, great artists steal."
I love what Steve Jobs says about that quote here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW0DUg63lqU
Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Yes, I do. But aren't we all innovators? We need each other to bring out the best in one another as we work in teams. My name is on the cover of my book. I was the person who focused on it and brought Latino Link to life. But it took an enormous amount of feedback behind the scenes from some amazing people like Ana Grace, Pablo Slough, Antonella Severo, Felipe Korzenny, Nitish Singh, everyone at Paramount Books. Plus, I am thankful to the marketers who wrote case studies for Latino Link and everyone who endorsed it.
About the Company:
Joe Kutchera is the author of Latino Link: Building brands online with Hispanic communities and content (Paramount Books) and a leading speaker and advisor on reaching Hispanics, multicultural Americans and Latin Americans online.
Mr. Kutchera works with Insitum, an innovation, design, and market research consultancy, which helps companies develop new products for the Hispanic and Latin American marketplaces. Insitum has offices in Chicago, Mexico City, Bogota and Sao Paulo.
You can read Joe's columns about best practices for reaching Latinos online on MediaPost and Portada. In addition, Joe often speaks in Mexico, Spain and the U.S. about how to develop culturally relevant, localized content for Spanish-speakers. Joe has a BA from Macalester College and an MBA from Fordham University. Joe has served as a board member for the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) Mexico and as a member of the Hispanic Committee for the IAB in the U.S.
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