I have not spoken with Jeff for over a year so when I found out he was VP of Sales & Marketing at Touch Lab, I had to drop him an email, to congratulate him.
I am proud of Jeff. I have watched Namnum hustle since Social Media Camp Long Island. And that hustle has allowed him to become part of the Touch Lab team.
Jeff will be the first to tell you that being an entrepreneur is an amazing journey. But that journey is neither a straight line or without its failures -- which tempt you just to quit.
But Jeff has been blessed with incredible advisors. He has a supportive family, the encouragement of friends and team members that keep Namnum humble.
A supportive community is a critical lifeline for the success of any entrepreneur. You come to rely on this group of advisors to help you with difficult decisions or to simply have as mentors on retainer.
It's been a long journey from Social Media Camp Long Island. But Jeff's persistence and clear vision have been invaluable tools on his entrepreneurial trek.
Namnum continues to use those tools to grow Touch Lab's business 40% year on year and increase the company's brand awareness, dramatically.
Simply put he is crushing it!
What are your 3 biggest accomplishments?
First is being lucky enough to get my wife to stick around for the past 20 years or so. I'm a pain in the ass, but luckily she's really patient and extremely loving.
Second is the three kids God blessed us with. I count it as a major accomplishment that we've grown up with our kids, learned alongside them and continue to have a close, open, honest relationship with each of them.
Lastly, at least so far, growing our business 40% in our first full year of partnership & increasing our brand awareness drastically is also a pretty big deal in my life.
What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning
The first thing I say every morning, in my head or out loud, is thank you God for another day. In between talking myself into getting on the treadmill in the basement and trying not to forget anything on the way out the door, I try hard to give thanks for all the amazingness in my life.
Like breathing and walking and great opportunities.
What do you value most about your company's culture and vision
Take a bunch of remarkably talented professionals in the prime of their career, add in a ton of irreverent jokes (with just a bit of sarcasm) and toss in the animated gif / film clip / meme of the day and you may get a fair idea of what our crew is like.
What I really love is that in the midst of all of this is an undercurrent of respect. Respect for talent & work of course, but more importantly just a basic respect for each other as human beings.
I joined this team as a marketing guy in the middle of a bunch of amazing Android engineers.
No one gave me crap for being the muggle; everyone was encouraging and eager for my success. We've had the occasional bad seed come through but they never last long.
I love working somewhere where the baseline for success isn't just talent & hard work but also respect for your teammates.
How long are you willing to fail at this job before you succeed
I gave this one some thought but I really don't know. For better or worse, it's not something I think about much.
I have the chance to grow the IDEO of Android with an amazing team; I just plan on continuing until we're done.
Discuss a specific accomplishment of yours in a previous position that indicates you will thrive in this position
It's funny but it's not a job or business that comes to mind at all. What comes to mind is Social Media Camp Long Island. It was a 400+ person unconference in 2010 about Social Media that attracted some amazing and wonderful professionals and amateurs.
That event would have been impossible without the team of incredible people who came together as the organizing committee. These were very successful people who committed to meet at crazy hours for a ridiculous amount of time and put in more then their fair share of work.
In the end, my job was to identify their talents, skills and connections and ask them to use them in a directed way. I was the coordinator of talent, nothing more, even though I got a lot of credit for SMCampLI.
For Touch Lab to truly become what we envision, I have to be a coordinator of remarkable talents
Tell me about the time you realized you had the power to do something meaningful
7 or 8 years ago, I got the chance to volunteer with a teen group at my church. Eventually I got the opportunity to run it with a great partner.
During that time (I no longer volunteer there as of a year ago) I had amazing young people share things with me, experiences terrible and wonderful, that blew my mind.
Some that they'd never shared with anyone.
Those young people taught me that if I can shut up and listen and if I can avoid judging, then I can effect real change where it matters most: on the level of the human heart & soul.
Question: Being an entrepreneur has very little to do with running a business. It's more of a mindset; an understanding that with each problem encountered is an opportunity to adjust and overcome. What recent issue have you encountered and how did you resolve, it?
What is the best small business resource you have used
What is the best business book you have read