Simon Erich is a serial entrepreneur and a veteran in the creative agency industry.
He is an illustrator, game designer, user experience expert, and visual designer.
In 1992, he began his career with Valiant Comics as an illustrator and designer in comic books.
He was one of the first computer literators in the industry, and he created the first-ever digital humorous paintings.
His early illustration was primarily for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, creating digital images for licensed covers and trading cards.
Simon worked as a creative and design consultant in New York City over the next eight years for some of the most prestigious companies around the globe.
Simon founded Ember Media, which brought the first CD-ROM business card to America, the “DigiCard,” and ran an interactive agency that produced multimedia content.
Simon, a native Austinian, returned home to start several businesses over the next twenty years.
SiteGoals, an interactive agency that merged in 2018 with Workhorse Marketing, Quotingly (quote- and proposal software), and Argle bargle The Game where you Insult your Friends are his most recent ventures.
Trooper is Simon’s latest venture. It is a startup that focuses on website maintenance and updates for small businesses and agencies.
He has worked with many clients throughout his career, including American Express and Dow Jones & Company.
Simon loves kayak fishing, rock climbing, and live music. He also enjoys comics, games, art, and comics.
Simon has mentored at SXSW and continues his contributions to the Austin creative agency community.
Simon was named the Austin Ambassador for Nintendo by Nintendo Entertainment in 2006.
He is a complete geek, as this confirms his geeky nature.
What is the story of Trooper?
Trooper was born out of years spent helping friends and clients manage their websites.
While most of the work didn’t require a full-time developer, I still felt the need to support clients’ needs whenever needed.
Many people can do the job, but hiring them is difficult. I want to eliminate that barrier and provide the security and comfort necessary to do the job effectively.
How do you stay productive?
Although I don’t know whether all my days are the most productive, I wear many hats.
There are two primary shifts that I work. The first shift starts at 11 am and ends around 5 pm.
After that, I take a break to spend time with my family and eat dinner.
Then, I exercise, have a good workout, and relax. I often return to my desk in the late evening and continue working until around one is, sometimes later.
This allows me to communicate with overseas workers and gives me the freedom to work when I’m not interrupted by the outside world.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I work hard and push myself to achieve anything I set my mind to.
Although it sounds cliché, I use the help of others to bring my ideas to life.
I speak to strangers and friends and find allies, believers, or people who can keep me accountable.
What’s your favorite trend?
Global connectivity. Although it’s taken decades to create, you can now go online and find out about someone else on the other side.
You can then reach out, communicate and collaborate with them. Distance doesn’t matter. Language is rarely essential.
Technology has made the world smaller.
What habits make you productive?
Do not stop thinking about it. Get on with the job. In New York City, I worked for an individual who owned a client service company early in my career.
We had to give bad news to a client at one point. It was going to be challenging to make the call.
He immediately picked up the phone and dialed it without even thinking about how difficult this conversation might be.
He said that he makes sure that he does not have to do something he doesn’t like.
He gets on with the task and doesn’t waste any time figuring out what to do or how to procrastinate about something he doesn’t want to do.
This is something I’ve carried with me all my life. This type of thinking applies to all situations I don’t wish to face.
What’s your advice for the Noob?
Do not get caught up in doing things that won’t benefit you long-term.
In my 30s, I spent a lot of time out with friends. I spent more time drinking in bars and clubs than I should have and did not contribute to my future.
Although I enjoyed it, I cannot remember if I was there. However, our most valuable asset was a lot of wasted time.
What is one thing we can all agree on?
Ben Affleck is Bruce Wayne’s best friend and one of the most accurate portrayals in the movie of Batman.
My geek friends will be mad at me for saying this, but Affleck’s portrayal of Batman was flawless.
While the film he appeared in was not the best, his Frank Miller-Esque Batman was a great choice.
What do you recommend as an entrepreneur?
Every day I wake up and remind myself that I have another chance to choose what I want to do with my life.
It could be something productive, or it might be something fun. It doesn’t matter what. It’s mine.
What’s your rich strategy?
There is no substitute for persistence and determination. It would help if you planned and then executed your vision.
Reach out to others and communicate with them. Move out of your comfort zone.
You can share your ideas with others and find people who are open to hearing them.
How do you overcome Failure?
In the early 2020s, I attempted to merge my application development company with a new partner.
It seemed like a perfect match. We both had complementary capabilities and brought existing customers to the new entity.
The pandemic struck, and many of our clients lost their businesses for most of 2020.
As we merged our businesses, we launched the new company. However, the new partner broke the code and refused to fix it.
He didn’t want to work after hours. The confrontation turned into a significant conflict that eventually led me to pull the plug on the entire venture, which I had worked hard to build.
It was a realization that knowing one’s core values is the best way to know someone and that equal partnerships can be challenging to maintain without trusting them.
What’s your recent best buy?
The Lark water bottles are a favorite of mine. The cap has a UV light that kills bacteria and purifies water.
I drink a lot, but it was annoying to smell my water bottles after only a few days.
The water bottle keeps my water cool and smells fresh for several weeks. It is a great product. It is my daily companion.
What are your favorite Softwares or Apps?
Although I have tried many different types of project management software, I found Any.do to be very useful in keeping track of my daily and weekly tasks.
It works across all platforms and features a mobile feature that reminds me to check my list every morning and set a goal for tackling it.
It reminds me to do it even if I don’t do it every day.
Which book would you recommend?
Disrupt you! Jay Samit. Jay Samit’s book “Disrupt You!” really resonated with me.
This book covers both entrepreneurial journeys and personal struggles.
It also helps identify ways to overcome obstacles that could cripple your business.
Jay’s writing style and speaking style are easy to understand. Jay doesn’t try to complicate things, but he provides practical and insightful advice.
What’s your favorite quote?
Keep going! Talent is rare; talent is more occasional than those who are unsuccessful. Persistence is the only thing that can replace it.
Unrewarded genius is almost a metaphor for genius. Education won’t; there are many educated despised.
Only persistence and determination are sufficient to make you omnipotent.Calvin Coolidge
- Take advantage of the world’s smallness and openness to grow your global workforce.
- Don’t rush into things you don’t want to do. Do not allow yourself to procrastinate or chicken out.
- There is no substitute for persistence and determination.
- Do, or do not. You can’t try.