Monday, March 28, 2011
John Florez > www.drupalconnect.com
John Florez, Founder, Drupal Connect
What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
Vision, courage and an insatiable appetite to see your vision come to fruition.
What did inspire you to start your business?
I knew who my competition was and I was convinced that I could do it better. Two years later my company is the largest Drupal development firm in North America.
How did you finance it?
It was self financed.
Being Hispanic, does it have any influence on your business?
I think Hispanics have an innate passion for life. I use that passion and drive each day in how I run my business.
In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
Adversity is really a good thing. Adversity sparks creativity. Some of the biggest lessons in business result from hard times. Not to mention they make you very thankful when times are good.
What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Starting the business with my wife at the peak of one of the greatest economic downturns was certainly challenging. Two years ago it was just the two of us. Today we have about 40 team members and that's really exciting.
If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
We've grown quite a bit in the last two years. In this short period we've learned a lot of lessons and have made many adjustments along the way. At this juncture there's nothing that that I would change. If there was something to change I would have implemented the change already.
What was your childhood ambition?
I started my first business when I was 8 years old. I'd go shopping for the elderly in my neighborhood. From as far back as I could remember I always wanted to run my own business.
Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire
Admire is a strong word, there are a lot of people that I respect (Bill Gates, Warren Buffet). However, as far as having admiration for another individual there's only two people that I would reserve that category for, my mom and my wife Karen.
For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Dinner, everyone's guard is down and you really can tell a lot more from the people you're dealing with.
What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
I don't have the luxury of just "turning it off". When we go on vacations I'm bringing the laptop and still putting in 6-7 hours. Now, I can look at that as something that I give up or I can look at it as me realizing a life long ambition.
What is your favorite quote?
He wasn't my favorite President but Nixon said: "only if you've been in the deepest valley can you ever know how magnificent it is to be on the highest mountain."
Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Not at all, no more so than breathing. It's the only way to be.
Biggest mistake made?
To not remove myself from certain situations when it was clearly time to move on.
Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
Thomas Edison was an innovator, I'm certainly no genius.
About the Company
Drupal Connect is the largest Drupal development firm in North America. Our clients include AOL, GE, NBC, Sony Music, The NYSE, A&E, Waste Management and over 100 other companies across the world.
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