Ethan Smith sat down for a chat with Paolo Dominguez, the founder and CEO of Juble it!, a social button helping to give back to content creators, to learn a little more about what keeps the innovative entrepreneur motivated.
Paolo, can you explain to me why you decided to be an entrepreneur?
“As a part of my MBA at the University of Cincinnati, I enrolled in an entrepreneurship course that required the class to create a business plan and go through all the different aspects of creating a business, then pitch our ideas during a venture competition. Out of 225 schools in the world, our group was one that was picked to present at the competition, and while we didn’t win, we still got a grant from UC to start our venture. I had always liked being able to take an idea from scratch and create a viable product, and that experience helped ignite a passion and provided a path for me to get started.”
Oh, wow, that’s actually really exciting. What was your project?
“We created an idea called i-Shopper – it was a touch-screen attached to shopping carts that would help shoppers navigate the store, provide coupons, and display ads. This was before everyone had smartphones, so at the time, it was really cool.”
Since you’ve been an entrepreneur for more than a decade, what keeps you motivated?
“Having the passion to create my own dream instead of working to create the dream of someone else. I’ve always felt that I was lacking something when working for a boss of some sort, and I wanted to create my own legacy. Having said that, I wouldn’t be in the position I am now without the skills and expertise I picked up in my professional career, so taking the plunge into full-time entrepreneurship had a lot to do with readiness. What I’ve learned over the years is that being an entrepreneur doesn’t work very well if you’re doing it on the side – going all-in with your venture and taking a leap of faith will allow you to do your very best and keep moving forward.”
So what’s next for you, Paolo?
“I want Juble to be a commonly used verb like ‘Google.’ Today, there is no word in the English language that means; I want to celebrate you, this, or that, by giving a token of appreciation. Donation and Tip are all associated with someone ‘asking’ you, rather than you freely giving on your own accord. It’s the feel-good, completely voluntary ‘give back’ that you want to celebrate. That’s why I created the name Juble it! as it stems from the word Jubilate!
While our initial focus is in the digital world, Juble it! will also take shape in the physical world as well. Visiting a national park? Instead of dropping a dollar in the beat up box at the visitor center, take out your mobile phone and Juble it! Taking a picture of the Grand Canyon? Juble it! and send the proceeds to a non-profit preservation organization. At a street performance? Juble it! to give back to the artist instead of dropping money into a hat…and oh by the way, see where they are performing next.
All of these small donations add up when they are aggregated together; especially for the smaller guys. We have a saying at Juble it!; small change equals big change.”
Speaking of ‘smaller guys,’ do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
“It definitely helps to have experience in the industry you’re trying to innovate in. Having passion to add to that experience is the perfect combination – find a problem in your industry or in an area you absolutely love and find a new way to fix it. Once you have your grand idea, you have to fully commit and focus on your venture to be successful. The difference between a ‘wantrepreneur’ and an entrepreneur is dedication – give it your all and don’t be afraid to fail.”
For more information on the product, visit jubleit.com.