Emerging Entrepreneurs | Conrad Mathison - 'Pixel Perfect' a digital road map for companies
Today, The Gleaner concludes its series on individuals aged 20-29 who have successfully started business ventures and are experiencing steady growth.
Driven by a goal to fill the gaps in an ever-evolving digital space, 28-year-old Montegonian, Conrad Mathison, has brought a Pixel Perfect initiative to the business world.
Founded in 2011, It's Pixel Perfect (IPP) is a full-service digital agency creating products and services to grow businesses in the connected and digital age.
"I believe there were cracks in the market, so I saw an opportunity and I took it. We believe companies need to have a digital road map for at least five years in advance, which includes understanding their customers' passions in the digital space and finding solutions to engage their customers digitally," Mathison told The Gleaner.
Mathison ran IPP from his home for approximately three years before relocating the business to Suite 22-23, Technology Innovation Centre, on the grounds of the University of Technology (UTech) in St Andrew.
SUPPORT FROM FRIENDS
The holder of a bachelor's degree in biotechnology from the University of the West Indies, Mathison's start in business came in the form of loyal friends willing to lend their time to support his dream.
"I didn't even know what the term start-up capital meant in the beginning. I called a group of persons I had previously worked with during my party-planning days at university, and I asked them to come and work with me, and, thankfully, they all agreed, and that's how Pixel came into being," he explained.
"Profitability is everyone's dream in a business, and we were finally able to do it last year. We collaborate with several small- and medium-size enterprises and major companies/ brands in our industry. This has helped to stabilise us over the last two years. We also have been able to gain foreign exchange through a few projects in the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, and [in the United States] New York. We hope to continue doing that in 2017, so that we may scale the business."
Richard Branson serves as a constant source of inspiration for Mathison as it relates to moulding a power brand that is loved the world over.
Famous words delivered from the lips of the late Steve Jobs also motivate the IPP daily.
"I am very passionate about what I do. I strongly believe in the Steve Jobs quote, 'The only way to do great work is to love what you do.' It is so important to me that it forms a part of our company handbook, as one of the key traits each team member should have. I am an entrepreneur today because of my passion to teach, mentor and serve. Entrepreneurship is simply the vehicle I use to make an impact on the people I interact with daily."
Mathison's words of wisdom to business hopefuls are, "Business is the greatest teacher in life. If you wish to be in business, be willing to change who you are to achieve what you want. Over the years, I had to strip away many things to achieve what I wanted, but it will all be worth it in the end."
n We have some great partners internationally.
n We are currently in three countries: the Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago and Jamaica,
n We have a great staff culture.
FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS
n Ensure you spend the same amount of time building a product or service as you would building your staff or team. I say this because services and products don't make great companies, people do.
n To achieve your dream, you need great systems. Business is about one per cent idea and 99 per cent alignment.
n Time is your most important asset, so you must manage it properly. To do so, you need to be in charge of time: use a calendar app like Google Calendar; it will help you to manage your time better.
n Never be late for meetings.
NO-NOS FOR YOUNG ENTREPRENEURS
n Never start a business just to make money. You may make money in a short time, but it will not last. Entrepreneurship is not about money, it is about value, and the only way to create value is to love what you do.
n Never be afraid to fail. I have made poor decisions in the last couple years, but I have lived by a mantra - FEAR (Face Everything And Recover).
n Never spend early profits on prestige items. I have seen this happen many times in business. When you work hard, you deserve a reward, but don't use the early profits or revenues on a dream car, big office or a nice apartment. Resist the temptation. If you overextend yourself, you may lose everything, including the business.