22 Jul Dragon’s Den Isn’t Real & Other Lessons From Nerd Block Founder Russ Montague
Russ Montague recently attended a Start Up Canada, Finance Bootcamp event where he shared his wisdom on the business world. Russ Montague is the President and Co-founder of the popular ecommerce websites ShirtPunch and Nerd Block. ShirtPunch is a flash 24 hour sale website much like Groupon or WagJag but with a twist. ShirtPunch only deals in t-shirts, 4 different t-shirts every day which retire after 24 hours. Nerd Block is a subscription based website offering, “nerd Christmas” in the form of a box filled with goodies every month.
“Dragons Den Isn’t Real”
The popular television show Dragons Den is deluding entrepreneurs into believing they just need a quantity of money in order to make their business dreams into reality. However Montague wants people to know in real life no one is going to pay you for an idea or a concept and according to him, “money isn’t what you need, what you need is business…people”. Montague learned this lesson when he started his first company, ShirtPunch, he asked his dad for $2,000 which he gladly gave him. However Montague says he didn’t know what to do with the money and wishes he had hired people who did sooner, as he had never had the opportunity to learn how to handle the finances of a business.
“Kick the pinecone, just keep kicking it”
“Starting a business is like starting a diet,” Montague says. You can continue to put it off and say you will do it next week until you never do it. He suggests setting a deadline and sticking to it and launching your business on the start date if it’s ready or not! Montague says his business partner would describe him as “smashing through brick walls” he is constantly bringing new ideas to innovate his businesses and executing all his plans.
“The Internet revolves around cats”
Cats really rule the Internet, a cute or funny video of a cat can easily go viral, but what can you do to make your post go viral? Montague says he will pay anyone one million dollars if they can tell him a formula to achieve viral status of a post. In the mean time he suggests you get into what you love. “I didn’t want to work for anyone, I wanted to be rich and I like pop culture” is the reason Montague states as why he started the business he did. He claims this was successful because you have to, “…know your audience, be one of your people”. He is one of his people with his love of popular culture and love of the product.