Co-Founder Of StoryMark Life On Being Self-Funded, Blogging And Blissful Ignorance
We all know the saying a picture is worth a thousand words; with StoryMark Life, your photos can actually speak those words. Literally. This amazing app adds audio to the photos of your life and creates a more compelling story to share and remember. We caught up with Dana McIntyre to talk about StoryMark one-upping, carb overloads in Italy, and her husband’s random office memorabilia, (and co-founder Jonathan Kalish‘s certain unmentionable).
Tell us a little more about what inspired StoryMark Life
In 1998 one of our co-founders Jonathan Kalish, found a miniature picture frame that allowed you to record 10 seconds of voice to go with a passport size photo. At the time it felt so high-tech! After digital photography came around, we waited for someone to make the digital equivalent to a talking photo but they never did. So we did.
What’s a typical day at StoryMark Life look like?
Hectic. We are always trying to add new features to StoryMark, so a typical day is made up of figuring out what would make it more simple and fun to use, and who all could use it. We have come up with everything from families to doctors using it during surgery to get a second opinion by sending a StoryMark to a colleague. When we tried to think of an occupation where it couldn’t be used, we were not able to come up with one. Even a garbage man could use it – to document someone in violation of trash policies. It’s so open-ended.
How do you motivate yourself?
We have the Instagram logo on the wall with $1B written next to it. Just kidding. We have 5 employees and are always motivating each other by sending silly StoryMarks to each other. It becomes a back and forth thing where we are trying to “one-up” each other.
Got any great bootstrapping tips for the lean startups out there?
We have been self-funded from the start and are currently preparing and hoping for VC or Angel funding in the near future. Therefore we have relied on Twitter, Facebook, and every social media avenue we could find. We have found that blogging has increased our SEO tremendously so I have joined every blogging site I can find. It’s all about getting the name out there. Make it interesting and people want to find out more.
We want to know about where you spend your day! What’s on your desk right now?
Honestly, I’m usually sitting on the floor with papers spread out all over the place trying to keep the dog from chewing on my notes, and trying to find inspiration. Dale McIntyre, co-Founder & developer (and my husband) works in his office. It looks sort of like a shrine to technology of all sorts, with random Star Wars and Angry Birds memorabilia scattered about…and my photo, of course! Jonathan is also a Urologist so he has actually has a plastic penis on his desk. We are all very random.
What entrepreneur do you admire?
The Dyson vacuum guy. He’s always figuring out random things to put on his vacuum cleaners so that his competition is always saying “Dang it, why didn’t I think of putting a Fisher Price push popper roller on MY vacuum cleaner prototypes?”
What would you be doing if you had one year off and $500,000 to spend?
If I was being selfish, I’d be living in Italy drinking wine & eating lots of carbs and making lots of StoryMarks. Realistically, that money would be sitting in the bank waiting to fund another startup.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually put your life on hold and realize yours?
Pure and simple ignorance.
What advice do you have for other entrepreneurs struggling to get their business off the ground?
Stay the course, but never be afraid to change the course. Figure out what works for your company and do it. There are so many free ways of marketing your product or company but you just have to take the time to find them and then work them. It can be mentally exhausting but it’s absolutely worth it.
Web App or site you couldn’t live without and why
Google. I always try to find random tidbits of information that make me look smarter than I actually am.
Where can our readers reach out to you?
We can be found at www.storymarklife.com or just e-mail me at dana.mcintyre [at] storymarklife.com. We never want to be so big that people can’t communicate directly with us.